OPEC Giving You Gas Pains? Take the New '74 Volkswagens

magazine advertisement for 1974 volkswagens
OPEC Giving You Gas Pains? Take the New '74 VWs!Volkswagen of America

When the Arab members of OPEC imposed an oil embargo against the United States and other nations that supported Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur war, fuel prices went through the roof and long gas station lines ensued.

Volkswagen saw this as an opportunity to get Americans out of their single-digit-mileage Detroit barges and into fuel-sipping Beetles, Dashers, Karmann-Ghias, 412s, and Transporters. Here's a magazine advertisement for the VW line, found in a news magazine issued during the first grim month of 1974 and referencing the well-known Alka-Seltzer advertising of the same era.

magazine advertisement for 1974 volkswagens
Volkswagen of America

The water-cooled Volkswagen Dasher (known as the Passat elsewhere at that time) made its North American debut as a 1974 model, but the Doyle Dane Bernbach copywriter who wrote this text either didn't know or didn't care about that when adding the bit about saving on antifreeze and buying oil by the pint.

map of sinai 1974
Murilee Martin

In what could have been clever placement or just luck, this VW ad was printed on the page opposite an article about the January 1974 cease-fire between Egypt and Israel. This helped remind American car shoppers that the black fuel wouldn't be returning for quite a while.