We seem to have lost on way on multiple levels. One of the more disturbing ones is the purpose of the automobile. While it certainly is a thing of utility, sports cars exist for the pure thrill of driving. They’re vehicles of pleasure, not to haul your purchases from Home Depot or cross streams in the wilderness. This old Nissan commercial from 1996 really nails that aspect, and it’s both incredible as well as sad.
Having a knock-off GI Joe jump into a toy version of the Nissan 300ZX says so much on so many levels. If the all-American hero can enjoy some good times behind the wheel of a Japanese sports car, what’s stopping everyone else? It’s also attractive enough to help convince Barbie look-alike she needs to join in the fun, leaving the faux Ken behind. It makes you wonder what he drives (a pink Chevy Corvette?).
With more onboard electronics, an emphasis on big screens, and a push for more technology without thinking deeply of the consequences, we’re intently insulating ourselves from the driving experience. It’s really a shame, and for those who want a simpler and purer driving experience, classic models are the way to go. Thankfully there are plenty to choose from, including the Ford Mustang, Mazda Miata, and more.
Nissan really hits the head on the nail by portraying sports cars as what they really are: big toys for adults who don’t want to grow up completely. There’s nothing wrong with having some fun in life, especially when you’re on the road, going from one place to another. As some say, this life is far too short to driving bland, uninspiring cars.
Another point about this commercial: classic Japanese cars have really come into their own in the collector market lately. Whether they’re JDM or USDM, models like the Nissan 300ZX, Skyline GT-R, Acura NSX, Mazda RX-7 FD, etc. a growing number of enthusiasts are willing to pay good money for well-preserved examples. That makes this old advertisement even more nostalgic. Plus it features Van Halen from when they first hit it big, adding to the vintage cache.
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