On The Tube: Classic Automotive Goods and Services
Some of these famous auto product retailers are sadly defunct and others were merely gobbled up by competitors. Here’s a look back at some catchy product slogans, funny taglines, and classic car care pitchmen on YouTube.
The King of Automotive Rust Proofing
Kurt Ziebart, the inventor of the Ziebart Rustproofing Process, died this September at the age of 91. This early commercial features the famous Ziebart slogan—It’s us. Or rust.— a campaign that helped turn the company into a worldwide leader in vehicle appearance and protections services. Today, Ziebart International Corporation is a worldwide leader in vehicle appearance and protection services. A franchise company headquartered in Troy, Michigan, Ziebart stores can be found in approximately 400 locations in 30 countries.
Auto Painting Powerhouse
Yes, his voice was a little creepy. And just like those early 80s Maaco commercials, Earl Schieb promised deals that sounded too good to be true. But no one could deny Schieb, born in 1908, built himself a business empire. Specializing in repainting and auto collision repair, Schieb eventually established locations in 23 states before his death in 1992. The company ceased operations in 2010.
If You Need It, Trak’s Got It.
In later years, Trak Auto advertised weekly sales on scores of in-store items. But not even low prices and 70s era sitcom celebrities could save the company from bankruptcy. In July 2002, monolith retailer Advance Auto Parts received bankruptcy court approval to acquire 57 Trak Auto Parts Stores in northern Virginia, Washington, DC, and eastern Maryland.
Snakes and Tigers and Tires, Oh My!
The United States Rubber Company was founded in Naugatuck, Connecticut, in 1892. It was one of the original 12 stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and became Uniroyal Inc. in 1961. One of Uniroyal's best known products is the Tiger Paw tire introduced in the 1960s and included as original equipment on the Pontiac GTO, which the company promoted as “The Tiger” during its early years. In 1990 Uniroyal was acquired by France-based tire maker, Michelin. The Uniroyal name still appears on tires and they still use the Tiger Paw brand name in its tire line. But gone are the days when wet roads were akin to driving on the back of an angry snake and millions of tires were sold thanks to a surefooted, cartoon cat.
Mea Culpa, Corvair Owners
Last month’s installment of On The Tube featured a mistakenly uploaded YouTube video link that offended a number of Corvair owners. Thanks to the HVA members who brought this error to our attention. We apologize for the error and hope you enjoy this bonus video featuring this great American car.