The Cars Of Mad Men



April 08, 2014

The final season of Mad Men kicks off this month, and knowing the end is near has people talking about what they will miss most about this fabulous AMC drama. Mad Men gave us a captivating look at what life was like in the 1960s, and that included frequent glimpses of the cars that made the decade one of the greatest in automotive history. Here are five of our favorites.

1957 Ford Country Sedan

1957 Ford Country Sedan (Mad Men)

Nothing said “well-heeled-early-1960s homemaker” better than Betty Draper’s Ford wagon. Seen in the show’s pilot and on into Season 3, the Ford Country Sedan was one of the best selling cars of its time.     

1960 Buick LeSabre

1959 Buick LeSabre (Mad Men)

Don Draper’s first car in the series is a perfect fit for an upcoming advertising executive. Flamboyantly finned, this classic convertible was, like Draper himself, a revered holdover of late 1950s style.

1961 Dodge Polara

1961 Dodge Polara (Mad Men)

Late in Season 1 and early in Season 2, Don Draper inexplicably ditches his convertible for this classic utilitarian Dodge. While drinking and driving on the way to the beach with his ear-nibbling mistress, Bobby Barrett, Don puts the affair in jeopardy after crashing the car into a ditch.

1962 Cadillac Coupe de Ville

1962 Cadillac Coupe de Ville (Mad Men)

After crashing the Dodge, Roger Sterling suggested it might be time for Don to buy a car that says, “I’ve arrived.” With its sleek-looking fins, the Coupe de Ville then represented the epitome of vintage class. Purchasing the ice blue car from the showroom floor made for a memorable scene marking the symbolic struggle in Don Draper to reconcile the man he was with the man he was pretending to be. 

1964 Chrysler Imperial Crown Convertible

1964 Chrysler Imperial Crown Convertible (Mad Men)

On one of his California escapes, Don takes a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway in a car that, while never a runaway success, stands as one of Chrysler’s most prestigious and emblematic of the day. 



Comments

  1. Brian L. eickel Lapeer Mi.

    Great American iron. I love that show / series . The old "Props" were some of the appeal of Mad Men

  2. Thomas Pettie Corinth Ms.

    Guess I grew up in a family of "Mad Men". First car we owned I got to drie was a '56 Imperial, first car I owned was a '65 Imperial, last Imperial was a '76. Sold the '56 last year, traded the '65 for the 76, lost it in a fire '90. Loved all of them.

  3. Greg Texas

    You forgot the Mercedes Benz 230 SL from The Jet Set!

  4. Henry Redder Petoskey, MIchigan

    It seems one of the most innovative cars of 1961,2,&3 seldom gets attention. The Pontiac Tempest Lemans.

  5. Peter Toronto

    What about Jaguar, one of Sterling Cooper's main accounts? This was a major storyline in season 5, ending with Lane Price trying to commit suicide by CO poisoning in an E - Type(it would not start!)

  6. Angus Mathews Las Vegas, NV.

    Too bad the folks who produced "Burn Notice" totally wrecked an impeccable1960 Buick convertible (red with white interior) during their first season. What a tragedy. I hope the cars shown for this series all survive.

  7. Toad United States

    You missed the Jaguar XKE!

  8. John Zink Tulsa, OK

    The Cadillac photos are 1961, not 1962.

  9. rdsparling NJ

    lived it. (Advertising that is) and now parting with my flamboyant fins of the1960 Invicta ... want one ?

  10. Lobo USA

    Actually, the Caddy showroom photo depicts the tail end of a1961 in the foreground, as John above states....but the blue coupe in the backround is a 1962. I had a 62 converible, but always loved the style of the 61. Cool photo. I think that car from the show was recently depicted in a reality show that bought & sold cars.

  11. Steve Kansas City

    In the pilot or episode one, Don Draper arrived home late in the evening driving a 59 Olds 98 Sedan, it was the only time that it was shown, next episode He and Betty were returning from dinner in the Buick.

  12. emjayay Brooklyn

    I don't remember the '59 Olds 98, but if it was in the pilot - the pilot was done in New York City using a real empty office for a set. The actual series started a year later in Los Angeles. Which would have explained the car switch. I think their boy kid changed too.

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