What Are Promos, Anyway?

Remember how things were back in the 1950s? Each year, it was a major event when the new cars came out. For weeks before the official release date, you'd drive by an auto dealership and see the tarp-covered objects of everyone's curiosity and desire in the showroom. You'd wonder what the new models underneath those covers would look like. You'd think, "Gee, last year's Bel Air was so cool - what's Chevy gonna do this year?" You'd count down the days until the unveiling. The tension would build.

And when the Big Day finally came, it was worth waiting for. That's because just about every make and model was redesigned every year, and they all looked great! Everyone had his or her own favorite, of course, but in those days Detroit's creativity and artistry bloomed across the board.







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That's where promos came in. Plastic promotional cars represented one more way that automobile manufacturers and dealers could make their brand stick in the mind of a potential consumer. When Dad went in to a dealer to take a test drive, a smart salesman would give Junior a 1/25 scale model of the car to take home. Every time Dad saw Junior "driving" his promo across the floor at home, it would remind Dad yet again of the car at the dealer, and continue to reinforce its image. Hey, you never knew - maybe a nifty promo would be the thing that pushed the head of the household from a Pontiac Bonneville to a Plymouth Fury.

But, on the Edsel Promo Time site, we aren't concerned with just any promos! No, indeed. There are pics and descriptions of Edsel promos from all three years of Edsel production (1958 - 1960), boxes, an explanation of what differentiates a true dealer promo from a car made to be sold in toy stores, and all kinds of Edsel promo esoterica.