Car ad featuring woman in car on narrow rock formation
September 20, 2014 4:54 PM   Subscribe

For some time now (read: far longer than I care to admit) I have been trying to trace a car advert that I am sure was on UK TV in the 1980's. Briefly, it was of a car placed impossibly high up on a mountain/rock formation in the desert, somewere similar to Chimney Rock NC, in the car was your ISO blonde tanned glamour girl looking windswept.

It may have been an advert for a make of tyres/brand of oil/other car related item but as you can imagine searching Google for ' advert' even with fairly specific search terms is fruitless. Bonus info: I remember watching a documentary maybe 15 years ago along the lines of 100 Best Adverts which featured the ad and mentioned that the woman in the car had been stranded on the mountain after a storm came over during filming and the helicopter crew couldn't remove the car from off the cliff and as a result had been rather traumatised by the experience. Been driving me mad (!) for some time now and my Google powers have failed me. Please don't tell me this is a mere figment of my tiny childhood mind. Heroes of AskMe please put a stop to this time suck!
posted by RandomInconsistencies to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
These guys might be able to help you. I skimmed their top 100 list (Dunlop's ad... they don't make 'em like that any more), but nothing jumped out at me.

If you're sure it was in a 100 best ads docu, maybe that's a fruitful approach. 100 Greatest TV Ads, Graham Norton, 2000, looks like a possibility and it's on youtube.
posted by Leon at 5:37 PM on September 20, 2014

Is this it?
posted by bricoleur at 5:45 PM on September 20, 2014

Here is is summary of the 1964 Chevrolet TV commercial filmed at Castle Rock, Utah, (also known as Castleton Tower) linked by bricoleur, from the Moab Times-Independent, which should be at least somewhat authoritative:
Speaking of Castle Rock, Sena Hauer sent me a link to a YouTube site showing the original Chevrolet commercial that was shot on top of Castle Rock in 1964. It shows a new 1964 Chevy convertible perched near the edge of the top of the rock with a beautiful model sitting on the back of the front seat facing backwards. “In a class alone, it stands alone.. .the 1964 Chevrolet,” the announcer declares as the camera focuses in on the car and model and then pans across the dramatic countryside.

I’ve always heard that the model got stranded on top of the rock all night because high winds came up and they couldn’t get her down with the helicopter. Tara [Tara Penner of the Moab to Monument Valley Film Commission - should be a pretty reliable source] tells me that she was left up there for a while with some of the search and rescue members because of the weather but they eventually got her down unscathed.
Here is another article with some more info about the 1964 TV commercial and Castleton Tower.
posted by flug at 6:34 PM on September 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

A bit more info:
posted by flug at 7:50 PM on September 20, 2014

Ok, since I brought it up earlier, one final thing--who is the model in the 1964 video?

Above I suggested it might be Lynn Langlois, but it appears that is she was not involved with this Chevy commercial. and Utah Adventure Journal (plus a bunch of others that all appear to stem from the same source) say that it is Deidre Johnson.

But this source says that Deidre Daniels is the model from a 1973 remake of the Chevy commercial. Presumably this is the same person other articles refer to as Deidre Johnson. You can see the results of the 1973 remake in Life magazine (Dec 29, 1972 issue of Life, pp. 16B & 16C).

So who is the model from the 1964 shoot?

This contemporary 'behind the scenes' movie about the video shoot identifies her as Shirley Rumsey. This article, by someone who worked in Chevy PR at the time, also identifies the model as Shirley Rumsey and gives a few more details:
What you don’t see are the high winds blowing around at that altitude (notice Shirley’s hair and her dress), the harness that Shirley wore under her dress which was bolted to the frame of the car (preventing her from being swept over the side), or Doug, hidden in the trunk with a walkie-talkie, holding on to her legs through a hole in the back seat. Shooting finished late in the afternoon. The helicopter pilot said that the winds had picked up and flying Shirley and Doug off would be too dangerous. His suggestion was that the two of them spend the night in the car. Doug was all for that. Shirley said that she’d rather jump over the side than spend the night in the trunk of a car with Doug. They brought them down. In college, I did a parody of this spot for a mattress company as part of an advertising assignment. The professor gave me a C-, saying that it was “utterly unbelievable.”
This article gives some additional detail, though it is all second hand and I am not sure he gets it all right. He does identify Campbell-Ewald of Chicago as the ad agency responsible for the commercial.
posted by flug at 10:09 PM on September 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Well thankyou all for such a fantastic and in depth answer. That's my Sunday evening reading sorted out then, and this one has been bugging me for years. I must have seen this on an 80's ad show and it stuck in my mind. Not enough Tea in China to persuade me to take her place, bolted down or not!
posted by RandomInconsistencies at 2:43 AM on September 21, 2014

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