In the news (well, in the ads, anyway) Getaway people get Super National
The mid-1960s symbolises motoring freedom for many, and surely the best petrol commercial of all time. ‘The Getaway People’ got Super National fuel, meaning that, to Johnny Keating’s throbbing jazz theme, they could happily race a galloping horse along a beach in their racy Jaguar E-type.
They worried not a jot about inappropriate use of the world’s fuel supplies, the fact that this single act would ravage the car with rust, that sandcastles would be destroyed, or even whether the horse might have taken flight. Never mind how long it was going to take to get all that sand out of the E-type’s hull.
Although the campaign ran for several years, it seemed to be most apt for the year of love-ins and drug-fuelled drop-outs that was 1967.
So who were the Getaway People? And what were they getting away from?
Various other cars were in use in adverts by then, as shown on a rare record given away by National entitled Music for People who Go their Own Way by Frank Cordell and the John Mayer Group. The sleeve notes mention another film featuring a Lamborghini and Aston Martin on a ‘bleak deserted plain’. We couldn’t find this anywhere, but the record cover shows a white Mercedes-Benz 250 SL that, in the advert, sped along a deserted sunlit beach. ‘The wheels spin up spray from the shoreline. Inside, the man and zipper-suited girl thrill to the sun, the spray and the exciting motion of the car,’ say the sleeve notes.
On the cover, however, the man is alone. Maybe the ‘zipper-suited girl’ was taking the photograph or was out of shot soothing the horse. More likely, she’d run off with the more sensible Mr Carruthers and his Reliant Regal.