In the news (well, in the ads, any­way) Get­away peo­ple get Su­per Na­tional

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - The Way We Were -

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.

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