Around 1967 or so, dealers who sold Dodges were known as “The Dodge Boys.” It’s an image that would be politically incorrect today, but it sold cars back then. There were even “Dodge Girls” to sort of put smiles on the Dodge Boys’ faces. The girls appeared in Dodge ads wearing tight sweaters, miniskirts and sometimes white cowboy hats.
From time to time, the Dodge Boys offered “White Hat Specials” and that’s when you’d see the Dodge Girls in ads and commercials wearing their cowboy (cowgirl today) hats. The cars they were promoting would be a high-performance model—say a Coronet R/T—with a white vinyl top.
I can’t prove that the sexy Dodge Girls sold extra cars, but logic would suggest that they did, because Dodge kept the whole advertising theme going well into the ‘70s with the short skirts, white hats, six shooters and the works being used to push sales of everything from grocery-getter Dodge Darts to tire-screeching Hemi Challengers.
Naturally, the whole idea of using sex to sell automobiles wouldn’t fly in today’s world—or would it?
Fast forward to the 2014 Chicago Auto Show (www.chicagoautoshow.com) and the Dodge booth in McCormick Place. Towards the back of the gigantic exposition hall were a half dozen or so current Dodge Challengers tricked out in different colors, trims and accessory packages and the one getting the most attention was an orange Challenger with black stripes and two Dodge Girls standing by it.
It was like stepping back into the ‘70s with the hot muscle car and the girls in white mini dresses. The only things missing were the cowgirl hats and pistols—and being that it was Chicago, maybe Mr. Norm. He was the famous Chicago-based Dodge Boy and muscle car guru who really understood what it took to sold cars.
Norm still comes to the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (www.mcacn.com) every November and would have looked right at home in the Dodge booth in Chicago a few weeks ago.