The expression “You Are What Drive” suggests that your car speaks volumes about who you are and the kind of life you lead. The marketing of automobiles throughout the 20th century has been about more than simply advertising cars for sale. Throughout this website you will discover that print car advertisements say much more than the make, model, and price of the vehicles in question. In fact, they sell more than just a car.

By selecting a particular lifestyle and identity you will find that over the past century car manufacturers and their advertisers have sought to appeal to deeper desires in potential buyers than the need for a reliable automobile. By using luxury, nature, technology, and life journeys as themes, these ads link vehicles to personalities, values, and life stages. Furthermore, paying close attention to questions of race, gender, sexuality and class in the reading of both the text and visuals throughout these ads reveals that they are not just selling cars. They are selling particular definitions of the type of person buying them.

So the question you have to ask yourself is this: Which lifestyle and identity would you like to test drive today?