Do Old Cars Spur Holiday Spending?

Yes, catalogs that show up in the mail at far too high a frequency make me think of of trees wasted in the name of junk mail. However, I look forward to certain mail-order books — especially in the run-up to the holidays — because of the vintage cars that often appear in the background.

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J. Crew’s gift-laden Triumph roadster captures the spirit of giving (and buying).

People who say cars are just drab machines that move us from point to point… Well, I wonder what else they are denying. The business of wrangling automotive props for advertising is booming because old vehicles can transport us to past holiday gatherings, cherished childhood road trips and memorable first dates.

They also get us in the mood to buy things.

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Here’s the whole Mercedes-Benz 123 wagon of the 1970s and 1980s. Boden doesn’t give us the whole picture.

There must be something about a Triumph TR4, top down and overflowing with holiday gifts, that gets people into the spirit of giving — or at least persuades shoppers to mimic an imaginary lifestyle. That seems to be the theory at J.Crew, which featured such a car in its recent catalog.

A classic Mercedes-Benz  station (the great-looking 123 model) carries family members, their presents and pet in the latest edition from English clothing retailer Boden and a vintage Jeep Wagoneer plays a supporting role for L.L. Bean Signature.

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