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CoolPix - Advertising: 1966 Cessna 150 - Includes A Back Seat!

(click pic for hi-res) 

I didn’t even know a CoolPix category titled ‘advertising’ existed til last night!  That’s when I stumbled upon this awesome 2 page Cessna ad that ran in April 1966 for the ‘new and improved’ 150.  I photographed it and then cleaned it up in photoshop a bit, but I promise that none of the content or intent of it has been changed.  You gotta read this ad text!

 It’s hard to believe this ad is now 44 years old, and if I may say, it’s even harder to believe that having a back seat in a 150 for anything more than a pet hamster makes much sense!  However, I did a little research and have decided that the useful load for a 1966 150F with a backseat installed would likely be a tiny tad north of 500 pounds.  If you figure a 1966 dad at 180 pounds (dressed) and a mom at 130 (she’s dressed too), plus 40 for those suitcases, and then a cumulative total of 75 for the two rug rats… that’s gonna realistically leave about 12 gallons of go juice for some jolly but some cramped aviatin’... "are we there yet?!"  I guess that all works out to ’doable’, but I’m thinking that with a big load of bugs on the leading edges, a hot and humid day with the #2 cylinder a little softer than you really want, you’re most likely just gonna put the slug in sluggish : )  Flash forward to American sized people in 2010: fuhgettaboutit!

 Even tho I’ve got a chunk of hours in a 150/152, I must admit that I never knew they offered up a backseat option.  Hmm, maybe it didn’t really prove all that useful in the long run?  Either way, it’s extremely cool to see this retro ad with it so clearly on display.  It's also neat to realize that 1966 was a big year for the 150.  The ’racier’, ’Flight/Sweep’ tail (that’s a quote from the ad) was brand new, and they also introduced, as an option, the ’needle point’ spinner!  The doors were enlarged 23%, and according to the text, the interiors were more ’luxurious’.  Hmm.  The ’Para-Lift’ flaps were also now electrically operated.

 They also indicate that the ’Land-O-Matic’ wide tracking landing gear has been retained, but I don’t see any mention that the airplane is also apparently available without wing struts.  Look at the cabin pic, notice the fab 4 eagerly approaching their aviatory device, observe that the door is swung very wide open… and the wing strut is just nowhere to be found.  ‘Truth in advertising’ hadn’t been invented yet!  Campbell's with their ‘soup and marbles’ were yet to come (1968).

 I make fun, but I really love all this.  The ad with its 60’s graphic style, full of hyperbole and weird names for design features.  And the Cessna 150, it really is a big part of aviation history.  You might say that the $6,995 selling price is part of history too.  I’d like to know how that computes against today’s wages.  Sure sounds like a heck of a deal.  It did go over well, as that was actually a price cut of over 10% from the previous year.  In 1966, Cessna made more 150’s than any other year: 3,087.

 I actually have a lot more to say about the Cessna 150, but I’m saving that for another post coming up soon.  Until then, I hope you get as big a kick out of this ad from the past as I did!


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Reader Comments (5)

I love the old ads, thanks for sharing. I looked up some info on this plane to see if it is still around. This is what I found:

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWilliam

William - Yeah, that's all I found as well. Looks like the Land-O-Matic gear had its limitations : )

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMartt (admin)

Fun stuff. According to the inflation calculator at (I have no affiliation with them whatsoever), $7,000 in 1966 is about $47,500 today. That's a cheap plane! Too bad liability is such a factor now. Ah well.

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJim Way

Jim - Thanx for the money comparo. I had a feeling that it was a pretty good deal. Just think how many airplanes would be in the sky today if there was a certified factory built 2-seater under $50K.

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMartt (admin)

OMG Look trough the left-hand window of the 150 pictured flying at the bottom of the ad. You can see the little girl standing up in the back, holding onto dads seat. She isn't even pictured buckled in! What a great time that was for our country - people were relaxed and free and enjoying life in America. Maybe we can get back to that.. some day?

July 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBob

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