Classical cars, including the history of the great classical automobiles
October 31st, 2006

Ask The Man Who Owns One

Packard by Darrin

On October 31, 1901, Packard published its new Slogan for the first time. Ask The Man Who Owns One was one of the all-time great ad lines; so good, in fact, that it lasted for decades. In our present environment it would need to read: Ask The Person Who Owns One… politically correct, maybe, but lacking in authority. The implication, of course, was that endorsement by an existing owner is the best advertising and that still holds true. Buick also had a long-lasting slogan that suggested When Better Cars Are Built, Buick Will Build Them. After looking at today’s Buicks I’d be inclined to add “and we’re still waiting.” During my years as an ad agency creative director I wrote several memorable headlines but wasn’t impressed by slogans (tag lines, they call them now) unless they literally fell out of the ad copy. Forced lines were rarely successful but you’d be surprised how many clients insisted on them. The Packard in our photo, taken at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours, features a custom body by Darrin. I couldn’t resist including the gentleman in this shot, for he looks as though he’s the man in Ask the Man Who Owns One.

by Philip Powell | Posted in American Independents | 3 Comments » |


Comment by Zarba
  • Thankfully, Packard died before its legend was completely ruined by badge-engineering.

    When my wife and i married, we rode to our reception in a 1938 Super 8 Convertible Sedan.

    Stopped traffic all over Atlanta as we rolled triumphantly through town.

    What a way to start a marriage!

    – Philip

    November 6, 2006 @ 12:18 pm
  • Comment by John M. Dunlap
  • Phil. My Dad had a variation on Buick’s slogan that I always liked.
    “When better cars are built Buick will hear about them”

    Seriously, they made some pretty good cars and had in my humble opinion the best name for a big car, ie. “Roadmaster” and the 4 port holes for identification.

    Have a good one & keep up the good work.

    John – Stinky at Skunkpoint

    – Thanks, John. I’m trying!

    November 11, 2006 @ 6:13 pm
  • Comment by lucky john
  • “Ask the man who owns one” was used in a Rolls Royce owners site ..the original attribution not given. Google directed me here {never misses}
    Now I can sleep easy knowing the origins of the saying.


    July 6, 2010 @ 4:31 am
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