;The recent news that General Motors is giving up on Pontiac, once its performance division, was a blow to enthusiasts who remember the cars that earned Pontiac that title. Not only were those car memorable, but so were Pontiac ads, particularly the illustrated ones that ran throughout the 1960s.
;They were the work of two men, Art Fitzpatrick and Van Kaufman, “Fitz and Van,” and if you looked closely you could find their initials, “VK, AF” in a corner of each picture. But you hardly had to find their signature to recognize their work. Art Fitzpatrick’s Pontiacs had perfectly exaggerated proportions, and Van Kaufman’s backgrounds were impossibly glamorous, and the whole image would be seeped in color. They created an aura around Pontiac—bold, swaggering, handsome, confident. It was heady stuff.
Owning a vintage ad from that era is a great way to keep those days alive—or better yet, buy a digital print, signed giclee print, or original work from Fitz himself. The nonagenarian is still working (he recently did a series of vintage-car stamps for the Post Office) and sells his stuff from the web site fitz-art.com.
He’s also making several public appearances, at the Eyes On Design event in Detroit (for which he did the poster), June 21; the GTOAA/POCI Co-Vention in Dayton, Ohio, July 7-11; and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, August 17.