No, this 1970 ad is not included in the Vehicle Information Kits. It’s just used to provide a compelling lead photo, since the kits were scanned in black and white.
It’s very rare that anything associated with our vintage cars is attainable for free, so this is quite an opportunity for some owners of GM vehicles. The GM Heritage Center (GMHeritageCenter.com), via GM Media Archive, has been offering a growing variety of Vehicle Information Kits for Chevrolets and Cadillacs, as well as 1969 to 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlasses and 4-4-2s, as free downloads in PDF format.
These kits can vary in size and information presented from one model to another, but generally they include some or all of the following material: engineering specifications; product selling information or salesperson’s guides; options and accessories listings; paint and trim availability; sales literature; AMA/MVMA specifications; owner’s literature; and production figures. Some even have non-GM-generated enthusiast car magazine stories.
That’s not to say that ads or marketing materials are never included in the kits. Here’s how the 1969 Olds one opens.
Keep in mind that all the kits I’ve seen are comprised of black and white scans, so if you are interested in seeing the actual exterior paint colors or interior hues instead of just their names, you won’t be able to via these kits.
Since they’re free, you can download the kit for any of the available models that interest you and compare and contrast their offerings and specifications. For instance, if you want to know how much Chevelle engine options changed over certain years you can compare the specs. How different were the 1969 Camaro chassis specs from the 1970 ½ model? You can easily find out.
Though this blog is about free stuff, I have included a little info per the GM Heritage website that can aid fans of GM models that are not included in the free Information Kit listings, like Buicks and Pontiacs and other model and year Oldsmobiles. For $50, GM Heritage Center can provide a printed “model-specific” Vintage Vehicle Information Package for many of its makes.
Here’s one of the most coveted Eldorados ever made, as seen in the 1957 kit.
According to the site, “GM Heritage Center will decode the vehicle identification number (VIN), the body plate/trim tag codes and provide photocopies of product literature when available.” This would include the items listed above in the free downloads description. Though $50 certainly isn’t the same as free, still it’s a specific package for your car.
Keep in mind, however, that GM does not have specific information on file for every GM vehicle ever built. The site explains, “Each division and plant was responsible for maintaining production information but there were no retention guidelines for this information and plants did not have the necessary space to store it all. Most records were destroyed after 10 years.”
Additionally, the site recommends “for Buick records prior to 1982, contact the Alfred P. Sloan Museum. For Pontiac records prior to 1987, contact PHS. While we continue to search for original build records and dealer invoices for Chevrolet, GMC, and Oldsmobile vehicles built prior to the 1977 model year, there is currently no resource available from which to obtain this information.”
This 1970 Chevelle wheels and wheel covers page reveals that some of the reproduction of the pages can be spotty, yet still well worth reading.
According to Sloan Longway (SloanLongway.org), VIN documentation for 1970 and 1972 to 1976 Buicks can be provided for a fee. PHS Automotive Services (PHS-Online.com) offers in-depth packages for a fee for Pontiacs.
Thus far Chevrolet and Cadillac aficionados have benefited most from the free Vehicle Information Kit downloads, as have Olds enthusiasts of 1969 to 1972 models. GM promises more kits will be loaded to the site as the process of digitizing its archives progresses.