Spotlight Hobbies

It was in the "Street Rods" issue at one point - and some trivia on the sign

AMT artitsts of the time were prowling in the pre-google era for source material to fill out the evocative boxtops.

The cover of this box and the Woodward sign likeness are a lift from the subversive Pontiac campaign of 1968. "The Great One from Pontiac. You know the rest of the story," with the GTO in twilight at the turn-around on Woodward Avenue is the iconic image of the muscle car era, won tons of awards, and got banned by the Chairman of GM, along with a few other similar pieces.

Except that sign existed only in the art department of Pontiac ad agency MJA.

The agency had just sold in an even tougher and snarkier campaign for 1968, featuring very youth-enthusiast work that brought the street racing heritage front and center.

Detroit set builder Bruce Scharfenburg got the assignment to create the sign in his studio as a portable prop.

When the appointed morning came, the team set up the sign and shot in total darkness at a turnaround down Woodward (since removed) knocked out a few Polaroids to check position.

As the first rays of light came over the horizon... they started shooting away until the light was too hard to use.

No permits. No cops. Less budget than the snack table at a studio shoot for catalog team.

Won awards at shows across the country. Got pulled from the schedule days after it ran, thanks to the stuttering outrage of the communities along Woodward, who caught Chairman Roche's ear.

The art directed sign was a fixture in the agency for a decade or so, traveled to a few offices as a souvenir, then disappeared. Spent a year trying to track it, but whoever had it or knew wasn't telling.

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