Remember When

Remember When ... Avis Promised Rapid Return with a Monstrous Kiosk

Avis Logo

Remember when ... Avis promised Rapid Return? The company has frequently been the first to come out with new creations in the rental car market and the kiosk had promise. Rather than waiting for an attendant to get out of a vehicle and walk to your rental car, a customer in 1983 could simply walk to a kiosk, enter the 6-digit rental car code, the odometer reading, and fuel level to get a print-out of charges ... as long as there wasn't any damage to the car or "misstatements" in the check-in process. 

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Remember when ... Avis Promised Free Upgrades if your Car Class was Sold Out

Chrysler Imperial

Remember when ... Avis promised to upgrade to a more expensive car class if your reserved vehicle was sold out? This practice is taken for granted today -- if we reserve an intermediate (mid-size) and nothing in that class is available, there will be an upgrade to a standard or full-size car. Fifty years ago, rental car companies only carried a few different models, so it was pretty clear what model a renter was reserving! Yet there are times (even today) where we reserve a car class we don't really want.

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Remember When ... Thrifty Promoted their Website with the Airline Boarding Process?

Thrifty Logo

Remember when ... Thrifty promoted their website by mocking daft airplane boarders? Those of us who prefer aisle seats have all been the victim of the spatially-unaware customers who swing body parts and belongings into passengers who are already seated. Early in the current millennium, Thrifty wanted us to believe these individuals were "not smart" because "smart" was defined as using Thrifty's website.

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Remember when ... National Sponsored Poster Contests with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)


December is Impaired Driving Prevention Month but this "Remember When" dates back three decades. The year was 1987, and I was in the 5th grade. I competed in a number of events that year, including an Earth Day competition (where I won a U.S. savings bond) and a poster contest for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (where I didn't win anything). Clearly not old enough to think about a rental car at the time, I spaced out on the sponsor of the poster competition.

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Remember when ... Car Rental Companies had Naming Rights to College Bowl Games

Bowl Games

As college football dominates the sports landscape at the end of the calendar year, we reflect upon the days when bowl games had tortured names due to sponsorships.

Well, those days never really left – for example, the former Humanitarian Bowl is now the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. ESPN recenly signed a sponsor that gave us the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl.

Much of the AutoSlash team still refers to the current WalkOn's Bistreaux & Bar Independence Bowl using the name of a long-expired sponsor, the Poulan/Weed Eater Independence Bowl.

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