As Creative Director for a national automotive advertising agency, I always find advertisements from our past to be both interesting and a source of inspiration. Car ads from the 1930s through the 1960s show a level of sophistication...even Chevrolet talked about luxury, as Cadillac set it's automobiles on pillars high above the competition. The ads were very wordy - they talked to the consumer, persuaded them to read or listen to how wonderful, exciting and new their products were. You don't see much of that today...today's audience wants excitement and facts. They'll decide which product is best.
I've got several examples of excellent TV and print advertisements at my Retro Blog, Tiki Lounge Talk. Check them out when you have a chance.