Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 6, Episode 6 of AMC's "Mad Men," titled "For Immediate Release."
It was a triumphant "Mad Mad" moment in Sunday night's episode when the combined forces of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and Cutler Gleason & Chaough landed a new Chevy account. But it turns out the top-secret new car, which Roger referred to by its model number -- the Chevy 887 -- has a tragic history. The model that would later be known as the Chevy Vega is remembered as one of General Motors' biggest lemons ever.
Like the star it was named after, the Chevy Vega shone brightly in its early days, winning Motor Trend's Car of the Year in 1971. But it would go on to be plagued by a multitude of problems that resulted in the car's production being halted in 1977. In a 2008 article in the U.S. News & World Report, Rick Newman crowned the Chevy Vega "the worst Detroit car ever," and detailed multiple problems with the model: its exterior was rust-prone, its aluminum engine warped and engine fires were common. The engineering and safety problems forced six separate recalls throughout the 1970s.
Luckily for the Sterling Cooper Draper Cutler Gleason & Chaough crew, it looks like the car had enough early success to bring in some quality billings. But history tells us the account will prove to be a massive headache before very long. After all, on "Mad Men," "the beginnings of things" are usually more enticing than the rust that lies ahead.
"Mad Men" airs Sunday nights at 10 p.m. ET on AMC.