Watch: Buick (Kind of) Made a Website Before Most People Had the Internet

In 1987, computers weren’t as ubiquitous as they are now and almost no one had internet access. And yet Buick still decided to make a brochure for the few computers that did exist.

On the latest episode of the Torchinsky Files, Jalopnik’s Jason Torchinsky runs you through this weird little bit of automobilia.

Torchinsky argues that this was, in its essence, a proto-website. With menus to find out about tech, specs, purchase plans, and even a submenu to compare Buick’s lineup to other cars, this really is shockingly reminiscent of, well, Buick’s current website.

Sure, the graphics have gotten a little better, but it’s all there. This wasn’t just a wacky idea, either. Buick was kind of a computer leader at the time with digital screens and even a cathode ray screen on the Riviera.

It’s all a fascinating look at some extremely early technology that maybe came too early. What is the point, after all, of a website before the web? Who wants to go to the dealership, get a disk, and boot it up when a simple booklet would do the same?

But with the benefit of hindsight, we can see that someone at Buick truly was ahead of their time.

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