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Bric-a-Brac: N is for...

National Garages

The three-apples-high ambassadors of Smurfland had colonised mainland Europe and the columns of Look-In before they rolled up on your local forecourt. In a marketing masterstroke, National Garages lured in the kids and their harassed Talbot Horizon-driving dads by giving away collectable plastic Smurfs with every tankful of four-star, while Windsor Davies got in on the act by narrating the animated commercials in full-on It ain’t Half Hot Mum mode (‘now, car drill! Smurf yourselves, Smurf yourselves!’) before the indefatigable blue sprites reprised their hit single to proclaim in song: ‘National, the one place on earth, you get service with a Smurf!’ We’re not entirely sure where Father Abraham was in all of this, mind.



  1. Arthur Nibble

    August 14, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Are there (m)any National garages still about? Reminds me of the Regent garage that was five minutes’ down the road back in the 70’s.

  2. Richard Davies

    August 10, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Most National garages had been rebranded by the mid 1980s, about the last one I remember seeing in 1986 still had Smurf stickers on all the pumps.

  3. Applemask

    June 18, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Father Abraham was an opportunist who never really had anything to do with the Smurfs beyond employing them to make him money.

  4. George White

    March 28, 2018 at 9:38 am

    The Smurf campaign was in France too. Features in the services where Macnee dies in a View to a kill.

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