Shout 'Yee-Haw' to Thunderbolt's Beloved Houston-Area Commercial


If you grew up (or raised kids or grandkids) in the '80s and '90s, there's quirky, regional TV commercials you vividly remember. For example, Atlantans will always recognize Wolfman and Donna as the faces of Gallery Furniture, while Houston area residents still crack a smile over Thunderbolt Transmissions' countrified commercial jingle.

"If your transmission's got you down or your motor falls apart, it's the time to come to Thunderbolt," went the very '80s tune. "You don't need a brand new car! We still believe in value, and we pass it on to you. At Thunderbolt we fix it right and guarantee it too. We put the yeeee-hawwww back in your motor and transmission."

The cheaply made yet widely loved commercial establishes Thunderbolt as an affordable and reliable alternative to the video's Western wear aficionado star buying a lemon at a used car lot.

Per Chron's 2014 deep dive into the Thunderbolt commercial campaign, the song was written by Bonnie Miller. She's part of the family that founded Thunderbolt in the '60s.

Before dying alongside her husband in a 1996 car accident, Miller wrote and recorded gospel music and created another iconic Texas jingle for Mattress Giant.

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Skip Hartley, the son of Thunderbolt's World War II veteran founder, told Chron that locals loved Miller's musical breakdown of their family business' warranty so much that remakes or replacements of the commercial got widely rejected by daytime TV viewers.

"Locals didn't like the new ones and people would call us on the phone and complain so we never made a change," Hartley said. "They'd gripe us into running the old one."

In recent years, calls to put some "yee-haw back in your motor and transmission" occasionally spark nostalgia among Texans when the commercial makes the rounds once again on Reddit or Facebook.

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Shout 'Yee-Haw' to Thunderbolt's Beloved Houston-Area Commercial