Wednesday Matinee: Chevrolet Takes on All Challengers in this 1963 Film


The early 1960s was a time of transition for the U.S. auto industry: Tailfins and truckloads of chrome were out, slab-sides and tidy proportions were in. However, the competition to win the hearts and minds of the car-buying public was as fierce as ever, and each nameplate was eager to gain every advantage it could. For Chevrolet in 1963, that involved producing a film for its dealers extolling the many legs up its cars and trucks had over their respective closest competitors from Ford, Plymouth, Mercury and AMC.

Some of the tests, like full-size car acceleration and emergency braking stability in the forward-control pickup trucks (The Ford Econoline’s stoppie-pulling abilities would put some superbikes to shame!), make sense; others, like driving into and out of every driveway on a residential street as fast as possible and using a tailgate as a mini-bridge just make you go, “Ohhhh-kay?” But who are we to judge? After all, Chevrolet did all this on the up-and-up and had objective third parties present to adjudicate, right? Riiiight… Still, it’s neat to see all those 52-year-old rides being hooned when they were brand new, especially the rides you rarely see even at classic car shows anymore like the medium-duty trucks and four-door sedans and hardtops.