The automakers don’t perform wonderful stunts like this anymore, but we sure wish they did. Here, Chevrolet ran a fleet of six 1957 Chevy trucks across the old Alcan Highway and produced a four-minute film about it. Watch this.
Today the route is completely paved and known as the Alaska Highway, but back in 1957 when this Chevrolet promotional reel was produced, it was known as the Alcan Highway, and it was a tough road indeed. Built in 1942 to serve the war effort by connecting the Alaska territory to the lower 48, the road stretched 1,700 miles from Dawson’s Creek, British Columbia to Delta Junction, Alaska. Opened to the general public in 1948, the old Alcan has since been straightened and shortened to around 1,400 miles and integrated into the Canadian highway system.
Chevrolet selected an interesting variety of vehicles for the mission, including a full-dress Cameo Carrier pickup, an assortment of panel and van body trucks, and a pair of tractor-trailer rigs, one using GM’s new Powermatic automatic transmission. As the film shows, in those days the road was very basic—barely a road at all, by contemporary standards—but the convoy managed to complete the journey in less than 45 hours. We wish the automakers still performed wonderful stunts like these; also, that we could ride along. Enjoy the video.