Video: Engineering the 1950 Chevrolet

In this great old promotional film from General Motors, the 1950 Chevrolet and its body by Fisher are in the spotlight. And there’s a spectacular stunt you won’t want to miss. 



GM’s favorite film studio and ours, the Jam Handy Organization of Detroit, produced this short movie pitching the 1950 Chevrolet line and its body by Fisher. The title is The Inside Story, and for us hardcore gearheads, this is the good stuff: all killer, very little filler.

Check out the many insightful details on the on the body shell’s design and construction, for example the robust B-pillar assembly. And there are some fascinating glimpses of  the engineering methods of the time, including repetitive wear rigs and stroboscopic analysis. Here it is, is the state of the art in American body manufacturing circa 1950.

Meanwhile, the big show-biz moment of the film is teased in the very first scene, and then finally delivered at around the 9:45 mark. At the GM Proving Grounds, a new four-door Chevy sedan is deliberately barrel-rolled to show off the stoutness of the Body by Fisher construction. There’s no business like show business. Video below.


3 thoughts on “Video: Engineering the 1950 Chevrolet

  1. I saw this film a couple of years ago. It’s focused on ’50 models but I noticed a couple of shots of a ’49. So little difference between the two that it hardly makes any difference. You know, I hear a lot of talk about how the manufacturers are putting profits ahead of safety and durability. After working as a mechanic for 46 years–many of them with a GM dealership–I have to say that for the most part, the manufacturers have got our best interests in mind. They spend (and have spent) millions of dollars on R&D and as long as they keep the bean-counters at bay, they turn out some good products. I have a ’49 Styleline Deluxe which is an original car, and it has been great. I enjoy films like this because they get right into what makes cars like mine tick….

  2. Ironic that the film promotes the safety of a sturdy B pillar right at the beginning of eliminating them in the interest of style. Other GM vehicles were already eliminating them by 1950, Chevrolet would soon follow. And the promotion of a slim A pillar for increased visibility is something I miss on the older cars. New cars have HUGE A pillars that seriously obstruct the drivers forward vision.

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