Video: General Motors’ Design for Dreaming

Here’s a priceless piece of Americana and a pop culture treasure, and easily the wildest carmaker commercial ever made: the nine-minute General Motors film promoting the 1956 Motorama, Design for Dreaming. Watch this.  


“Firebird II to control tower…We are about to take off on the highway of tomorrow!”

So enchantingly weird that it was featured on the Comedy Central show Mystery Science Theater 3000 in 1994, this short film was produced to promote the 1956 GM Motorama. However, no cars actually appear until nearly the halfway point. In the meantime, we are shown trippy dreamscapes, interpretive dance sequences, and the Kitchen of Tomorrow. Oh yes, and a man in a top hat and a Lone Ranger mask breaks into some poor lady’s bedroom in the middle of the night.

Like we said, it’s weird. But hey, this is how cars were marketed in the 1950s, evidently. Into the second half of the film, we do get a look at some famed GM Motorama concept cars, including the Pontiac Club de Mer, the Oldsmobile Golden Rocket, and the Buick Centurion. Beyond that, the film defies rational description. Without further ado, Design for Dreaming.




3 thoughts on “Video: General Motors’ Design for Dreaming

  1. Greatest. video. ever.

    I’m going to dance through the office all day tomorrow. Or at least until another engineer throws the butterfly net over me and they put me in a restraint jacket.

  2. Fantastic! And yes, enchantingly weird. The thing I love about these 50’s productions is the feeling of overwhelming optimism – these people just knew it was a great time to be alive and that flying cars and weekenders on the moon were just around the corner. Love it!

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