The General Motors Motorama was far more than a car show—it was a cultural celebration and a corporate mission statement. Here’s a fascinating look at the inaugural 1953 edition.
We’ve featured the GM Motoramas of 1953-1961 often here, including the original 1953 show that premiered at the Waldorf Astoria in New York and drew 45,000 visitors on opening night. (Check out an original four-minute newsreel item here.) Now we’re back with a more in-depth look at the groundbreaking ’53 event, thanks to this excellent ten-minute film produced for General Motors entitled Motorama Moods.
The Motorama for 1953 featured an entire roster of memorable dream cars, including the Buick XP-300 and the GM LeSabre (“Thrusting toward tomorrow!”). And of course, it was at the Motorama that the 1953 Corvette made its successful debut, and was then quickly approved for production. But as this little film illustrates, Motorama was much more than just a car show.
There were full-blown, Broadway-style musical productions (one here is called “Motorama Rhythms”) and elaborate exhibits with ingenious cutaways and product demos showing off the latest engineering features. Truly, the 1.9 million visitors to Motorama on its six-city tour that year were treated to quite a show. Wish we could have been there. Video follows.