The greatest automaker-produced car show ever? Motorama. Here’s a neat little General Motors promotional film presenting the show’s 1953 debut at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.
The travelling GM extravaganza known as Motorama officially ran from 1953 to 1961, drawing nearly 10 million visitors from sea to shining sea. Far more than an ordinary car show, the full revue featured elaborate technical demonstrations, runway fashion shows, an orchestra, a chorale, even interpretive dance. Quoting the film: “A ballet tells the story of the progress of engineering from the discovery of fire and the invention of the wheel to present day.” How about that.
Over 55,000 people attended opening day in January 1953 at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan to take in all these fabulous sights, and the new 1953 GM models as well. Of course, what gearheads remember today are the concept vehicles—dream cars, they were called then—on display in the Waldorf’s grand ballroom.
One definite highlight of the show was the new Corvette, which would begin its first tentative production run a few months later in June. Also taking a bow were the Pontiac La Parisienne, the Olds Starfire, the Buick XP-300 and LeSabre, and the Cadillac LeMans. You’ll see them all in the video below.