Video: Introducing the 1953 GM Motorama

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.


3 thoughts on “Video: Introducing the 1953 GM Motorama

  1. Back then, consumers were wooed with fashion models in Dior designed to match the cars. Today, we get dancing hamsters in hoodies. Does anyone want to argue the decline of civility?

  2. You see, I’ve been to most of the Motorama’s in the ’50’s & ’61 The one’s I missed was ’49 & ’50 since I was to young to attend. What a thrill it was to be a spectator, The show’s did equal anything on Broadway even though it was brief. Nobody knew what dream cars were ,so that alone was exciting, the factory cars were also specially built because the ones from the dealers didn’t shine like that. See your video. Anyway I enjoy reliving the past through your video’s,and one last comment, these shows will never be produced any more. All the new car shows today are a complete disappointment. WHAT A SHAME !!! Thanks for the memories

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