Before the ’57 Chevy became a pop culture icon, it was simply another popular family car. See the Chevrolet sales pitch in action in this original GM promotional clip.
This original commercial spot is a useful reminder that at the time, the ’57 Chevy was not yet a legend. If you can forgive the heresy, it was just another new car battling for a niche in a highly competitive market. Ford and Chevy were locked in a long, fierce sales war for the top spot in the Motor City sales charts and that year, Ford actually edged ahead, on paper anyway, with 1,522,406 units sold, compared to 1,515,177 units for the bow-tie brand—a fact that Ford enthusiasts never tire of pointing out.
Also note that the star of this clip is not a Bel Air Convertible (above) or Sport Coupe or Nomad, the darlings of the collector car set today, but the family-oriented Sport Sedan. In GM nomenclature of the era, the Sport Sedan was a pillarless four-door hardtop, a body style introduced the year before. Chevy’s vaunted small-block V8 was enlarged from 265 to 283 CID for ’57, and popular extra-cost options included the two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission for $188, power steering at $70, and AM push-button radio for $89.50. See a typical All-American family—Mom, Pop, Junior, and Sis—enjoying their new Bel Air below.