Video: Selling the 1959 Chevrolet

By 1959, Americans were already looking back to their pioneer roots and to more simple, homespun ways, as we discover in this original commercial for the plain-Jane Chevrolet Biscayne. 



With its swoopy tailfins and jet-intake grilles, the 1959 Chevrolet sported one of the flashiest body designs ever offered by GM’s bow-tie division. However, this original 1959 commercial spot pitches the new Chevy from a totally different angle, extolling the brand’s simple and rugged virtues. Instead of a glamorous Impala hardtop or convertible, here the star of the show is the Biscayne post sedan, the lowly base model of the line with barely a splash of chrome. And our narrator is a rural mail carrier who presents the Chevrolet as the car of choice for plain, practical folk who don’t care to put on airs.

As America’s sales volume leader in those days, Chevrolet could afford to be confident. In the Chevy passenger car line for 1959, there truly was a wide range of choices for buyers: three trim levels, an assortment of manual, overdrive, and automatic transmissions, and a virtual cornucopia of engines, from the trusty 135-horsepower stovebolt six to the Super Turbo-Thrust 348 CID V8 with three two-barrel carbs and 280 hp. There was a little something for everyone in the new Chevy, and meanwhile, this three-minute clip is a homey slice of pure Americana. Enjoy the video.


4 thoughts on “Video: Selling the 1959 Chevrolet

  1. I started First Grade in the fall of ’59. I can remember new Chevies just like this one. I would love to have one just like it, six cylinder and all…

    • Here in Oz it is really all we ever got. Blue flame and 3 on the tree 4 door post. The same with Pontiacs as well.
      Probably why Ford sold a lot of [still semi basic] Customlines and Barge Fairlanes. And Chrysler had Royals with 6 and V8, Plus a few Oz assembled big cars as well

      • Hi Lee. The Ponchos you had OZ would’ve been essentially like the Canadian Pontiacs wouldn’t they? A Chevy in Poncho clothing? I grew up on the border between the US and Canada. I saw a lot of cars and trucks from both sides. I always thought it was as normal to see a Pontiac with a six, or a Chevy V8, as it was to see one with a Pontiac V8. Or see a small Dodge next to a Custom Royal Lancer. But I think the basic Chevies and Fords dominated the scene…

  2. Is that radio actor Sam Edwards doing the narrating? Sure sounds like his voice, he was a regular on a lot of westerns.

    The 59 Chevy is probably my favorite for that year. the Fords were too boxy, and the Chryslers had those mile high tail fins. The 59 and the 60 Chevy’s had those low, flat fins in a V shape, a much better look to me. One of my cousins had a 59 just like that one, same color blue, but his had a 283 /3 speed. It just looked fast sitting still. A favorite with the bootleggers around here, too, with that massive trunk.

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