By on October 11, 2008

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16 Comments on “Chrysler vs. GM (and Ford)...”

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    this video is … priceless!

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    I remember Paul Neidermeyer did a 3 part history of Chrysler, mentioning that this period is when the entire portfolio of vehicles outperformed GM and Ford, so maybe the video isn’t too far off. Paul also said that after this period, Chrysler’s product successes were few and far between…and we all know the story from there.

    Its nice to get nostalgic about the good old days, it keeps our minds off the unbelievable greed, stupidity and tragedy we see today. Thanks, Robert.

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    I love that area!… the Alabama Hills between Lone Pine and Whitney Portal in the Owen’s Valley (on the Eastern slope of the Sierra Nevadas). You might recognize it for all the Westerns that were filmed there.

    If all I win my permit lottery in Feb, I plan to spend some time camping/climbing/hiking there next summer. Time to get on top of Whitney again. Woo Hoo! I’ll be thinking of that compression braking test in the video when I descend down Whitney Portal Road down to Hwy 395.

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    “As flat as a bookkeepers chest…”

    What does that even mean?

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    Hathaway– Jane Hathaway.

    “Boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses”

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    “Flat as a bookkeeper’s chest”


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    I don’t know about the rest of you but, man, do I ever miss Old America of 1946-1966. So innocent. So much future.

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    I was expecting them to line up the various models in the desert and then detonate an atom bomb. Followed by commentary on how the chrome of the new for ’54 model held up so well in the face of superheated air and an atomic shockwave. So when the commies strike, be sure you have a ’54 Cadillac in your garage so you can keep driving in style after the nuclear holocaust.

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    Tom McCahill wrote for Mechanix Illustrated from 1946 on. Unlike most of today’s auto writers, he was brutally honest if he didn’t like something about a particular car. He took the auto manufacturers to task if they deserved it and was certainly not well liked by GM. Look at his Wikipedia entry if you’re interested.

    McCahill’s occasional sexist metaphors aside, I see more than a few similarities between his approach and that of TTAC.

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    I’ve probably read almost every word Tom McCahill ever wrote, from 1950 on to when he passed on (since my dad kept many of his old Mechanix Illustrated and I’ve found many more in antique shops, old book stores, etc).

    No WONDER I love TTAC so much. Duh!

    Interestingly, and obviously enough, though – I’d never heard Tom McCahill’s VOICE.

    “Flat as a bookkeeper’s chest” was simply MILD compared to some of his wild and wonderful written outbursts of writing. He wasn’t any more sexist than any other guy of his time.

    He loved and lived for black labs, hunting, guns, big old cars, new cars, sports cars, luxury cars, any cars. Oh yes, and smoking, which he claimed (half tongue in cheek, no doubt) made one healthier since the germs didn’t stick around a smoker… of course, he died of cancer, if I recall right. In the mid 1970’s.

    Car testing has never been the same since.

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    Dave M.

    “As flat as a bookkeepers chest…”

    HYSTERICAL. If I’m not mistaken, these were the years Chrysler earned their accolades for engineering prowess, as well as notable quality issues, especially with rust. My dad traded in his ’51 Chevy for a ’57 Plymouth when I was born, and that thing was tore up by 1960.

    Question, though – with only 3 major networks, when the hell would a 10 minute promo be broadcast?

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    There are two parts to the video and the second is as good as the first part. The driving on the torture course, watching the hardtop Cadillac spring it’s trunk and rear door in motion, priceless! It seems as though the second part is not complete either.

    Dave M. – I think that this would be aimed at a theater audience rather than the home viewer. Rather than “Coming Attractions”, they had their ads, newsreel, cartoon, and feature. By the way, it’s never stated to be a Chrysler ad, so could it be considered independent testing?

    Actually, the ’57 and ’58 Chryslers were sold on styling and totally re-engineered. There were major quality concerns with these models that lasted well into the early sixties. Chrysler had to offer the five year 50,000 warranty in the early sixties as a demonstration that their quality had improved and to help move the metal.

    menno – I agree, it was great finally hearing McCahill’s voice. I’ve read that he was a big Imperial and Chrysler 300 fan.

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    Wicked. The Chrysler big block engine, Torqueflite 727 automatic transmission and torsion bar suspension were all cutting-edge when this movie was shot in 1958.

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    America of 1946 – 1966 was also the America of Separate but Equal. I don’t miss it at all.

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    packV12, you are correct, he was a big fan of Imperials, he actually owned a few.

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