By on December 18, 2017

2019 Chevrolet Silverado

This weekend, Chevy surprised all hands by unveiling its 2019 Silverado by way of Sikorsky helicopter at Texas Motor Speedway. Rising over Big Hoss, the world’s largest HD television screen, a red Trail Boss Silverado made its way into view, was gently set down on the ground, and then driven on stage by a Chevy rep. The amount of moving parts in this display was enormous.

There’ve been thousands upon thousands of vehicle reveals over the years, ranging from a manufacturer simply pulling a silk sheet off the thing on stage at an auto show all the way up to the level of insanity put into motion by Chrysler in the early ’90s.

In 1992, the then-new Jeep Grand Cherokee left the Chrysler plant on Jefferson Avenue and headed towards Cobo Hall surrounded by a phalanx of police cruisers. With none other than Bob Lutz at the wheel, Maximum Bob pointed the nose of the shiny red ZJ up Cobo’s staircase, gunned the throttle, and drove the thing straight into the lobby through a plate glass window. Sure, it was movie glass, but the effect was no less dramatic.

Buoyed by the notoriety earned by this gonzo stunt, Chrysler was determined to one-up itself the next year. With the new Ram and its outrageous mini-Freightliner styling set for debut, the company decided instead of driving it onto the stage, it would be better to drop it from the ceiling. So that’s exactly what it did.

According to people who were there at the time, Chrysler had removed the Ram’s seats and most of its interior to save weight in an effort to ensure the thing didn’t land and then crash through the floor. In reality, the truck was lifted skyward by a huge (but hidden) forklift whose hydraulic system had been rigged to quickly bleed out. This would supply a rapid but controlled drop. It worked, providing the brand with acres of publicity.

What’s the most outrageous product reveal in the automotive sphere you can recall? There’s plenty of ’em … and you can be guaranteed there will be plenty more.

[Image: General Motors]

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26 Comments on “QOTD: The Most Outrageous Introduction?...”

  • avatar
    Add Lightness

    If the Silverado wasn’t so massively heavy, they wouldn’t have needed an S61.

  • avatar

    They named their TV Boss Hoss?

  • avatar

    I love the Lutz launch of the Jeep…hard to believe that was 25 yrs ago…holy cow….

  • avatar
    Demon Something

    I’m pretty sure euphoric adulation of a ZJ Grand Cherokee is one of the more 90’s things to ever exist.

  • avatar

    I remember when Nissan introduced the second generation ’97 Altima by driving it through a plate glass window (may even have been in a TV commercial).

    I like to think they intended the spectacle as a preview of the quality and durability engineered into every part of the vehicle itself.

  • avatar

    Cool launch,

    But I think GM failed on this look and feel.

    It looks and feels too much like a colorado, and when I first saw it I actually thought it was the new colorado. When you have a successful midsize truck like the colorado, why wussify your large truck and make it look sleek? I don’t get it. Make the colorado look sleek because it is, and make this look like a truck-buyers- truck.

    Big win for Ford and Ram!

  • avatar

    I worked this event at TMS this past weekend. One of the largest reveals over a three day period I have ever seen. I can not imagine the total cost of this event. Everything from Corvette rides on track, to Good Guys type autocross course on the bus lot, to drives in five uber popular pickup trucks from Chevy, including a 1920’s model stake bed, to the 2014 SEMA show truck with Corvette power, Corvette wheels, big brake package, and a suspension with killer spring rates, and real carbon fiber throughout the thing, including bed liner. The Good Guys prepped Chevy pickup trucks provided rides for those curious to experience autocross in ultra prepped pickups with accomplished drivers. Fun stuff…

  • avatar

    Were there not more memorable introductions?

    2008 Ram introduction with cattle drive down Washington Avenue. Some of the cattle were copulating I/O cooperating.

    2006 Wrangler introduction driving out thru the glass doors, down steps then onto a fake snow mountain.

  • avatar

    The world premiere of new Maybach 62 in 2002 would be over the top.

    At its Sindelfingen assembly plant, the first production Maybach 62 was shipped to the Great Britain and placed in the glass-enclosed shipping container for the leisure cruise on the deck of QE2 liner to New York City.

    After arriving in New York City, the garganutan Sikorsky cargo helicopter lifted the container and carried it to the stage somewhere in the city.

    All of drama didn’t save Maybach’s skin down the road…

  • avatar

    Not an introduction but I just read a story this weekend about the team putting the prototype GNX through its paces via road trip and showing up at a dirt track race in the middle of nowhere to do donuts in the mud. Apparently it was well received.

  • avatar

    Not outrageous but I remember seeing the Dodge Neon on the ice during a Canadiens game on TV. I think it was during the launch? Weirdest thing ever.

  • avatar

    Did we forget about the Dodge Demon reveal already? I still get goosebumps.

  • avatar

    Another that wasn’t outrageous, but Ford once used something like a third of the world’s mercury supply to fill a pool for a Mercury launch (might have been for a full-size but don’t remember the exact car).

  • avatar

    Dodge trucks being dropped? They already did that a decade before:

    And then there’s the original Fiat 124, which was dropped from a plane:

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