QOTD: The Most Outrageous Introduction?

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

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]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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5 of 26 comments
  • ToolGuy Friendly reminder of two indisputable facts: A) Winners buy new vehicles (only losers buy used), and B) New vehicle buyers are geniuses (their vehicle choices prove it):
  • Groza George Stellantis live off the back of cheap V8 cars with old technology and suffers from lack of new product development. Now that regulations killed this market, they have to ditch the outdated overhead.They are not ready to face the tsunami of cheap Chinese EVs or ready to even go hybrid and will be left in the dust. I expect most of their US offerings to be made in Mexico in the future for good tariff protection and lower costs of labor instead of overpriced and inflexible union labor.
  • MaintenanceCosts This is delaying an oil change for my Highlander by a couple of weeks, as it prevented me from getting an appointment before a business trip out of town. Oh well, much worse things have happened.I also just got a dealership oil change for my BMW (thanks, loss-leader prepaid plans!) and this didn't seem to affect them at all.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Gonna need more EV fuel.
  • Lou_BC There's a company in BC that has kits for logging trucks and pickups. They have "turn key" logging trucks too. What they market is similar to what Ram wants to sell. The rig runs on batteries and a generator kicks in when depleted. On the West Coast logging in the mountains they found that the trucks run mostly on regen braking. The generator doesn't kick in much. Going up mountain, the truck is empty.