Motoring into the future 1956
GM Motorama was a live presentation I and others attended and saw in Los Angeles at the spacious Pan Pacific auditorium. It was an auto show displaying all of General Motors’ current cars and trucks. Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, Cadillac, GMC and more. Plus, some of GM’s plans for the future.
General Motors’ plans for future motoring was in a turbo-powered car driven by two small side mounted jet engines and self-driven over and guided by a copper strip laid into the driving surface. Remember this fantasy was first created back in 1956. Demonstrating the first jet powered autonomous car. Allowing the driver to switch on self-driving mode then swing around from the steering wheel and fold out a game board for playing cards with the family. All so futuristic for the 1950s. The Motorama was a ‘Gee Whiz’ event for sure. Something approaching the original 1966 Star Trek. “Beam me up, Scotty.”
However, what made it truly spectacular was its Broadway-like live presentation. First a theater size movie screen folded down from the ceiling, the lights dimmed, and the movie and sound presentation began. This futuristic jet car, as projected on the screen, was whooshing along the self-driving highway. But then a Corus of six or eight voices began singing in a peppy Broadway fashion. Singing along with a ten- or twelve-piece orchestra and narrated by a live announcer. It was first class. It was obvious the singers and band were class ‘A’ performers. Remember this was just next door to Hollywood and CBS Television City. The performance was as good as Broadway. The whole thing was worth our undivided attention. Almost made one want to step in and tap dance along. Bravo, bravo. Not sure what they sang but the singers and band were outstanding and most professional.
To witness what I saw and heard go to:
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