The stage revue was still a part of the 56th Chicago Auto Show, during which The Chicago Automobile Trade Association celebrated its 60th anniversary. The 50-strong cast in "Motorevue of 1964," brought familiar auto ads to life. Performance was a dominant theme for the 1964 event, with Pontiac's Tempest GTO and Ford's Mustang II concept commanding attention. The Mustang II concept evolved into the Mustang, launched in late spring of the same year. After trying out its turbine engine in a nearly-stock Dodge and Plymouth, Chrysler created 50 specially-bodied Turbine cars. Though experimental in nature, they were driven for about three months each by 203 "consumer representatives." On the right is one of dozens of courtesy bus that brough groups of people to the Burnham Harbor entrance to McCormick Place East. The car on the far right is a Studebaker GT Hawk.
In this outdoor view of the large exposed parking lot on the south end of the original McCormick Place (1961-1967). The exposition center was located along the lakefront at 23rd Street, and offered more than 300,000 square feet of exhibit room. The annual Chicago Auto Show was held there until a massive fire destroyed the $35 million structure in 1967. Classic automobiles from the 1950s and '60s are visible in the photograph. In the foreground is the rear trunk of a 1960 Chevrolet, with a 1962 Ford rear fender on the right. Across the parking aisle is a rear view of a two-tone 1957 Mercury, front of a Chevrolet Corvair, rear of a 1962 Pontiac station wagon, rear of a 1964 Dodge two-door hardtop, a Dodge station wagon, open space and then a 1962 Cadillac convertible.
Outdoor photo looks east toward the front entrance of the first McCormick Place (1961-1967). Long lines of people are waiting to get into the building. The exposition center was located along the lakefront at 23rd Street, and offered more than 300,000 square feet of exhibit room. The annual Chicago Auto Show was held there until a massive fire destroyed the $35 million structure in early 1967.
Musical director Lou Breese performs on his banjo while standing in the orchestra pit, during the "Motorevue of 1964." He is accompanied by four violin players and a pianist in this scene.
Seen in direct side view, a 1964 Dodge Dart GT convertible is onstage during the "Motorevue of 1964." A man is behind the wheel, while a young boy sits on the top of the passenger seat. The photo is looking up from the orchestra pit.
Two Vista Cruiser four-door sedan wagons are in this scene at the Oldsmobile exhibit space on the show floor. The front fender poking out from the right side is from a Rambler American.
Several Thunderbirds are in view at the 1964 Ford exhibit, including a two-door hardtop on a raised platform. Behind that car is a portion of a T-Bird Laudau. A maintenance worker is doing some repair work on the seats of a Thunderbird convertible on the left. A Falcon convertible can be seen on the far left. The headlight poking out on the far right is from a Rambler American.
Close-up of the special exhibit at the Mercury Comet exhibit space features one of the actual Caliente 2-door hardtops that completed an arduous African safari run. Comet was the first American entry to compete in this event in a decade. The car sits on a raised platform, but the sign in the foreground is blurred.
Photograph from outside the Dodge exhibit space is a 3/4-rear view of the legenary Turbine car built by Chrysler Corporation. Fifty examples of this design were manufactured and driven by members of the general public. The exterior design favors the mid-1960s Thunderbird, possibly because Elwood Engle was chief designer for both designs.--Elwood Engle.
No people are in this scene outside the special European auto manufacturers' exhibit that was located on the lower level lobby of McCormick Place. In the roped-off section, people could view examples of various 1964 European cars. A British-made Jaguar XK-E is facing the camera. On the left is a portion of a Citroen convertible (built in France) and on the right is a large Mercedes-Benz convertible. Notice the entrance to the Arie Crown Theatre at rear.
No people are in this scene outside the Checker exhibit. On the left, facing toward the camera, is a Marathon four-door station wagon. Several Marathon four-door sedans fill the rest of the small area.
An elevated view looks down into the Mercedes-Benz exhibit at McCormick Place East during the 1964 Chicago Auto Show. On the circular platform is the Grand Mercedes that “will establish new and higher standards than ever in automotive engineering and excellence.” The approximate price of the limited-production Grand Mercedes was $19,000 for the five-passenger model and $24,000 for the seven passenger limousine edition. The other cars parked on the ramps are (left) a 230SL convertible and (right) a series 220 four-door sedan.
In the foreground of the MG exhibit space at the 1959 Chicago Auto Show is an MGB roadster, and on its right, an MG Midget roadster. Behind the Midget is a portion of a two-door MG Sports Sedan. At far left, on a raised platform, is a cutaway of the 1100 sedan, exposing its engine bay, seating area and trunk. A four-door Sports Sedan is behind the 1100. Notice the large British Motor Corporation (BMC) Training Unit bus (with tailfins) in the far background.
No people are in this scene inside the Volkswagen exhibit but In the foreground and on the right are "Beetles," and on the left (toward the rear) is a partially blocked Karmann Ghia convertible. Volkswagen logos towers fill the area, some covering building support columns.
Overhead view looks down upon a brand new Jeep Wagoneer four-door station wagon at the 1964 Chicago Auto Show. Several other Jeeps are visible in the photo of the Kaiser Jeep Corporation exhibit.
Close-up view of the entrance to the "Old New Orleans" beer garden inside the original McCormick Place (1961-1966) before the opening of the 1964 Chicago Auto Show. Large bottles of Schlitz beer flank the ornate entrance way, and tables with fresh checkered tablecloths are waiting for diners. A record setting 821,208 visitors attended the nine-day run of the 56th edition Chicago show.
Beginning in 1950, Stanley W. Hegberg, seen here at the 1964 Chicago Auto Show, sold Floyd Clymer’s Motor Books at his small kiosk. Hegberg was allotted a “spot” on the show floor instead of a traditional booth.
Three boys are looking through the selection of kits at the Scale Models display booth, while the female attendant/owner smiles for our camera. Model kits sold for 98 cents to $2.00, and friction-powered cars went for $1.97. Several of the cars--finished promotion models--are sitting on the counter, while others are boxed, on shelves at the rear.
A near side view of the long jet-powered world land speed racer, the Spirit of America, fills this people-free scene. Craig Breedlove was the driver, with Shell Oil and Goodyear tires the sponsors. There is also an example of the large thin wheels used on this special vehicle.
Orlando W. Wilson, Superintendent of Chicago Police, hands savings bonds to two of the six winners of the Traffic Safety Slogan Contest, held annually in Chicago public and parochial high schools. Standing behind Wilson are CATA president Michael Schwartz, show chairman Fred G. Litsinger, and auto-show manager and CATA executive vice-president Edward L. Cleary (right).
American Motors exhibited the Rambler Cheyenne show car, which was based on the Classic Cross Country station wagon model. Gold-tone anodized aluminum trim graced the full length of the vehicle, and was spread between the taillights. The "Carrousel" signage in the background was for another Rambler show car.
The 1964 Chicago Auto Show was the public debut of the bright red Rambler Tarpon fastback concept car. Based on the 106-inch wheelbase Rambler American compact, the semi-boat tail roof was accented with black vinyl. Other unique Tarpon styling highlights included a convex grille, chrome wheels with knock-off spinners, custom taillights, and four-bucket seats. Tarpon was the influence for the intermediate size 1965-1967 Marlin.
Chrysler Corp.’s experimental Turbine Car appeared at the 1964 Chicago Auto Show. It was billed as the first car specifically created for the turbine engine. With body designed by Elwood Engel and his staff at Chrysler, Ghia of Italy hand-built 50 of the four-passenger prototypes. A total of 200 motorists from 48 states had three months each to test drive and report their experiences. Power was supplied by a twin-regenerator gas turbine that created 130 horses. Needing one fifth of the moving parts, the turbine weighted 200 pounds less then a piston engine. It ran on just one spark plug, had no pistons, and operated equally well on diesel fuel, kerosene, unleaded gasoline or jet aircraft fuel.
Based on the 1964 Dodge Polara convertible, the Charger specialty show car featured cut down windshield, rollbar with built-in headrests, hood scoops; side rectangular exhausts ports, and a 365 horsepower, 426 cubic inch V-8 engine. The custom Charger rolled on Halibrand magnesium wheels wrapped in Goodyear Wingfoot high performance tires. Inside the charcoal-gray leather two-seat cockpit, the Charger featured a deep dish, walnut wood steering wheel, wood gear shift selector handle and passenger grab handle. Mounted at eye-level atop the unique divider between the seats was an 8,000-rpm tachometer.
Based on the 1964 Dodge D-100 pickup truck, the Custom Sports Special was finished in metallic silver paint, rode on a 122-inch wheelbase, and featured an 8-foot Sweptline bed. Power train consisted of the 426-cubic inch V-8 with 365 horses and three-speed automatic transmission.
The shapely female model was dressed in a matching silver metallic skintight body suit, with fancy boots and racing helmet.
Though the palomino name didn’t exactly fit in with the elegant Thunderbird, the one-of-a-kind Golden Palomino appeared at the 1964 Chicago Auto Show. The overhead shot calls attention stainless steel roof with pop-up panels that raised when the doors were opened. Elegant Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels and special trim further accented the custom bird. The Golden Palomino proved a hit on the show circuit, so much so that it was sent on a nationwide tour of Ford dealers during 1965.
Mercury exhibited its one-of-a-kind Comet Super Cyclone at the 1964 Chicago show. The sleek fastback roof was custom and included a large wrap around back window, like the 1964-65 Plymouth Barracuda. Stylish European-style headlights were rectangular in shape, but illegal on U.S. highways at the time.
The Plymouth Satellite II show car was based on a 1964 Fury hardtop, with customs touches that included a removable front roof panel, altered grille, special wheels and paint job. Complimenting the exterior, were 2+2 bucket seating and a full-length center console. From 1965 through 1974, Plymouth offered a line of intermediate size cars named Satellite.
Just the thing to attract young buyers' attention at the 1964 Chicago Auto Show was the Pontiac LeMans Flamme, a firecracker red show car with custom white interior and red trim. This convertible was also shown later that year as the Grand Marque IV and a special GTO convertible made appearances under the Flamme banner.