A total of 848,031 visitors attended the 58th Chicago Auto Show. Among the concept vehicles introduced were the Chevrolet Caribe and Concours, the Ford Magic Cruiser, the Chrysler 300-X research car and the Dodge Charger, which was easy to spot with its long fastback body. Dodge also displayed the production Coronet 500 as a convertible and hardtop coupe. That year, Chevy's Chevelle ranked high on the wish lists of many muscle car fans. Visitors couldn't get enough of the models fitted with SS (Super Sport) trim, and massive 325 horsepower, 396 CID V-8 engines. On the right, an overhead view of the legendary 426 CID hemispherical V-8. This was the 425 horsepower street version of the Hemi, offered as an option on mid-size Plymouth and Dodge models.
Three Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA) executives are admiring the official poster for the 58th annual Chicago Auto Show. Pictured left to right are CATA President Lawrence P. Faul, CATA Executive Vice President and Show Manager Edward L. Cleary, and past President Walter A. Gerwig holding a miniature antique car.
Suspended in the main lobby of the original McCormick Place, was the sculptured "Geo-Sphere." The decorative globe, constructed of anodized aluminum, measured 18 feet in diameter and was mounted 12 feet off the floor. It was decorated with multi-colors and silhouettes of automobiles. Below and to the left, some vehicles can be glimpsed in a section of the special imported car exhibit.
Fifteen costumed female dancers are onstage, performing during the "Motorevue of 1966." That year's theme was "History A-Go-Go," which featured the Go-Go Girls and the Historians. This would be the final large scale stage revue to accompany a Chicago Auto Show.
Photographed at the Dodge exhibit during the 1968 Chicago Auto Show is a Coronet 500 convertible in the foreground, and highlighted on a raised platform was the Charger fastback coupe. Dramatically shaped, with concealed headlights, the Charger was a new production model for 1966.
A high angle image captured a spokeswoman praising the major redesign of the 1966 Plymouth Belvedere Satellite convertible. Mid-photo, right side, the front of the brand new Oldsmobile Toronado two-door hardtop can be glimpsed between the milling crowds. This was the first model year for Toronado, which featured front-wheel drive and a 385 horsepower, 425 cubic inch V-8 connected to a Turbo Hydra-Matic four-speed automatic transmission.
People have gathered around a 1966 Buick Skylark GS hardtop with black vinyl roof. GS stood for Gran Sport, and was a new high-performance member of the Skylark series. Standand engine was a 325 horsepower, 401 cubic inch V-8, wearing a large Carter four-barrel carburator. Portions of other manufacturers' displays can be seen to the rear in this wide shot.
A ¾ rear view of the front-wheel drive Toronado is seen on the left in the 1966 Oldsmobile exhibit. Not since the 1930s had a front-wheel-drive American car been produced in substantial numbers. Other Oldsmobile models also are visible, including a Delta 88 convertible at right, behind the ropes, and an Olds Vista Cruiser station wagon in the background.
A rearview of a 1966 Tempest GTO hardtop fills the foreground of the photo and reveals the car’s ‘flying buttress’ rear roof panels, horizontal twin-slot taillights and GTO letters on the rear fender. The 1966 bodies grew three inches longer than previous models. A 335 horsepower, 389 cid V-8 was the standard power plant. A direct front view of another GTO (affectionately dubbed the ‘Goat’) sits on the left and a Tempest Custom Sprint hardtop with a sign on its hood that read, ‘Six Appeal,’ referred to the standard 230 cid overhead cam six-cylinder engine that developed 165 horses.
An avid crowd gathered around the display for the 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu SS 396 convertible. As the name implies, this SS (Super Sport) model came equipped with the 396 cubic inch "porcupine" V-8 engine that developed 325 horsepower. Some came rated at 360 and 375 hp.
A scene at the Mercury exhibit features a Comet Caliente two-door hardtop in the foreground. Behind it, posed on the tilted platform, is a Comet Cyclone GT convertible, decorated with Indy 500 decal graphics. Mercury’s Comet was the official pace car for the 50th annual Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 30, 1966. A sign in the exhibit stated, "Comet sets the pace."
"Ask Freddie a Question," read the sign on the console in front of Freddie Ford, a likeable robot constructed from automotive parts like hubcaps, oil pans and shock absorbers. Freddie entertained show-goers in the Ford exhibit during the 1960s and 70s. He could hear, see and answer questions from the crowds. A television camera was in his nose so he could observe who he was “talking “ to. Embedded in Freddie’s chest were such items as a Mustang speedometer and an odometer that registered miles as he talked.
Standing eight feet six inches tall, Freddie tipped the scales at almost 500 pounds. Seen in this photo from the 1966 Chicago Auto Show, he was part of the display for the Ford Mustang. The sign behind the convertible stated that Mustang was, "America's Favorite Fun Car."
A sea of people mill through the aisles in McCormick Place during the 1966 Chicago Auto Show. Some of the crowd have stopped to admirer the long, cigar-shaped Goldenrod land speed record vehicle. Powered by four fuel injected Chrysler Hemi engines placed inline, which developed 2,400 horsepower. Driven by Bob Summers, Goldenrod set a new Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) record of 409.277 mph on November 12, 1965 that held for 27 years.
Five imported cars are arranged in a special exhibit area in the outer looby of the original McCormick Place exposition hall. Clockwise from near left is a Mercedes-Benz sedan, unidentified convertible, Toyota Corona sedan, Jaguar sedan and an MB-B GT. Two additional display circles,with other imported vehicles, can be seen toward the rear. These special exhibits were set up to draw attention to imported makes that could also be seen on the auto show floor.
Exotic foreign cars are always popular at the Chicago Auto Show. Captured in this scene are excellent examples from 1966. An Aston Martin DB6 coupe occupies center within the British automaker's exhibit. Directly behind it is a front view of a second DB6. To the right, and across the aisle, is the curvaceous Jaguar XK-E convertible.convertible.
Scene at the Citroen exhibit. In the foreground is a Citroen DS19 sedan, still futuristic in appearance after more than a decade on the market, with an air-oil suspension and other technical innovations. At left, behind ropes, is a DS19 station wagon. The French automaker also marketed a lower-priced ID19 sedan and a supermini called, Ami (French for "friend).
Located on the lower level of McCormick Place exposition center, Datsun (Nissan) had a small, unadorn exhibit space. In the foreground is a sideview of a four-door sedan. A station wagon is on the left, and on the right behind ropes, is a 1600 roadster.
Scene within the simple Toyota exhibit, featured a Corona four-door sedan (with its hood raised) at left. In the foreground is the front end of a Toyota Crown sedan, and in the background are two Land Cruiser models.
Chevrolet's truck exhibit featured various models, including the El Camino pickup truck in the foreground, which was based on the mid-size Chevelle. Front fender emblem indicates it was powered by a 396 cubic inch V-8 engine. On the right, is a pickup truck with camper attachment. A four-wheel drive pickup truck is to the left, and in the background, a large panel van features home-style side windows.
Located in the ventors section at the rear of the auto show, was a booth for Petersen Publishing Co. One man is standing behind the counter ready to sell individual issues or subscriptions to Motor Trend, Hot Rod, and Sports Car Graphic magazines.
The United Automotive Mfg. booth at the 1966 Chicago Auto Show, featured a 1964 Chevrolet four-door sedan with hood removed to demonstrate its new product, the Jet Transistor Ignition System.
Posed in front of the Chicago Police Exhibit Cruiser trailer at the 1966 Chicago Auto Show, are four uniformed law officers and two police dogs. The canine teams were there to demonstrate police procedures and promote community goodwill during the nine-day show.
The most significant member of American Motors’ Project IV of 1966 was the AMX concept car. Displayed as a “design experiment,” the two-passenger sports model featured a cantilever-type top and no front A-pillars. An old feature was revived with the “Ramble Seat” with two more passengers seated in the trunk area. The lid flipped up for access and the rear window rose as a windbreak. Mounted on a 98-inch wheelbase and 179 inches long, the AMX prototype closely previewed the production model that was introduced at the 1968 Chicago Auto Show.
Based on a modified 1966 Chrysler 300, the 300X prototype was filled with futuristic ideas in the cockpit. Replacing the conventional steering wheel were adjustable handgrips. Built-into the steering unit were push-button controls for lights, wipers, turn signals and door locks. Door handles were shaved, and a keypunch card was used to open the doors and start the ignition. A truck-lid mounted TV camera and dash mounted monitor replaced the normal rearview mirrors. Rear seat passengers could watch a small television that stowed away when not in use. Famous custom car builder Gene Winfield is credited with constructing the 300X.
Looking like a mild California custom, this factory modified LTD two-door hardtop, was painted in a specially formulated Firefrost black metallic. Hence, its name, "Black Pearl." To top it off, the roof on the Black Pearl was clad in padded, black vinyl material, and the car sat on elegant wire wheels with triple stripe white-wall tires. Interior included pearl-white seats and satin and leather bolsters for the cushions and seatbacks. Covering the floor was deep, pearl-white mouton carpeting.
Ford Motor Co. presented two vary unusual concept vehicles during the 1966 Chicago Auto Show. On the left is the Bronco Dune Duster constructed by Barris Kustom of North Hollywood. It was based on the production 1966 Ford Bronco four-wheel drive roadster, with multiple modifications. Changes included the NHRA-approved roll bar with integral headrest, exposed chrome exhaust pipes, hood air scoop, built-in step over door panel, alloy hubs with knockoff caps, walnut appliqués, stainless-steel rail bars and performance-type gas filler. Interior was upholstered in suede with wood accents. On the right is the “Apartment,” a customized Ford Econoline with a roof chopped and lowered by seven inches. Somehow, Ford engineers shoehorned a 289 CID V-8 into the engine bay, and linked it to a three-speed automatic transmission. The bachelor-pad interior was fitted with paneling and wood-beamed ceiling stained to accent the Palomino-parchment fabrics. Occupants enjoyed a TV set and stereo/audio sound system.
A very rare color image of the Ford Bronco Dune Duster on display at the 1966 Chicago Auto Show. Barris Kustom of North Hollywood constructed the one-of-a-kind show version from a 1966 Ford Bronco roadster four-wheel drive vehicle. Body modifications included the NHRA-approved roll bar with integral headrest, exposed chrome exhaust pipes, hood air scoop, built-in step over door panel, alloy hubs with knockoff caps, walnut appliqués, stainless-steel rail bars and performance-type gas filler. Interior was upholstered in suede with wood accents.
Dancing in tune with the hip, youthful trends of the mid-1960s, came this cool Fairlane show car. Perfectly titled as “GT A Go Go,” it was a tastefully modified two-door hardtop. This special Fairlane was constructed to help call attention to Ford's new mid-size model. It was designed by the Corporate Projects Studio and built in California by customizer Gene Winfield. The unique exhaust system on the 390 V-8 engine allowed for street or track driving. During competition, the driver switched a cutout sending the exhaust through tuned straight pipes with outlets in the rocker panel molding, ahead of the rear wheels. Finished in a white metallic paint, the body was accented by blue racing stripes that ran the full length of the hood, roof and trunk lid.
Rare color image of the Ford Fairlane “GT A Go Go ” interior while on display at the 1966 Chicago Auto Show. it was a tastefully modified two-door hardtop designed by the Corporate Projects Studio and built in California by customizer Gene Winfield. The unique exhaust system on the 390 V-8 engine allowed for street or track driving. During competition, the driver switched a cutout sending the exhaust through tuned straight pipes with outlets in the rocker panel molding, ahead of the rear wheels. Finished in a white metallic paint, the body was accented by blue racing stripes that ran the full length of the hood, roof and trunk lid.
What was the Imperial Mobile Executive? Imagine a walnut-paneled office with steerhide leather upholstered chairs, copy transmitter-receiver, dictating machine, two telephones, typewriter, reading lamps, air conditioner, television set - and a 440 cubic inch V-8 under the hood. For business en route, the front passenger seat could swivel 180 degrees to face a conference table. Twin rear bucket seats were equipped with recliner backs and lift-up headrests.
A special attraction in the 1966 Lincoln-Mercury exhibit was the Coronation Coupe show car. Custom touches included a padded roof that eliminated the quarter windows, a reduced rear window, and a wide band of walnut trim that ran the full length of the lower body. Chicago’s Lehmann-Peterson constructed the experimental Lincoln.