Friday, July 25, 2008

Chrysler Exhibit, New York World's Fair

Howdy folks! Today will be another excursion into my favorite digression: The 1964 New York World's Fair! I found a small group of excellent photos showing the Chrysler exhibit... it was overshadowed by GM's "Futurama", but it looks like it was a very fun place to visit.

As you can see in this first photo, Chrysler's "Autofare" had a distinctive graphic "look". The souvenir guide refers to the Autofare as a "fair within a fair". Among the exhibits were "Chysler's experimental turbine car", a ten-story rocket, the world's biggest car, something called the "Giant Zookeeper", the Production Line Ride, the Sho-Go-Round Theater, and as they say on TV, much much more.

The designers of the pavilion acknowledge that weary visitors might want to relax, so plenty of "canopy-covered bucket seats", fountains, ponds, and (naturally) plenty of quality Chrysler products were provided for everyone's enjoyment. You can see the distinctive Ford Pavilion in the background.

There's the gigantic "million horsepower engine" that one could walk through, complete with spinning fan and rotating air filter. According to the guide book, "Inside, fantasy reigns. The writhing, twisting, squirming dragon (he's enormous!) drives three 8-foot pistons. They're animated, too. Giant hands operate the engine valves. A monstrous "spider" descends upon a hapless fly. Two huge paddles toss a ping-pong ball endlessly between them. These are just a few of the delightfully imaginative goings-on."

You might think that this is just a big car. But it was actually the world's LARGEST car! "The huge wheels tower upwards nearly two stories (that gives you some indication of its size.) A six-foot man seated in the driver's position could not even reach the steering wheel!

The underside of the car body sits eight feet off the ground.

Get set for a surprise when you walk beneath it. You've never seen a more imaginative car interior than this one, yet it has all the working elements of an actual car."


TokyoMagic! said...

I love 1964/1965 New York World's Fair pics almost as much as I love vintage DL pics....almost. I wish I had been old enough to experience this fair. At least the four Disney exhibits survived in some form or another after the fair closed.

What's that man with the pole doing in the water in the third photo? Bad show! You'd never see something like that in a vintage DL pic.....oh wait, you would.

Anonymous said...

and the lady in the middle pic wondering if she really should've gone ahead to the Ford exhibit, where they might've had bigger chairs, too.....

I think the original Charger prototype might've been displayed by Chrysler there. I grew up around an original 66 and it still had traces of that turbine space age flair in the gages etc. It wasn't a very good car but it looked a lot better than that world's LARGEST car!

More neat pics, you get that "you are there" vibe a bit huh? Thanks again.

Matt said...

I can't believe they tore all of this down. And I'm with tokyomagic! - this fair is always fun to look at. Wish I had these slides for my collection.

Great post.

The Viewliner Limited said...

What a Worlds Fair! Although the GM Futurama and the Ford Pavilion out did the Chrysler exhibit... it definitely had its own flair. Beautiful pictures.

@wendydesigns said...

I was there as a kid. We lived in Bayside, Queens, so it was pretty close. We must have gone at least a dozen times while it was open.

And what I remember now, almost 50 years later is the inside of that gigantic engine - the crank shaft and pistons had the appearance of an enormous dragon... I remember this vividly even now, and I can't recall one specific thing about either GM's or Ford's exhibits.

The other thing I remember was the pizza pavillions scattered throughout the park. Some of the best pizza I've ever had.

Major Pepperidge said...

Wendy, thanks for sharing your memories... I am envious of your experiences. Such an amazing fair...