A crisp “Hollywood” voice that’s almost too earnest to take seriously. Cars that look like bulging biceps, The Chordettes or The Ink Spots blaring from that newfangled Blaupunkt FM radio. What do these have in common? American automotive nostalgia!
We get caught up in the future of automobiles so much that we thought it might be fun to explore the past with some quality vintage car films that capture the era. Thanks to YouTube, we have these videos from yesteryear available to us. Convenient!
Part of our job at Automatic is keeping you safe. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite vintage car safety videos. You can watch them here, or Subscribe to the YouTube playlist below.
Anatomy of an Accident (1961)
One part Sixth Sense and one part It’s A Wonderful Life this 25 minute movie follows John as he prepares to teach his company drivers about driver safety. Chief concerns for John’s drivers, you ask? Daydreaming, hunger, and blondes.
Best piece of advice from the video: “It never pays to get mad while you’re driving. You’re inviting an accident when you take time to yell at other drivers. Even if they’re driving like idiots, it’s not up to you to tell ’em off or try to get even.”
The Distracted Brain (1953)
The National Safety Council released this video in 1953. The narrator warns against the phantom danger of the distracted brain. “Remember,” he warns, “to all appearances, you’re driving with your hands and your feet, but do you know where you do most of your driving? In your head.”
In a curious tactical turn, the narrator suggests you hire a mental secretary to guard your brain against distractions. What follows is a hilarious sequence of scenarios where the imaginary secretary tells visitors off.
Best piece of advice from the video: “When you’re driving, drive. Be deaf and blind to everything except the road, your vehicle, and the traffic around you.”
We love this video. There are some genuinely interesting scenes like watching pre-WWII planes flying in formation, and watching the driver use hand signals to inform those around him what he’s doing. This video predates the US factory-installed turn signal (Buick’s doing) by three years.
The narrator puts you in the first-person perspective of a (horrible) driver and takes you through several dangerous driving situations. As the driver, you suffer through appalling lapses of judgment, like thinking about the Big Game and suddenly stopping in the middle of the road to talk to your friend Joe who’s reading a newspaper outside the corner store. You know, typical rookie mistakes.
The best piece of advice from the video: “If all roads were a mile wide, it would be fine. Then cars could drive a mile apart! But our highways aren’t that wide. For the safety of all in automobiles, all the care the formation fliers practice in the air must be practiced on the ground.”
Would you like to see more?
We know, we can’t get enough of these either. Check out this 127 video YouTube playlist featuring videos made in the late 20s all the way to the 60s. Let us know which ones are your favorites!
Speaking of car safety, here are other posts that can help you drive more safely out on the open road: