Antique Auto Advertising: Route 66, Sponsored by Chevrolet

While searching for versions of Route 66 for our weekly Car Tunes feature, I came across this 1964 Impala Sport Coupe ad. It’s not as common today but back in the day a tv show’s entire production would be entirely sponsored by a single advertiser. Dinah Shore’s variety show was sponsored by Chevrolet – which is how See The USA In Your Chevrolet became so closely associated with Ms. Shore. It’s not surprising that Chevy also sponsored the Route 66 tv show since that show’s plot revolved around two young guys driving around the United States in a Corvette convertible, which you can see in the second video clip. The show ran for three years stared Martin Milner and George Maharis as Tod Stiles and Buz Murdock. While the show was filmed on location all across the US, ironically Stiles’ and Murdock’s travels rarely put them on the actual Route 66, sometimes known as “the mother road”. In 2002, Milner, Bobby Troup (who wrote the Route 66 song) and Michael Wallis filmed the documentary Return To The Road about the changes in the highway. Milner travels the length of US Route 66 from Chicago to LA in a vintage ’61 Corvette, identical to the one used in the original show.

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