After Ford used its upcoming Electric F-150 prototype to tow a train full of Ford F-150s there was a surprising amount of outrage. Yes, it was a ridiculous commercial. If you ask an engineer, there are some real problems with what it portrays. But as this old Chevrolet Cheyenne commercial helps to illustrate, automakers have been showing their pickup trucks towing ridiculous loads for some time. Check it out.
There’s no date for this commercial included in the YouTube post, but we can pretty accurately guess it was from the early 1970s. After all, the Cheyenne was introduced as a trim package for the Chevrolet C/K in the 1971 lineup. It was a comfort-oriented package for the most part, adding more cabin insulation and better seat padding, plus some exterior cosmetic changes like chrome trim.
Apparently to show just how tough the new Chevy Cheyenne was, General Motors decided to have it pull a 187-ton log train on some unnamed mountain pass. That’s usually something you see a big semi-truck doing, so of course this stunt would generate great publicity.
The announcer makes a big deal about how the Cheyenne is equipped for such a job thanks to its full-time four-wheel drive and standard 350ci V8 engine. Of course, it’s glossed over how those features make this the ideal log-hauler instead of a heavy-duty truck, because there’s not a whole lot of logic to this commercial.
While people quickly remembered when Toyota used the Tundra to pull a space shuttle or how Mini not too long before that used its new all-electric Cooper SE to pull a Boeing 777F along a runway, nobody remembered this gem from back in the day. It just might be the first example of an automaker setting up a stunt tow job for a truck to show how tough and capable it is. If so, we can all rightfully blame GM for the car advertising trend which is still going on today. That and those ridiculous Real People, Not Actors bits.
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