Video: A Glimpse of Americana at Work in the ’60s

We’ve been spending more time indoors than usual, and we’ve found some real nuggets of vintage gold on the never-ending information-superhighway route known as the ‘Tube. We recently came across this little snippet that documents various processes in the building of some 1960 Chevrolet vehicles. The scenes are part of a nearly half-hour-long video titled, “American Maker 1960”.

While the video documents many aspects of American manufacturing in the ’60s, the part that really catches our attention is a section that shows various processes in the building of 1960-production Impalas. There are numerous scenes that were shot inside production facilities, and they give a glimpse into the mentality and mindset of those who worked on, and oversaw, the assembly lines. If you have the time and want to check out the full-length video, feel free. We’ll warn you though, Safety Sams may get a rash simply watching some of the “standard operating procedures” back then!

Keen-eyed viewers will quickly note the lack of much of today’s safety equipment, a fact that is brought out in excruciating detail in the comments section. And, while the video drives home the “quality and eye for detail” marketed by the manufacturer, the underlying fact of, these folks were, “simply building cars” for a living shines through in the video.

Women played an integral part in the production of America’s automobiles in the 60s. Several commenters focused on the fashions worn by those in the videos, to that we’d like to ask, how would YOU dress if you knew you were going to be in a video for your employer? Clearly, this was not an everyday event!

One comment noted that even those folks toiling on the assembly line were better dressed than some CEOs today! While the video could just as easily highlight the fickle winds of fashion, we’d much rather gaze at the techniques and assembly processes utilized by those inside the factory than what they were wearing. And we’d for sure rather have one of the cars than one of their outfits!

Remembering that these plants were not air-conditioned back then, would YOU like to be the guy cooped up in a Chevy Impala, tasked with locating leaks?

While only a short glimpse into the assembly of early Chevrolet iron, this snippet gives us a much-needed distraction from many of the tyrants that attempt to dominate our psyche and hoard our focus today. Those not old enough to notice would do well to note there’s not one individual kinking their neck to gaze at their cellphone, and “selfies” were the last thing on anyone’s mind — imagine that.

Imagine being the first person to actually drive so many of these iconic cars? Remember, it was all in a day’s work!

Without all of the technological wonders that we enjoy today, somehow, someway, stuff still got done! Don’t believe us? Watch this video and the larger “American Maker 1960” and see what a little ingenuity and a “can do” attitude can do!

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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