This six-minute factory presentation from 1957 is actually three shorter promotional spots strung together to form a montage and as such, it’s a pretty fair representation of the marketing efforts for the combined Chrysler lines for that year. Note that in this period, Chrysler operated as five separate car brands: Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto, Chrysler, and Imperial, with Imperial spun off as a separate division in much the same way as the Continental division at Ford.
Originally introduced in 1955 and also known as the “Hundred Million Dollar Look,” the Forward Look styling theme conceived by Chrysler design chief Virgil Exner (pictured above) got its first major update in 1957. Called the “Flite Sweep” theme, this second-generation Forward Look was a sensation. Dramatically lower and sleeker and sporting bolder fins than anything else on the market, the ’57 Chryslers briefly threw the rest of the Motor City, including the GM styling studios, into a minor panic.
Our film also touts several Chrysler technical innovations, including the pushbutton-operated Torque-Flite automatic transmission and a brand new feature for ’57, Torsion-Aire Ride, Chrysler’s trademark torsion-bar front suspension. On the strength of the new styling and features, the Plymouth division regained the number three spot in the sales rankings, and the other brands enjoyed a healthy boost, too. (We have another great 1957 Chrysler promo here.) By the way, the distinctive double-boomerang logo used by Chrysler in these days and prominently featured here has a name: it’s called a flookerang.
The 1957 model year wasn’t without issues, however. Serious problems with corrosion and quality control arose as Chrysler moved its body manufacturing in-house from its former supplier, Briggs. But all that is water under the bridge now, as the 1957 cars are regarded today as among the most memorable in Chrysler history. Video below.