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1957 New Car Unveiling Day at Capitol Chevrolet Austin, Texas

Back in time, new car introduction day was a major event that resulted in showrooms filled with people and traffic jams caused by drivers cruising by to catch a glimpse of the new offerings. Today hardly anyone pays attention when new models are unveiled, and most trips the local dealer are to the service department and end up with the visitors sitting in the waiting room staring at the television. 

This scene at Capitol Chevrolet in Austin, Texas, at West 5th Street and Lamar Boulevard on October 19, 1956, shows a number of people congregated there, and the parking lot is filled. Out in front of the dealership, a salesman is taking a couple out for a test drive in a left over 1956 Chevrolet sedan. Across the street is Davis Motor Sales that apparently sold used cars. Capital Chevrolet is still operating today in a different location at 6200 Interstate Highway 35 in Austin.

The enlargeable image below by photographer Neal Douglass contains plenty of automobiles to peruse, tell us what interests you. The photograph is via The Portal to Texas History.    

Capitol Chevrolet Austin Texas 1956 I

15 responses to “1957 New Car Unveiling Day at Capitol Chevrolet Austin, Texas

  1. About 15 years ago a BBQ restaurant in Abilene Texas there was a heavy paper banner tacked to the ceilng, it was something like… “Come as the exciting new 1957 CHEVROLETS”,.

    It was the real deal and not a reproduction…I imagine it’s worth a fair amount of money.

  2. The new car offerings today consist of excessive use of design elements applied in uninspired fashion. Today’s cars seem to resemble those portrayed in cartoons!

  3. This must be some kind of staging area, not that many Chevys, for a Chevy dealer. A ’49-’50 Ford behind the tree on the right. A Nash Rambler behind that filled up, test-drivin’ ’56 Chevy.

  4. Up front, a ’52 Chevy Styleline Sport Coupe ahead of a ’55 Pontiac Star Chief (forward edge of side trim just below the vent window) and what appears to be a Willys Jeepster.
    In the street to the right a ’49 or ’50 Ford Tudor ahead of a ’49 or ’50 Nash.

    • The ’52 Chevy is a Styleline Special 2-door Sedan, not a Sport Coupe. The Sport Coupe (with a shorter roofline than the Sedan) has a chrome side spear on the front fender and door and another one on the rear quarter panel. A lot of people misidentify sedans as coupes. You can easily find original factory brochures online for almost any make/model/year of vehicle.

  5. What a smorgasbord of history! This is an assortment of Americana that I would be ecstatic to own, almost without exception. So many beauties! ’55 Ford and Pontiac, the early 50’s Olds turning into the lot, the sweet ’52 chevy in front, the shoebox ford, the ’54 Ford behind the olds, (guessing at some of the years) and I would love to walk thru the lot across the street.
    It does seem odd that it’s opening day for the ’57 chevy and not one in sight.
    And speaking of new cars today, what a disappointment. They look as if they are made from Legos. A lot of them look as if they are already wrecked at first sight. Then you see it’s just some strange configuration of body parts that seem to be glued together haphazardly. Give me the cars of yesteryear. They had character and identification.

    • Hi Tom, I noticed that too. I think the 57’s may be under that carport roof, and looks like another may be back agin the wall too. I was too young for the introduction of the ’57 Chevy, but I read, it was like no other Chevy, and by the looks of it, created quite a stir. And Pat is right, that 3rd car is a 1950ish Jeepster.

    • I suspect if you could go back in time you’d see a lot of production errors…paint runs, uneven body panels/gaps and crooked trim on new cars of the period.

      We may not like today’s designs, but thanks to the Japanese making the UAW up their game, today’s cars are likely better built.

  6. Either the folks in the ’56 Chevy got a heck of a deal( probably couldn’t give away a ’56 after the ’57’s came out) or the folks have serious buyers remorse, I can hear mom in the back, “I told you we should have waited”,,

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