This 1957 Chevy truck commercial was shot by Alexander Film Company on the declivities of Pikes Peak. At first it seems that this might be nothing more than a routine drive up the Pikes Peak Highway in an attempt to impress the less savvy of their would-be customers with the dramatic backdrops offered by Pikes Peak. But then they actually drive the truck up… well, not straight, but pretty darn straight up at least a part of the mountain. The fact that it’s presented as a kind of mountaineering first ascent film (the drivers wear matching khakis, blue sweatshirts and, eventually, helmets as they bounce across the boulder fields above timberline) with timpanies to punctuate the narrator’s hyperbole, makes it as cheeky as you’d expect from a piece of this vintage. And of course, anyone familiar with the topography of the area will question the route of their ascent, but much of it is still impressive even by today’s standards. We’re sure the Forest Service thanks you in advance for not attempting to repeat it!

Surely the greatest line ever about Pikes Peak: “The most famous mountain in America thunders its defiance.”! Then of course there’s “Straight into virgin timberland into chassis-battering terrain.” And then there’s: “How many nuggets would a Sourdough have offered for one of these trucks?”

What we wouldn’t give to bang out copy writers for Alexander Film Company!

Thanks again to the Pikes Peak Library District for posting this to YouTube and thanks to Big Something reader Keith B. for bringing it to our attention.


5 Responses to The Original Monster Truck

  1. How did the guys in the bed of the truck get there and why don’t they have those nice helmets?

  2. Nancy Wilsted says:

    The truck was unscathed, but perhaps not the orchestra’s horn section.

  3. Ronwell Q. Dobbs says:


  4. Bob Carnein says:

    More better ideas from the American auto industry.


October 8, 2015 | NPR · The city has reached a multi-million dollar settlement with the family of the unarmed black man shot and killed by a white police officer in April.

October 8, 2015 | NPR · The ship’s conservancy has retained a broker to explore the potential sale of “America’s Flagship” to a responsible, U.S.-based metals recycler, if no investor comes forward by Oct. 31.

October 8, 2015 | NPR · A new study from the Pew Research Center shows American opinions about immigration policy are increasingly split along party lines.

Arts & Life

Washington Post/Getty Images
October 8, 2015 | NPR · The New Orleans chef changed the way the world saw Louisiana cooking. He has died at the age of 75.

October 8, 2015 | NPR · There are a large number of LGBT films in theaters this fall. NPR explores what that says about Hollywood and society in general.

Courtesy of Kino Lorber, Inc.
October 8, 2015 | NPR · Guy Maddin’s latest is a patchwork of pastiches that ages and modifies film to emulate eras, styles and tropes to examine the oddities of the mind.


Courtesy of the artist
October 8, 2015 | WXPN · Writer Judy Cantor-Navas highlights two of the many bands performing at this fall’s festival.

Courtesy of the American Jewish Historical Society at the Center for Jewish History
October 8, 2015 | NPR · Leon Klinghoffer was killed during the hijacking of the Achille Lauro — and later became a character in a controversial opera. His daughters want people to know him in a different way.

Courtesy of the artist
October 8, 2015 | NPR · The twin sisters bring a long playlist to Alt.Latino, turning this week’s episode into a singalong.

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac