History

In its prime, the All-American Auto Thrill Show was the #1 box office attraction for county fairs.

Hell Drivers were big league celebrities with big league endorsement deals. Auto manufacturers had one simple message: If these stuntmen could beat the hell out of our cars, they certainly can take abuse from a “normal driver” like you.

Check out this vintage TV commercial for Phillips 66 tires, endorsed by the Aut Swenson Thrillcade Show (the one-time employer of Rocky Hardcore’s father, John Hauri!)

Phillips 66: Our Tires Can Go Through Hell

Marathon Oil used to sponsor Dan Fleenor’s Hurricane Hell Drivers, another thrill show outfit that employed Rocky’s father!

The narrator of this promotional 1960s film, predominantly shown to Elks Club and Moose Lodge breakfasts, declares that Hell Drivers heroically perform in “obscure towns and villages.”

Hurricane Hell Drivers: Marathon Oil

And finally, there’s this gem of a clip featuring Nash Motors and Lucky Lee Lott’s Hell Drivers.

Auto thrill shows not only forged promotional deals with the Big Three. Independent manufacturers like Nash were quick to get in on the action.

Lucky Lee Lott & Nash Motors

Responses

  1. Thanks for the Phillips 66 video. It brings back a lot of memories. The driver pictured with the flat top hair cut is Lucky Kenny Blaine. My dad.

  2. Saw a “blip” on the history channel last night and that brought the HURRICANE HELL DRIVERS to mind. I was about 15 and worked at the Greater Pittsburgh Speedway , and lived a short distance away. I spent most of my waking hours at the track when the show was there. I will never forget the things I learned there and actually tried to re-do on the farm with my fathers 57 pontiac. You guys are the greatest and I am now 61 and haven’t forgotten the show. Thank you, Lee

  3. My father Carl Wiseman was a hell driver for many years with Joie Chitwood and Danny Fleenor’s hurricane hell drivers, traveling all over the country and santo domingo dominican republic.

    I have a lot of photos of him with the crew and would love to see more. He loved to tell me stories of his slide for life, going through the flaming walls on a motorcycle and the stunts with the cars.

    Please let me know if there is anymore videos or photos out there with them.


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