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