“Jetaway: Gear of the Year” 1956 Cartoon

“Jetaway: Gear of the Year” 1956 Cartoon

Alright, so in hindsight, the GM dual coupling Jetaway Hydramatic may have proved to be a slightly overcomplex beast (especially when they needed a rebuild), but it was big news when Oldsmobile introduced the smoother shifting 4 speed automatic in their 1956 Olds Super 88 and 98 models. This dealer sales film was meant to explain that the new transmission was the best one out there among the competition, and simply illustrate how it functioned. The Jetaway’s dad (recognize that voice?), the old Hydramatic, tries to explain why his kid should be ‘Gear of the Year’ to the Dean of Transmission University. I love the mid 50s color palette, the atomic era mechanical shapes, and classic character design- It just reminds me of watching Bullwinkle after school every day as a kid.

On a side note, the cartoon was a John Sutherland production, who was known for his educational short films and propaganda with animation, many of them with a clear anti-communist message. They come across pretty funny nowadays.


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