Chevrolet Radio Program

I found this wonderful old survivor at a garage sale a couple of months ago:

It measures 14 x 11″, is made of cardboard and is in great condition for being 85 years old!

Chevrolet began sponsoring radio programs in the 1930s.  This was a smart marketing move as the number of homes with radios was exploding.  According to Census Bureau data, 2.75 million households had a radio in 1925.  By 1930, that number was 13.75 million and by 1940, 28.5 million (or 82% of) households had a radio.

Chevrolet sponsored the radio shows of entertainers like Al Jolson and Jack Benny.  Some of these shows have survived, including one of Jack Benny’s shows from April 21, 1933.  During that show, they discuss extensively the “National Drive A Chevrolet Radio Contest.”  Chevrolet was indeed giving away 30 new cars during the month of April, and anyone could enter by filling out an entry blank at their local Chevy dealer.

You can listen to the radio program by clicking here, but I will warn you that it is only mildly amusing with constant references to Chevrolets.  During the “news” segment one item concerns a new record set by an Italian aviator flying seven miles in one minute.  How was he timed?  By a man following in a Chevrolet, of course!  Another segment features a skit about a young woman who doesn’t want to leave home.  She turns down one suitor after another until one shows up . . . in a Chevrolet!  Still, America was in the midst of the Great Depression and these radio programs likely provided welcome respite.  And can you imagine the excitement of the lucky 30 winners of this stunning machine:

1933 Chevrolet Master Eagle Coupe

The 1933 Chevrolet featured what the sales brochure called “Aer-Stream Styling”.  It was produced as a Master Eagle (series CA) and a cheaper Standard Mercury (series CC).  The Master Eagle was powered by a 65-hp inline-6 cast iron block engine.  It had a 110″ wheel base and wire wheels were standard equipment.  The cheaper Standard Mercury was essentially just a smaller version with a 107″ wheel base and a 60-hp engine.   Prices ranged from $445 to $565.

1933 Chevrolet Master Eagle Sport Coupe

Radio was a big part of Chevrolet’s 1933 marketing strategy and this, combined with a beautiful product, resulted in a very successful year.  According to Ad Age,   Chevrolet’s market share was a massive 33.5%.  Just think, one of every three cars sold that year was a Chevrolet.  This market share was a record for Chevrolet, and one not duplicated since.

1933 Chevrolet Master Eagle Sedan
1933 Chevrolet Master Eagle Sedan at the Classic Car Collection in Kearney, Nebraska.

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