'Thrill Drivers Choice' — Joie Chitwood and the 1956 Chevrolet

Courtesy of The Old Motor

(September 9, 2019) In the mid 1950s, Chevrolet created the film “Thrill Drivers Choice” as a Chevrolet promotion, where Joie Chitwood and the Thrill Drivers demonstrated the handling capabilities and durability of the 1956 Chevrolet. Take a few minutes to watch it. It's professionally done, quite interesting and entertaining.

George “Joie” Chitwood started his career behind the wheel in the mid-thirties racing sprint cars in the midwest. The Driver won the AAA Sprint Car Championship in 1939 and ’40 and the CRSA (Central State Racing Association) Championship in 1942. Chitwood also competed in the Indianapolis 500 seven times between 1940 to ’50, finishing as high as fifth three times.

For a time he was a Hollywood stunt driver and appeared in a minor role in “To Please a Lady” starring Clark Gable and Barbara Stanwyck in the 1950 film about auto racing.

Chitwood then started a “Hell Drivers” thrill show, which he developed into the very popular and successful “Joie” Chitwood Thrill Show (1945 to 1998.) His act became so popular and polished that it led to the team being selected to perform on ABC “Wide World of Sports” in 1967.