Americans Down Under – The Chevrolet Edition

Recently I was perusing the collection at and stumbled upon a few things that were too good to not share.

For a long time at CC, there has been the fascination with Australia being a parallel automotive universe to that of the United States.  Likely those in Australia feel similarly, seeing our stuff and saying how it looks close but not quite to what they are accustomed to seeing.  It’s all in one’s perspective.

So let’s take a look at a few Chevrolets.  There’s just enough to make a person smile from the differences.

The earliest year shown for Chevrolet is 1934 and even then the utes are in full blossom.  Note the variety of body styles and how one could get their ute with or without a steel roof.

Seeing the interior of this 1939 Chevrolet prompted a realization.  In the various brochures I’ve seen, sometimes the gear shift/selector is on the right side of the steering column and other times it is on the left.

Credit goes to the Aussies for being an ambidextrous people.

The 1958 Biscayne was identical to what was sold in North America although the sole drivetrain was a 235 cubic inch straight six with a three-speed manual.  The gear shift was on the left.

By 1960 the 283 cubic inch V8 was onboard as were amber lenses over half the tail lights.

Ditto for the 1961 Bel-Air.

While this had been the case since 1962 or 1963, notice this 1965 Bel-Air.  There are several fundamental differences to be found in this picture and it revolves around this basic question:  When did you last see a Bel-Air with three tail lights per side?  Also, for the 1965 Chevrolet, the reverse lights were the most inboard lights whereas in North America they were in the center of the three.  Similar could be found on the 1964 Australian Chevrolets.

The gear selector for the Powerglide had been on the right side of the steering column for a few years by 1965.

This 1966 Chevrolet ad touts the uncluttered rear of the new Chevrolet.  However, for North American calibrated eyes, those tacked-on amber turn signals make a mockery of the uncluttered claim.

They bring to mind the erupting nubbin of a sheep’s horn.

That improved mightily for 1967.

The beauty rings with the dog-dish hubcaps do make for a rather pleasing and surprisingly elegant looking combination.

The brochures then jump to 1977 and cease with 1979.  These last three years are for pickups.  Despite the Victoria plates on the red pickup, this ad is identical to what could have been seen in North America.  I suppose methods of touting the stamina of one’s pickup has no regional differences.

If you like this there is plenty more to offer.