When I was a kid there was no such thing as computers or Photoshop. When you saw a car do fantastic things in the movies it was real. When you went to the race track and saw stock cars race; they were “stock” cars you saw on the track. One of the biggest thrills was when the Joie Chitwood Thrill Show came to the local County Fair each year. As an impressionable elementary school aged kid I was hooked on their driving skills.
Their cars and their stunts were mind boggling to us back then. We talked about it all year until they returned the next year. Today’s out outrageous computer generated stunts defy realism and physics. They are so far over the top they do not even thrill me anymore. at times they are just plain stupid. Back then, in front of your own eyes, just feet from where you were sitting, these thrill drivers and their new cars were doing what appeared impossible.
You think this is easy, when was the last time you drove a 1956 Chevy, Ford or anything else of that vintage and felt safe making a quick emergency maneuver? We are spoiled by today’s sophisticated suspensions and computer controlled anti-lock brakes and high performance radial tires and special tuned shocks.
I even remember the year the Chitwood fleet included a Corvette! That was the best. It never did the two wheel ride or jumped any ramps but it was just cool to see a Corvette perform in front of your very own eyes. Back then, in rural Iowa, even seeing a Corvette in person was a huge deal for a gearhead kid.
We had a video for you to watch of an old Joes Chitwood show but YouTube didn’t like us sharing it with you.