The Ten Craziest Stunts Pulled By Automakers

Illustration for article titled The Ten Craziest Stunts Pulled By Automakers

The modern automotive consumer is a pretty jaded individual. Rebates are old news. New gadgets are available everywhere. Flashy colors and wheels are so passé. When all else fails, your daring automaker goes for insane stunts, and Jalopnik readers have picked the wildest they've tried.


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Photo Credit: GM

Illustration for article titled The Ten Craziest Stunts Pulled By Automakers

10.) Fiat of Sweden Punks Volkswagen of Sweden on Google Streetview

Suggested By: notasteakburner


Why it's crazy: One of the most annoying things about Google Streetview is that you never know when they're going to shoot a given area. That's how they get pictures of teenagers making out in the grass and people breaking into homes. But if you can figure out their timing, you can pull off some clever stunts. Like Fiat parking a 500 directly in front of Volkswagen's Swedish headquarters. Clever, indeed.


Photo Credit: Google

9.) Honda's Musical Road

Suggested By: burglar can't heartclick anything


Why it's crazy: Some people find the sound of tires going over the cracks in a highway a pleasing melody for a long journey. Others find rumble strips incredibly amusing, for entirely immature reasons. Honda took the sounds our cars make going over rough roads and made them into a song, namely the William Tell Overture. You can still go drive over the road ( though the musical stretch was moved) today.

Illustration for article titled The Ten Craziest Stunts Pulled By Automakers

8.) 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee Introduction

Suggested By: shpuker


Why it's crazy: Automakers going all out to introduce a new model isn't out of the ordinary. They strap them to walls, hang them from the ceiling, and have people dancing and singing about them on TV. Jeep took it to another level with the introduction of the all new Grand Cherokee in 1993, and didn't have to resort to cheesy theatrics. They just got the Mayor of Detroit to ride shotgun, drove up the steps of Cobo Hall, and smashed through a window into the Detroit Auto Show. Entrances don't get much cooler than that.

Photo Credit: Scott Vacek via Automotive Traveler

7.) Isuzu Gemini Dance Routine

Suggested By:DarkGemini88


Why it's crazy: While cheesy dancers have been employed many times to advertise cars, rarely do we see the cars themselves dancing. Isuzu employed their Gemini sedans and hatchbacks in a mesmerizing routine that features Gemini's leaping over Gemini's, Gemini's spinning with Gemini's, and Gemini's nearly crashing into other Gemini's.

6.) Toyota Tundra Shows Off Its Towing Prowess

Suggested By: HammerheadFistpunch


Why it's crazy: This advertisement for the then-new Toyota Tundra plays a dual trick of both advertising the truck (that's some impressive acceleration and stopping) and being visually stunning, as the Tundra is driving across a giant balance in the middle of the desert. And it's all real (if not slightly misleading).

5.) Tanner Foust Jumps a Real Life Hot Wheels Ramp

Suggested By: westford86


Why it's crazy: Amongst the many talents of Hot Wheels cars is their ability to loop around pet cats and jump over carpeted ravines on their signature orange tracks. However, these feats are made possible by the fact that they're not real cars. Tanner Foust proves this not entirely true, as he pulls off a huge leap on a life-size Hot Wheels track in a life-size car. It almost didn't happen. A stunt like this no doubt created a whole bunch of new Hot Wheels car buyers.

4.) The Saab 9000 "Long Run"

Suggested By: Highball!


Why it's crazy: Plenty of car companies tout their vehicles' longevity and reliability. Far fewer are willing to take a few randomly selected production sedans and run them around Talladega for 20 days straight, stopping for nothing but fluids, fuel, and tires. In the end, these Saabs completed over 100,000 km at an average speed of 132 miles per hour. Just another reason why the world is worse off without Saab and their crazy ideas.

3.) The Original Audi Quattro Ski Jump

Suggested By: ImRightYoureNot


Why it's crazy: Audi set out to recreate this iconic advertisement in 2005 with an A6, however, it was pulled up the ski jump by ropes. 19 years earlier they had done exactly the opposite of what the title implies, only that time allowing their legendary all-wheel drive system to pull the 100 up the snowy slope under its own steam. There's hardly a better way to prove you're serious about all-weather traction.

2.) GMC Jimmy Goes Bungee Jumping

Suggested By: xxstich666xx


Why it's crazy: According to GMC, the Jimmy doesn't get ripped to shreds because of their truck building know-how. Whatever the reason, anything that heavy jumping from that high a bridge and surviving unscathed is quite impressive.

1.) Chevrolet Sonic Flip AND Song AND Skydive AND Bungee Jump

Suggested By: magman007 and alsoSprachAISO


Why it's crazy: The GMC Jimmy bungee jumping was impressive. The Honda Musical Road was pleasing. Tanner Foust's jump was incredible. To introduce the new Sonic, Chevy had it play a song, bungee jump into a pool, and flip itself over a giant skateboard, topping everyone else on the list. Then they took it skydiving. Enough said.



The Sonic's stunt ads were some of the best Chevy or GM ads I can remember...and they seem to have worked: the Sonic is second only to the Versa in subcompact sales.

I also liked the ATS ads that - for once - showed the car being driven on fantastic roads other than the dang Nurburgring.