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The Claremorons: Round Mound, Part One

In the fall of 1963, General Motors was riding high. The Chevrolet division alone was at that time larger than all of GM today. With virtually unlimited advertising dollars to spend, Chevrolet’s advertising agency, Campbell Ewald, had just the idea for announcing the brand new 1964 Chevys.

The Madison Avenue men found a promontory in Utah’s Monument Valley that literally rose straight up for many hundreds of feet. From the ground, it looked as if this thing came to a point, but actually there was a spot just big enough to position the new Chevy “above all the rest”.

claremore moundKeep in mind this was before computer graphics or even Photoshop. The only way to make this happen was to actually find a way to put that 5,000-pound Impala convertible up on top of this gosh awful rock. This was pre-Viet Nam and choppers were not generally available to handle this kind of weight.  Not to worry, the mad men decided to have a team of mechanics disassemble the car on the ground, haul it up in pieces, and send that same team up to reassemble it up on top. Winds up to 50 miles per hour were not helpful. All they needed was a beautiful blonde model in a flowing chiffon dress to make this “More of what you want than has ever been offered before”. Their regular blonde, Dinah Shore, elected not to participate in this endeavor.

Well, there were these two 15-year-old boys in Claremore who saw this ad and wondered aloud. “You know, we’ve got a big rock of our own up by Oologah Lake. “ A round mound 10 miles north of town had been helpfully named by the Indians “ Round Mound.”

“Wonder what our Jeep would look like on top of that Round Mound?”

“Wouldn’t that be cool!”

It just so happened that these boys had access to a 1956 Willys Jeep with wrecking poles (called Jen poles) on the back and a PTO-driven winch that actually used the Jeep’s engine for power.

The boys didn’t yet have driver’s licenses, but the town cop (Cleo Wilson) had known them since they were babies and could be counted on to leave them alone.

What could go wrong?

-Robby Melton

rob melton



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