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Overland Whippet Motor Car: Advertisement (c.1926)


This is a part-animated, part-live action cinema advertisement for the Overland Whippet – a high-speed light motor car that combines American comfort and style with European economy.

Curator’s notes

This advertisement uses drawn and cut-out animation and accompanying captions to illustrate the desirability of the Overland Whippet. The first half of the advertisement emphasises the car’s features – its power, fast acceleration, compact design and roomy interior. In the second half, experts answer viewers’ questions about the car’s ability to solve traffic problems and improve on existing vehicles.

The Overland was an American motor vehicle company acquired by John Willys early in the 20th century. In 1926 – the year this advertisement was produced – Overland released its Whippet brand of smaller cars and continued to produce them until the early 1930s. In 1926, motor vehicle usage was increasing in Australia, but vehicles were imported from overseas markets (mostly the UK and the US). Roads were not as developed as they are now and a stylish and lightweight, but powerful, car would have had great appeal. It wasn’t until the 1940s that Australia mass produced its own motor vehicle – the Holden. Towards the end of the ad, a map illustrates how the Whippet can drive from Brisbane to Melbourne on one gallon of oil, making it attractive to local audiences.

There are no credits on this film, so the identity of the advertisement’s animator and producer is unknown. The 35mm nitrate release print of Overland Whippet Motor Car was deposited with the National Film and Sound Archive by a film collector.