What was happening in 1951? Among other things, the Korean War, Mickey Mantle's first game for the New York Yankees, average home prices of $9,000, gasoline prices of 19 cents a gallon and the AC Ace and Ford Country Squire greeted the world. It was also the year for this public service announcement, Borrowed Power, a production of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and Pennsylvania State College.

The tale centers around young Jerry, a model pedestrian and bike rider growing up and the epitome of good sportsmanship and manners at school and around town. When he gets in a car, though, and "borrows" all that power that is not his own, he turns into a fiend and a miscreant who believes that if you want something on the road you just have to take it, since everyone else is doing it.

Then he hits a pedestrian at a stop sign and things turn dark, especially since this was back when blocking a crosswalk was a driving offense that police would bring up as a measure of poor driving acumen. What follows is the tale of Jerry having to answer to the law for his actions. As far as courtroom drama goes it's not exactly Twelve Angry Men, but as a time capsule, it's fascinating. You can watch it below.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      JeremyW
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great quote from the film: "The power of an automobile must be controlled not merely by physical reflexes, but also by good judgement. Neither one without the other is useless." As true today as it was back then.
      kingrat001
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow, I saw that movie a little over 40 years ago. I remembered the ending for some reason, and them passing the drunk driver, but the rest was gone, until now. My favorite old driver's ed type movie was one where the "star" drove a late 60's Chrysler of some kind, and he had a major case of road rage. He was using an electric shaver while driving like a complete ahole. He really melts down when he comes out from a bar or restaurant and finds his car is blocked in. He gets truly pissed and smashes his way out, yelling and screaming. He proceeds to drive incredibly stupid, and finally kills himself when he loses it and hits a tree or maybe a bridge support. As he's dying, covered with blood, the narrator talks about not driving while angry or distracted. At the end, he gets covered with the sheet, and some girl in class suddenly said, "OH GOD!!" and then wretched. I cracked up laughing, and the teacher said, "Do you think this movie was FUNNY??". I did, actually, but I said, "No, it was her wretching over the fake blood!".. He bought it.
        Leather Bear
        • 1 Year Ago
        @kingrat001
        About the only thing I looked forward to in having to go to Traffic School was the instructor running my favorite Disney cartoon, "Motor Mania." (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZAZ_xu0DCg). This is the one where Goofy portrays a modern Jeckyll and Hyde character, mild-mannered Mr. Walker (who turns into snarling, road rage-infected Mr. Wheeler once in the driver's seat). Alas, at my last stint in Traffic School (California), the instructor said they weren't allowed to play it any longer.
        loopy
        • 1 Year Ago
        @kingrat001
        Yeah you can subscribe to the mentioned auto site on U-tube and watch these old videos, just saw the one you are talking of, actually. Some of them are wonderful old commercials or PSA's for major car makers. It's what our generation was brought up on. But the crazy thing is back then we didn't think anything of not wearing seatbelts whilst engaging in road rage! It still blows my mind it took as long as it did for people to! No one wants to be a dead Johnny or have Peggy Sue's face all over the dashboard!
      budwsr25
      • 1 Year Ago
      These type of movies need to make a comback!
      mdcwave
      • 1 Year Ago
      That Nancy wasn't the brightest tool in the shed...
        Cayman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mdcwave
        She looks like a member of MENSA next to Dick.
      Mitch Spence
      • 1 Year Ago
      omg autoblog u read my mind by switching to youtube #THANKSFORNOADS
      Greenman Wood
      • 1 Year Ago
      Overall, things were better back then. A society where kids might actually change their thinking after seeing a film like this is better than the one we live in today. Despite the corny production, the message of safety and sportsmanlike behavior on the road is a good one. But show this to just about any kid today, and all they'll get out of is a good laugh. There's something wrong about that.
      Charles Robichaud
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nancy says "well you tell them about it Dick." I just lost it!!! hahahaha lmao! Jerry was on pot, and the judge was 1 of his main buyers. so got the charges switched to the drunk. and the pedestrian clearly walked out into street while texting
      atc98092
      • 1 Year Ago
      If gas was 19 cents a gallon then, it sure hadn't risen much when I was in high school. I was pumping gas in 1971 for around 25 cents a gallon. Of course, as a percentage, that's a 33% increase. Still, we're talking 20 years. Wow...
      stickshiftn69
      • 1 Year Ago
      I guess common sense about LOOKING BOTH WAYS before you cross a street was as ignored then as it is now ... how about using some fckin common sense before you cross a street and look both ways...
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