Editor’s Note: This film starts with 2 minutes of skiing and ice skating footage, stick with it and it’ll all make sense in the end.
Riding the Film is a 1937 Chevrolet instructional film that does an excellent job of showing how motor oil is used throughout your engine for lubrication.
There are a series of animations as well as slow motion footage of actual running engines showing you the various paths of the oil and the ways it’s used to lubricate the crankshaft, cams, connecting rods, bearings, pistons, rocker arms, and other moving parts.
The complexity of the oil lubrication system within an engine often surprises people, even an engine like the one in this film which is a relatively simple overhead valve inline-6 from the mid-1930s.
The importance of having a strong, functioning oil pump and oil in good condition are possibly better understood after seeing this 10 minute film, to be honest I went out to the garage and checked my oil levels immediately.
Chevrolet and many other American automakers used to turn out a number of these informational films each year, it’s a shame they stopped doing it as for non-mechanically minded folks a film like this is more valuable than a library full of books on the subject.
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.