Chevron Cars: Everything You Need to Know

Chevron Cars are a line of lively, clay-animated cars designed to boost Chevron’s fuel sales. Today, they’re worth more than triple their original sales price.
Written by Samuel Todd
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
In 1995, the Chevron Cars were born: a group of vibrant, grinning, clay-animated cars designed by the energy corporation Chevron to boost gasoline sales.
As their popularity grew, the Chevron Cars jumped from TV commercials into gas stations, where they were sold as collectible toy cars. Although they were built to be loved by kids, adults adored them just as much, and millions of Chevron Cars were sold within years of their debut.
Chevron Cars aren’t being produced anymore, but they’ve still got an undeniable nostalgia. Whether you’re a big fan of Sam Sedan or the fast and flashy Tony Turbo,
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What are the Chevron Cars?

The Chevron Cars burst onto the scene almost three decades ago as part of a campaign to introduce the world to Techron, a fuel additive designed to clean and protect engines.
“Most people don’t think that much about gasoline,” says Charlie McQuilkin, VP of the advertising company that created the Chevron Cars. “But who does? Well, your car does.”
Just like that, the Chevron Cars sprung to life. Their wild popularity on the screen inspired Chevron to turn them into collectible toy cars—and, in the first year of production, Chevron sold over half a million cars, blowing the doors off of sales estimates.
Over the next fifteen years, Chevron sold
more than 16 million cars
. At one point, Chevron Co-Vice Chairman James Sullivan quipped that Chevron, an oil company, sold more cars in the U.S. than Ford.
Though the Chevron Cars were discontinued in 2011, they’re still very much alive in homes around the country. Next, we’ll take a look at what Chevron Cars are worth today—and, if you’ve been itching to get your hands on the collectible cars, we’ll break down where you can buy them.

Are Chevron Cars worth a lot today?

Though you won’t see Chevron Cars selling for tens of thousands of dollars like Beanie Babies, there are still collections of the toy cars selling for over $500 today. Individual Chevron Cars often sell for $20 or more, which might not seem like much—but it’s still more than triple their original sales price.
Chevron Cars aren’t worth an exorbitant sum these days, but they still have plenty of sentimental value to the folks who grew up watching the cars (and their playful puppy counterparts!) on television. 

Where can I buy Chevron Cars?

Whether you’re hoping to get a pristine set of Chevron Cars or you have one or two favorites in mind, you’ll be able to find them online on sites like:
  • eBay
  • Amazon
  • Etsy
  • Mercari
With a little digging, you should be able to find the perfect collectible car for you.
Key Takeaway Individual Chevron Cars sell for $20 or more on sites like eBay and Amazon, but full collections of the cars can sell for over $500.
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What are the most memorable Chevron Cars?

It’s impossible to pick just one of these wonderful cars as the most memorable—so we’ve put together a list of the top five!

#1: Sam Sedan

For the number one spot, we’ve got to go with the number one car—Sam Sedan was the first-ever Chevron Car to grace the screen in May of 1996. His laid-back demeanor and hilarious suspicion of the birds perched above him struck a chord with audiences across the nation. 

#2: Tony and Tina Turbo

Just three weeks after Sam Sedan’s debut, the sleek and smooth-talking Tony Turbo took his turn as an unforgettable sports car who’s “designed for high-octane gas.” Coupled with Tina Turbo, a flashy yellow sedan that arrived two years after Tony, this pair of Chevron Cars made an impressive impact.

#3: Nando

Who can’t relate to Nando? All he wants to do is be a singer—but he can’t carry a tune to save his life. Instead, Nando serves as a chauffeur for the local mariachis, and consoles himself by saying “at least I get Chevron Supreme with Techron.”

#4: Bailey Bouncer and Brandon Bumper

Here’s another dynamic duo of Chevron Cars that turned heads: Bailey and Brandon are both from Little Falls,
—and they were the first young cars produced by Chevron. As you might expect from their catchy names, Bailey likes to bounce everywhere, and Brandon likes to…well, bump!

#5: Hope

Though she wasn’t introduced until 2001, Hope might be the most memorable Chevron Car of all. She was designed to promote breast cancer awareness—and, as part of the campaign, Chevron raised over $300,000 for the cause.

How many different Chevron Cars are there?

It’s a bit tricky to pinpoint an official tally, but Chevron states that they have released more than 60 unique Chevron Cars. According to some sources, though, the count could be as high as 82!
This number includes the special editions of Victor E. Van, which were built for various universities around the nation (like BYU, Texas A&M, and Arizona State). At one Arizona State football game, 10,000 free vans were given to supporters of the Sun Devils.

Are Chevron Cars coming back?

Chevron Cars were discontinued in 2011 due to decreasing demand—but there’s still a chance they’ll come back in the future. In fact, according to Chevron’s
updated website on the cars
, it looks like they’ll be promoting Chevron with Techron for years to come—so keep an eye out for the newest Chevron Car commercials!
For now, it doesn’t seem like Chevron Cars will be produced again any time soon, so it’s a good idea to check online listings for the best prices on collectible cars.
Key Takeaway Though Chevron toy cars aren’t coming back (at least not yet!), Chevron has stated that they will continue to represent the brand for many years to come.

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The concept for the Chevron Cars came from the advertising firm
Young and Rubicam
. The distinct, claymation style for the car commercials, though, was built by
Aardman Animations
, the Academy Award-winning studio behind Wallace & Grommet and Chicken Run.
Chevron Car commercials were shot with the painstakingly precise stop-motion technique—so it could take up to 30 days to shoot a 30-second advertisement.
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