Chevy’s Top Ten Trucks
Although Chevrolet is marking its 100th anniversary, it didn’t start building trucks until January 1918. But in the spirit of the anniversary, Chevy had ID’d 10 trucks from its history that it thinks are notable, listed in terms of chronology.
1. 1918 490 half-ton Light Delivery cowl chassis. This was the first truck. Well, sort of a truck. It was basically a Chevrolet 490 car without a body. The buyer would get his own cab and box. There was a one-ton capacity vehicle, too. It had a 37-hp engine. It was called a “Model T.” Apparently that wasn’t a nod to Ford. Just a reference to “truck.”
2. 1925 half-ton panel van, Brazil. The next-generation Chevy Colorado was designed and engineered by GM do Brasil. There is a long history of trucks in that country. It is interesting to note that when this panel van became available in Brazil, 25,000 were sold in just over a year. Brazil is currently Chevy’s #2 market—second only to the U.S.
3. 1937 half-ton pickup. In the post-Depression decade Chevy rolled out with a new half-ton pickup in 1934, which was followed in ’35 by the Suburban Carryall. This was an early SUV. But in ’37 it provided a streamlined lineup and a 78-hp mill under the hood.
4. 1947 Advance-Design half-ton pickup. This post-World War II vehicle featured a new design, a design that was revisited by both the Chevy SSR (2003-’06) and the HHR.
5. 1955 Cameo pickup. Described as a “gentleman’s pickup.” Included a small block V8 under the hood. Part of the line of Task-Force trucks. (What tasks would a gentleman perform?)
6. 1959 El Camino. Why this vehicle hasn’t been revisited is a mystery to us. It was a car with a half-ton pickup utility. (No, the SSR isn’t what this was.) The finned vehicle went out of production for three years after 1960, then came back in 1964, based on a Chevelle. There were ’68-’72 and ’73 to ’77 versions, then another in ’78 that ran until ’87.
7. Truck” package. This put a car-like interior into the pickup.
8. 1973 Suburban with Super Cheyenne package. The ’73 Suburban had a look that Chevy essentially kept in place through 1991. The nine-passenger vehicle was part of a C/K truck lineup that allowed Chevrolet to be the first brand to manufacture and sell more than one-million trucks in a single year (’73).
9. 1999 Silverado 1500 extended-cab pickup. 1999 was the first year that Chevy full-size pickups got the “Silverado” moniker. There was a manufacturing innovation used for these trucks: a frame using hydroformed rails. The second-generation Silverado appeared at the end of 2006.
10. 2013 Colorado pickup. This truck, mentioned above in point 2, was launched. . .in Thailand. It will be sold throughout the world, including the U.S. at some unspecified time.
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