Chevy produced its first truck just seven years after Louis Chevrolet started his company in 1911, and Chevy trucks have been going strong ever since
The 1918 490 ½ Ton Light Delivery truck was a “cowl chassis,” coming from the factory with only front sheet metal. As the ‘20s roared, commerce and construction took off, with Chevy trucks frequently providing the muscle – 187,103 cowl chassis trucks were sold by 1929, the year Chevrolet introduced its first pickup, powered by the legendary six-cylinder “Cast-Iron Wonder.”
Descendents of this rugged engine were joined in 1955 by the equally successful Chevy small-block V8, which made its truck debut in the new “Task Force” line. Atomic-age Chevy trucks included the elegantly trimmed Cameo – which helped bring pickups to the American suburbs – and the car-based El Camino. In 1957, four-wheel-drive was offered for the first time.
Chevrolet trucks continued evolving – changing with the times, and often helping to defining them. The sixties welcomed the C-10 Pickup and the Blazer; the latter designed for serious off-roading. The 1973 Suburban combined V8 power, four-doors, and 4X4 capability, essentially creating the sport utility vehicle as we know it. In 2011, the new Silverado HD was named Motor Trend’s “Truck of the Year,” the eighth Chevy truck to be so honored.
Chevy trucks also have a rich history outside the United States. For example Chevrolet has been building trucks in Brazil for 85 year, helping make that country Chevy’s second largest market. And Chevy has just announced a new global midsize Colorado pickup, which will also be built and sold in the U.S., and a new TrailBlazer midsize utility vehicle for global markets.
Chevrolet’s first 100 years have been an exciting time for Chevy trucks. We are all excited to see what the next century will bring.