Chevrolet Pickup Truck Chief Engineers Compare Notes

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Ever wonder what it would be like to be a member of one of the most exclusive pickup truck clubs in the world? Eric Stanczak and Paul Hitch both know, seeing as they are (in Stanczak's case) or have been (in Hitch's case) chief engineers for Chevrolet's full-size pickup trucks.

Not long ago, Hitch's son contacted GM to let the company know his father had celebrated his 101st birthday March 2. GM's public relations team thought the milestone birthday was just cause for sending current Chevy truck chief engineer Stanczak to visit Hitch in Savannah, Ga., to see what Hitch thought about the current-generation Chevrolet Silverado. Stanczak also brought a copy of Larry Edsall's 100 Years of Chevy Trucks

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We're told Hitch had quite a few questions for his younger counterpart and during the meeting Stanczak FaceTimed with current GM CEO Mary Barra so she could say hello to Hitch.

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Hitch grew up in Indiana during a time when many auto companies had their headquarters in Indianapolis. He started working for GM in 1935 and became chief engineer for Chevrolet trucks in 1965. One of his first projects in his new position was the full-size Chevy Blazer SUV designed to go head-to-head with the successful Ford Bronco. The Blazer was introduced in 1969; Hitch recalled that GM's marketing people predicted Chevrolet would sell 300 Blazers in the first year, but of course Chevy sold 5,000, then 15,000 the next year. Hitch retired in 1977 and has been keeping an eye on the model lineup ever since. To check 

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Comments

Man I love those late 70's to early 80's Chevy trucks!!! Almost as much as the 88-98 trucks. They just keep running and running!!

Blazer in '69, Camaro in '67....always behind Ford with Innovations. This guy is probably jonny dildoes grandpa...hhahahahahahahah

I'm dead!!! ahahahahhaha

Blazer in '69, Camaro in '67....always behind Ford with Innovations. This guy is probably jonny dildoes grandpa...hhahahahahahahah

I'm dead!!! ahahahahhaha

Only women drive Fords or guys that want to be women! Chevy Runs Deep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

@Frank,

Ford & GM were always behind Mopar...

Barracuda came out before the Mustang !!

Mustang was a Falcon,came out after the Barracuda and the Mustang couldnt handle drove badly and hit in the back the gas tank leaked and sprayed the interior/people in the car..Look it up,deadlier than the Pinto !

Dodge had 4x4 trucks in 1930's...Dodge started the 4 door Crew Cabs in 1960 ! Dodge in house factory 4x4 GM,Ford didnt offer them,you had to customize it yourself..

And Dodge started the Extra Cab in 1972 (Club Cab)..

Dodge also had the 1st extended fullsize vans in 1971 and 1st real minivans in 1984 Dodge/Chrysler/Plymouth !

Chrysler started performance in 1951 with the Hemi over 80 hp more than Fords V-8,in the 1930's-1950 Plymouth 6 cyl out ran the Ford V8 !

Chrysler 300 was the 1st Muscle /performance car in 1955 with 300 hp,and 140 plus mph,then 340 and 360 hp in 1956 and 155 plus mph ! 375-410 hp a options the following years !! And a 1957 Chrysler 300 would run 170 mph and do 12 second 1/4 mile times with the tires of the day,that had zero traction..And times were not as quick as they could have been,even top speed could be better with modern radial tires ! Those top speed and performance tests were done not on a paved drag strip but back then they raced on the Beach,in sand,packed down,so traction was an issue !! And slowed them down !

Ford/Gm were always behind Mopar...Mopar had electronic ignition 1st and fuel injection in the 50's..Albeit early efi was trouble prone even the ones by GM..

Chrysler was messing with Airbags before GM but back in the 60's it wasnt a priority,the inflators were too powerful..GM used them in the early 70's but were ultra deadly !

Chrysler 1st 3 speed automatic that out performed a manual GM had 2 speed Ford sluggish trans..Chrysler 1st 5 speed auto,8 speed,9 speed..True GM and Ford worked together to build a 10 speed but just to up Chrylser on the 8 speed TorqueFlite ! Ford GM used the same 6 speed automatic in cars,suvs,vans in 2003-on and people think Ford and GM are different,they use multiple same parts !

Ford used Chrysler engineers to build the Aluminum F 150 as the 1990's Plymouth Prowler was all Aluminum even the frame !! Ford used Dodge Engines in their 1st cars back in the day !!

Ford,GM,Toyota use a Chrysler Hemi in Top Fuel,Top Alcohol Drag Racing !

Maybe Chevy copied a few Ford models,but Ford also copied Chevy and more so other GM models,50's Thunderbird was to compete with the Corvette ! Chrysler upped them with a real car the Chrysler 300,quicker,mor epowerful,bigger,better driving,better handling and a real car not a 2 seater that if you were a real man like me at over 6 feet tall you cant fit in the female friendly Thunderbird or Corvette of the 50's that only fit people of 5'6-5'8 ant taller you had no room ! Dont think so,sit in one..I sold a few of those turds and they were so slow and bad driving they feel like a old Chuck Wagon and the 50's Chrysler feels like a modern car !

Chevy Runs Deep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Posted by: johnny doe | Apr 10, 2018 5:02:00 PM

In your mouth.

It must be a slow news day for Chevy.

Great story.....two great engineers ......50+ years apart.

wish they had more video , sure it was an interesting chat.....

Blazer in '69, Camaro in '67....always behind Ford with Innovations. This guy is probably jonny dildoes grandpa...hhahahahahahahah
I'm dead!!! ahahahahhaha

Posted by: Frank | Apr 10, 2018 4:45:40 PM

Real classy there Frank. What a douche you are and an embarrassment to the Ford name and your fellow Ford fans. PUTC should have booted your azz out of here a long time ago.

I am not a GM fan, however very nice story.
Quite a bit disappointing how a good story here degenerated into a lot of nonsense and braggadocios about other brands.
Truly most disappointing and disturbing is Mr. Doe with his incredibly sexist and ignorant comments.

Hit the send button a little too soon Mr. Frank really did not add much this discussion either

@ FXDX,LITTLEDICK WHAT DO CARE EVERYBODY CAN POST WHAT EVER THEY WANT ITS CALLED FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION.

Looks like Frank's out of rehab again

Did they both discuss how poor fuel/def tank placement seems to run in the blood? Fuel tanks outside the frame rails with filler ports on both sides (for dual tanks) of the truck (how STUPID) in the good old days and now hanging LOW with fill port under the hood for the DEF.

Thank you Mr. Hitch! I still drive daily an '89 K5 Blazer! It is my third one and remains my all time favorite vehicle! Thank you for a great vehicle!
PUTC, can we have more stories like these and less Tanoak?

"Ford & GM were always behind Mopar...
Barracuda came out before the Mustang !!"
Posted by: Mr.Information

Mr. Information:
Technically the Barracuda wasn't a separate model from the Plymouth Valiant until 1967. Although based on the Falcon, Ford Mustang was a separate model and the first "true" pony car.

I won't respond to the rest of your semi-interesting lowdown.

I was just messing around, but i'll refrain. If it wasn't for the Blazer, Ford would've never built the Bronco, wait whaaa.....

:D


Blazer in '69, Camaro in '67....always behind Ford with Innovations. This guy is probably jonny dildoes grandpa...hhahahahahahahah

I'm dead!!! ahahahahhaha

Posted by: Frank | Apr 10, 2018 4:45:41 PM

Spoken like the typical chest pounding Ford fan boy. The only thing that runs good is their mouth and not their truck!!

Not a chevy guy but goddamn do those new trucks look good in that blue.

Did they both discuss how poor fuel/def tank placement seems to run in the blood? Fuel tanks outside the frame rails with filler ports on both sides (for dual tanks) of the truck (how STUPID) in the good old days and now hanging LOW with fill port under the hood for the DEF.
Posted by: Clint | Apr 11, 2018 6:14:41 AM

As opposed to how just a few years before that, FORD WAS PUTTING THE FUEL TANK INSIDE THE CAB, BEHIND THE SEAT? Ford also offered auxiliary fuel tanks mounted outside the frame with filler necks that were accessible in the rear wheel wells just ahead of the tire.

And what good did it do for Ford to move the fuel tank to the inside of the frame in the late 70's? By 1980, Ford's frames looked like swiss cheese with all the holes they drilled in them to lighten them up for better fuel economy. Back then, I saw more than a few of those early 80's Ford trucks with sagged out truck frames thanks to that brilliant idea. They folded in half in a side-impact crash. I doubt those tanks were any better protected.

That's a nice story. Glad he could come full circle.

I'm glad GM has turned the corner but gotta wonder how his GM retirement monies tolerated the GM bankruptcy. Ouch!

not much of a chev fan either but great story !

mr information, every company has lots of firsts, its easy to list what each has done, doesn't mean one is better or worse, the one thing Chrysler did excel at is making unreliable vehicles and have held that title from start to current models in this guys eyes. I have to give kudos to their slant 6 and the hemi engines, actually a lot of there engines are pretty good.

Paul Hitch was designed and engineer did not offer cab extend until 1988. Like Dodge did offer club cab in 1973 and Ford super cab in 1974 did offer cab to customers. Why GM did not offer cab extend or GM staff not approved for cab extend?

@McInformation--IH was the first with a crew cab pickup in 1957. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Harvester_Travelette.

@Frank--You ever heard of the IH Scout (1961). Before the Scout it was Jeep. Bronco was not the first.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Harvester_Scout

At the very least get your history straight.

Also the first auto produced on an assembly line was Oldsmobile and then Nash. Henry Ford was not the first but took the assembly line and improved upon it.

@Mr.Information-
I picked up more girls in my early Mustangs and Corvettes than you could stuff in ten of your Chrysler 300s and your Dodge minivans.
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