Top Ten Trucks That Built Chevrolet

Chevrolet logo 1934
The Chevy brand’s official birth date is recorded as Nov. 3, 1911, which makes them 100 years old this month (of course, that’s assuming you didn’t reset the clock when the U.S. taxpayers had to give them a huge loan to stay afloat).  

Chris Perry, vice president of global marketing and strategy for Chevy, puts it this way: “From the beginning, Chevy has offered long-lasting trucks that help people make a living, enjoy life and get things done.” 

In honor of this momentous occasion, we thought we’d pull out some of the most significant trucks that built — and will likely continue to build — the Chevy brand. In chronological order, here they are. 

1. 1920 Chevrolet 490 Flat Face Cowl And Chassis  X56567-0001 2resized
10. 1918 Chevy 490 Cowl Chassis

These trucks came off the line and were sold with only front sheet metal. Buyers usually bought a wooden cab and cargo box or panel van body. Priced at $595, the light-duty vehicle was essentially a body-less Chevy 490 with stronger rear leaf springs. 

2. 1925 Chevrolet Panel Truck in Brazil-left 202106resized
9. 1925 Chevy half-ton panel van (Brazil)

While customers worldwide have always enjoyed Chevy trucks, Brazil is probably the home of the most passionate fans outside the U.S. The first trucks were built there in 1925, and more than 25,000 vehicles were sold in the first year of production. Brazil remains the second-largest market for Chevy trucks today. 

3. 1937 half-ton pickup_120439 2resized
8. 1937 Chevy half-ton (U.S.) 

After the Great Depression, there was a huge push for construction and work projects that motivated GM to completely redesign the pickup truck in 1934, stuffing the vehicle with all sorts of “modern” features and technology. Among the new models in 1935 was the Suburban Carryall, arguably the first SUV. For 1937, Chevy introduced streamline styling, heavier-duty frames and a larger, more powerful 78-horsepower engine. That same year, the American Automobile Association sent out a new Chevy pickup with a half-ton of payload over a 10,000-mile route across the U.S., averaging 20.74 mpg. 
4. 1948-Centennial-004 2resized
7. 1947 Chevy half-ton (U.S.) 

After World War II, Chevy introduced the “Advanced Design” trucks that were roomier, had better all-around visibility and offered a wider pickup box. By the 1950s, Chevy was the first brand to sell more than 2 million vehicles, in large part due to the popularity of the Advance Design pickups.  

5. 1955_Cameo pickup 66054resized

6. 1955 Chevy Cameo Pickup

Debuting with a modern exterior design, the 1955 Chevy pickups were the first of its segment to get the new overhead-valve small-block V-8. Trucks were becoming more civilized, as many of the fully optioned vehicles were being called “gentleman’s pickups” as more showed up in driveways than sat on farms. This was also the year Chevy became the first to offer a factory-installed four-wheel-drive system. Additionally, in 1958, a new slab-sided Fleetside box option provided an alternative to Chevy’s traditional step-side pickup box. 

6. 1959 Chevrolet  El Camino 192633resized
5. 1959 Chevy El Camino

Described by some as the first passenger-car pickup, the Chevy El Camino offered a classic-era big-fin rear styling look with practical half-ton pickup utility. As many will know, the El Camino was benched for three model years before it reappeared as a 1964 model, based off the newly released Chevelle platform. Many years later, the 1978 El Camino moved onto the Malibu platform. The last El Camino was built in 1987, but Chevy is always quick to note it still gets requests and suggestions from all over the world to bring the El Camino back.   

7. '67 C-10 with Custom trim 2resized
4. 1967 C-10 Pickup

The new-for-1967 Custom Sport Truck Package was a trend-setting option that included deluxe carlike upgrades inside and out. The package could even be ordered with bucket seats, unheard of for a pickup truck. The new exterior design had a lower-silhouette cab and much larger wheel openings, and the new chassis had coil springs front and rear. Later, the 1969 K-5 Blazer was a pioneering SUV built off a shortened half-ton pickup truck platform. 

8. 1973 Chevrolet Suburban C2258-0178 2resized
3. 1973 Suburban

We know this isn’t a pickup, but it could work and play just as hard any full-size truck on the road. Very popular with big families who lived in or traveled to remote territory, the 1973 Suburban was bigger, longer and stronger than any other station wagon sold in the U.S. That same year, Chevy became the first brand to produce and sell more than 1 million trucks in the U.S. in a single year. 

9. 1999 Chevrolet C1500 2WD Silverado LS 217994resized
2. 1999 Silverado 1500 

The 1999 pickup was the first to carry the Silverado nameplate and featured many construction technology changes for GM vehicles, not the least of which included a modular, multisection hydroformed frame. Significant changes in the HD Silverados in 2001 established new benchmarks in towing and hauling. As you may remember, many of the changes in both light- and heavy-duty models made the workhorse pickups very easy daily drivers as well. And many expect another evolutionary leap with the introduction of the next-gen light-duty Silverado in the next few years. 

1. 2013 Colorado

A huge departure for Chevy, the next-generation Colorado was designed and is already being built in Thailand, and it won’t begin assembly here in the U.S. (at the Wentzville, Mo., plant) for almost a year. For those who may not know, Thailand is the largest market in the world for midsize pickups, consistently selling almost a half-million models each year. This new vehicle will be very important to Chevy (and GM) as the segment has not shown much vitality here for several decades and has other big truck-makers standing on the sidelines waiting to see what happens when the new Colorado gets a full year of sales under its belt. Curiously, Chevy will reintroduce the TrailBlazer nameplate in global markets (built off the new Colorado platform), but no announcement has been made regarding production in the U.S. Likewise, no announcements have been made about production of the GMC Canyon, either. 


Look! Chevy news! Now what do you say bob?

Our family had 2 suburbans.
The first one was fantastic.
The first one only had the one rear passenger door. Ran great right up to the point where it oxidized out of existence.

Nice list, but forgetting the 1988 C/K is a mistake, this change was far more important to GM's history/sales than the 99 change was, I'd still rather have that body on a new Silverado than the current one which most people wouldn't say about a 88 Ford or Dodge, that was truly the change that started trucks heading different styling directions.

The " Chevy Trucks" in Brazil are not anything like what is sold in NA, being compact pickups.

chevy all day long fords suck

I like the 88 Chevy truck too but I have a particular fondness for the 1967-69 and 1970-72 Chevy and GMC trucks. They were classy looking trucks. I also like the 1999-2002 Silverado which my 99 S-10 looks like a smaller version of. The new Silverados from 2003 on I am not so much a fan of. I like that Brazilian S-10 a little more than I like the new Colorado, but I could live with the new Colorado. Thanks for the article and thanks Robert Ryan for the pictures of the Brazilian S-10.

@toycrusher The Subaru Outback is the world's first sport utility wagon.

@Rob Ryan try another pseudonym

Nice trip down memory lane.
I like the '55 Chevy and the El Camino. The '37 Chevy is cool too. I'd have to agree with Jeff, I'm not sure why the '88 Chevy is on the list. I do like the looks of that model better than the current Silverado.

I'm amazed that the Bob brigade hasn't jumped all over the first paragraph.
@Mark Williams - you are a brave man;)

my grandmother has a '55 Cameo just like the one pictured above rusting away under the cow barn....

@Ken Chevys are no match to the world's first sports utility wagon. Subaru Outback. In Australia Paul Hogan is a legend.

@Robert Ryan The 1986 Crocodile Dundee remains Australia's most successful movie ever. Will there be a 4th? We can only hope.


They are 2 years old, not 100.

They can not even honor warranty work from the old GM and I don't see why they should be celebrating 100 yrs.

Pathetic. GM loses!

This site is an advertisement for chevy, all I here is chevy, with chevy adds.AS a dodge fan bob I am offended, because I take irrelevant information and try to use it to my advantage, even though the results say otherwise. I'm a smart dumb butt that only likes to see it my way, and I don't care what the facts are because I say what the facts are.

(Bob pun intended)

Chevy all day right behind FORD. I have spoken.

Ford wins!!

Frank is a hottie. He drives a bad-ass Ford Truck.

I want him instead of this loser.

look at all the jealous ford fanbois post cry babies ford loses again!!!

No S10.. WTF.

Oh yeah.. here is my ZR2 pulling out a pathetic Ranger. Can we say hydrolock?

Chevy all day long Fords sucks!

First vehicle I owned was a 69 Chevy C/10 Custom. Was no good around a corner but drove (steering, stability) better then my dad's 77 Chevy half ton. But if was to own an old Chevy it would be a 62 with wraparound windshield kneeknocks and the rounded dash, it would need a Muncie 4 speed, like my friend's had.

Alex, you sound my loser ex. God I am sick of that fool.

100 years building the best cars and trucks available. Ford just dreams this.

Finally an article that is a breath of fresh air. I agree with the previous posts that mentioned absence of the 88-98 c/k truck. That particular truck is what started the modernization of the full size truck segment. The Ford boys will probably disagree with me on that, but they can pound salt for all I care.

GM wins and Frank loses again!

@ Robert Ryan,

Actually the 1949 Plymouth Suburban Wagon was the first sport utility vehicle (first liftgate style hatch and rear folding seat and first steel body sport utility ) 4 door or 2 door ( 2 doors are sportier) also a flat fold down rear sport, utility, cargo area 42" great for gear !!

Also the first wagon to have a steel body,better sport duty than a wood body as wagon were prior,and even the base model was one of the first to have a key ignition like a modern car,turn key start,alot of cars had a key then you had to push a button to start it..

I wouldnt say Subaru had the first sport utility,Woody wagons were surfer mobiles,so thats a sport and utility,but the Plymouth Suburban was the first Sport Utility as per folding seats,liftgate hatch thats Sporty and Utility !!! Maybe Subaru coined the phrase but definitely not the first !!! Subaru's are extrememly rare around here,have not seen one in months !!! Thank God for that !!!

@greg - you sound just like my man bobby. He gets turned on by my large adam's apple. I bet I can make your litle wimpy 5.3 work like it should.
Chevy rules. Ford drulls.

@DB - you are so manliy, your little 4x4 pulling out a 4x2 Ford. You make me hotter than Greg does. How about the 3 of us hook up. We can play park the car in the garage in the back of Bobbis Impala. Is it ok if he watchs.

I am getting a huge laugh at all of these wannabe Bobs that are really Ford girls in disguise. Thanks...I needed a good laugh for today. There is only one Bob. Any others are just a cheap imitation. I have spoken and the truth is what I speak.

@Bobby McMichigan - if that is the case why do you keep changing your name?

@Molson Muscle - The 1949 Plymouth Suburban Wagon is a cool looking wagon.
It is intesting how Chevy had the Suburban name as well. I wonder when they started to copywrite names and register trademarks?
I'm not sure where you live in Canada but I see Subaru's all over the place.
Ram world must be Japan free?


bEcAuSe I am smarter than every1 on this blog and I know when to name change. Chevy rules Ford drools because I said so and that is reason enough because I am the facts


@Molton Muscle. I know, all the Subaru comments are made by the Troll, who is a variation of Bob. He must think Outback must be Australian

chevys suck fords rule.

@02 T-bird- the GMT400 definitely ushered in a new era at GM. As a test-bed for those trucks, the S10 probably deserves honorable mention, too. I would, however, take an old W-body on a new chassis.
@Rob Ryan- The AMC Eagle was a sport utility wagon LONG before anyone thought of lifting a Legacy and calling it an Outback.

And here I thought the comments sections had restored a bit of integrity and intelligence, but looks like it's back to the old immature morons trolling away.

@MW, great article. I love reading about the history of trucks and seeing how the past and current manufacturers and customers have helped evolve the pickup.

@Mark Williams
You should put out the half-ton 6.5L Diesel GM (Chevrolet) 1500 series and K-Blazer...and that rounds out the top twelve!

C'mon GM...churn out the 4.5L Duramax already! That could smoke the EcoBoost...and I like the twin-turbo V6 in the F150! By that time Ford could throw in a 500 hp Ecoboost V6 that should also be in the Mustang LOL!

Hey, my rusty, beat-up 1999 Silverado is finally getting the distinguished recognition that it so richly deserves!


Another article about GM and Chevrolet and another ford girly man attack. the ford girly men cannot stand GM getting any credit for their outstanding innovations. Yes GM was first on many levels and was first to hit many sales records.

I can't speak for the other people who claim to be named bob, but I don't own a Impala, it was a company car and I only reported the fuel milage I was getting. I also want to make it clear I am the only bob to bring fords girly man step which is needed just to get into the ford girly man truck.

Time goes on and some things never change like all the ford girly men attacking any article about GM. You see, it's nothing but ford fans being jealous of GM. They feel insecure about themselves so they have to bash anything GM. I don't care if you like ford, dodge, toyota or nissan. I say buy what your heart desires. It's your money and you get to choose. I prefer GM of course.

GM and CHEVY is the brand more CHAMPIONS TRUST PERIOD END OF STORY! Chevy, we kick fords butt all the time. have a nice day ford girly men. good day.

I have to agree with Bob about the '88 being important. It's when GM gave up it's manliness. Pre-'88 GM trucks were tough manly trucks. After that they became feminine and soft. Until '99 as I do think that is the best looking Chevy of all. It went downhill again after that.

Ford took the same misstep in '97. From '97 -'03 they were sissy on the outside and just plain cheesy on the inside. Only exception would be the Harley Davidson models that managed to look good. Fortunately Ford found their manliness again in '04 and have held on to it since.

Ram has always been tough but it doesn't matter because no one cares enough to troll against them.

Wait Wait, one more... Toyota! All I can say is after designing cheap compact cars they liked the feel so much they decided to make the driving experience feel the same on all their vehicles. Nothing as dissapointing as climbing up into a truck and then finding yourself sitting on the floor like a tiny subcompact car.

(of course, that’s assuming you didn’t reset the clock when the U.S. taxpayers had to give them a huge loan to stay afloat).

Couldn't just talk about the the trucks. Couldn't leave the sniping for the blog posts. Thankyou Mark for continuing to prove me right about your biased web site.

have a cry zrpoo

I think I just did, Alex. Nice post. Productive as usual


Mark Williams is being honest. The truth hurts.

I sure do love the looks of all those quality products from GM, and I certainly cant wait to see the new body GM trucks, and especially interested in the powerplants. Sure hope GM makes history again with those! I'm checking everyday for any new info on the tightly guarded secrets of their new trucks...

Wow the number one truck is the Colorado. That is pettry sad that the best Chevy truck is the one with the Colorado's bad reputation. Remember the commercial with the 5 guys in the Colorado and the one in the middle is singing "I feel like a woman". LMAO!!! That must be what Chevy lovers feel like with their Silverado's and Colorado's

Must be the truth cuz i have spoken!!!!

@todd-In honor of this momentous occasion, we thought we’d pull out some of the most significant trucks that built — and will likely continue to build — the Chevy brand. In chronological order, here they are.

@Frank- I'm not happy about GM's state of affairs right now, and wouldn't buy a new GM product because basically, I don't like them beyond the GMT800s. But I do like older GM trucks and Mark could have stepped up and did a nice article on GM's truck history without his consistant bias towards them. A good writer knows how to write without bias.

The trolling is bad. It seems to me that the pot is calling the kettle black.
Most of the guys agreed to a truce, and there has been a considerable amount of trolling going on in some of the Ford and Ram threads.
What do you expect?


Nobody really cares about RAM (Dodge or whatever)... They always tend to over-hype people with their products only to be dated a year later... Typical cheap Chrysler quality.


I have the same sentiment. I hope GM bounces back. I just read that they short paid on their property cleanup.

Sucks, but oh well.

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