The truck has humble beginnings - a few car chassis were fitted with hand-built beds to help carry materials around a booming car factory. Before long, there were millions of Chevy pickups helping carry to tools and supplies that built this country.
1918 - Chevy Four Ninety Half Ton
The Four-ninety may have been built for internal use in 1916, with some earlier models being converted to ambulances and sent to France. However, the first Four-Ninety built for a customer left the factory in Flint, Michigan on December 2nd, 1916.
Two four-cylinder models marked Chevy's formal entry into the truck market for the 1918 model year.
The truck was priced at $595.00. It provided an agile and economical light-delivery truck for small businesses popping up all across America post WWI.
1930 Chevrolet Pickup
Chevrolet bought the Martin-Parry body company in 1930 and quickly began selling steel-body half-ton pickups compete with a factory installed bed.
At the heart of this inline six-cylinder engine and quickly became known as the "Cast Iron Wonder" for it's ground breaking design. The truck was first produced in late 1928. By the mid 1930s, half ton pickups with factory-installed steel boxes had become the lifeblood of the truck market.
1937 Chevrolet Half-Ton Pickup
In the mid 1930, as the US Economy was beginning to recover from the Great Depression. By 1937 Chevrolet introduced new trucks with streamlined styling that many still consider the best design of the era. It featured a sturdier body and a larger and more powerful 78-horsepower engine.
The 1937 Chevy Half Ton was sent on a 10,245 mile drive around the US that was monitored by AAA. Carrying a 1,060 lb, the truck averaged 20.74 MPG.
1947 Chevrolet Advance-Design Half-Ton Pickups
In 1947, Chevy introduced it's Advance-Design trucks, the first completely redesigned GM vehicle to appear following WWII. Owners of earlier pick up models had asked for a more roomy, and more comfortable cab that offered better viability and a wider pickup box. They got everything they asked for and more.
GM set out to make the truck's styling clean, brisk and attractive. The head lamps were set wide apart, and continued with a new frontal appearance into early 1955. By 1950 Chevy became the first brand to sell more than 2 million vehicles in a single year.
1955 Chevrolet Task Force Pickup
The post WWII boom was in full force and customers were looking for style and performance, even out of their pickup trucks. By mid-1955, Chevy introduced the all-new Task Force truck, which shared designs with the 1955 Bel Air and offered the all new small-block Chevy V8 as an option.
1955 also saw the birth of the Cameo Carrier, a high-styled pickup more at home in a trendy suburb than on a farm. It was only produced until 1958 but it set the stage for generations of well-equipped personal use pickups including the El Camino, Avalanche and Silverado.
1957 Marked the first year the public saw a factory installed 4 wheel drive system become available.
1959 The Era of The El Camino
The original El Camino introduced for 1959 combined the dramatically finned styling of that period's Chevrolet cars and half-ton pickup utility. The excitement however was short lived. In 1960 the El Camino went on a three-year hiatus.
Chevy revived the El Camino concept for 1964, with a new version based on the Chevrolet Chevelle. During the "muscle car" era, buyers could order their truck with a Chevrolet high-performance big-block V-8.
There were two more stylings of the El Camino. One from 1968-1972 and the final styling from 1973-1977.
To see what these trucks paved the way for today give us a call at 330-SWEENEY or shoot us an email at 8010 Market Street. This is the first part of a two part series, so stay tuned for years 1961 to the Present!