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Taking a Glimpse on the History of Chevy Trucks

from: Forsgrens

Chevrolet now conquers the automobile market in the United States. For the first time in 19 years, Chevrolet had overtaken its American rival Ford in terms of automobile units sold in the North American market in 2005. From the Baby Grand and Classic Six car models of Chevrolet on the early 1910 to the Silverado and Suburban SUVs (sports utility vehicle) today, Chevrolet proved itself to be successful in car manufacturing industry.

Just like any other successful industries, Chevrolet has also its humble beginnings. Remember your grandfather’s Chevy C10 and the Grand Cayenne? These are the Chevy trucks that become popular during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s and eventually became the grandfather of the Silverado and Suburban SUVs that are produced today. Let us turn back the hands of time and learn the history of Chevy trucks that once conquered the country’s premier roads and highways.

Chevrolet was established by William Durant, the former head of the General Motors (GM) which eventually had Chevrolet as its largest division, and Louis Chevrolet in 1911. It started when Billy (Durant’s nickname) was forced out of GM in 1910 because the company’s financiers believe that he is incapable of running GM anymore. He established the Chevrolet Motor Company in November 1911 and used Louis Chevrolet’s automobile designs in order to rebuild his reputation and regain the control of GM.

After their Chevrolet cars sold well enough and are able to generate profits, Billy able to purchase 54.7 percent of GM stocks and eventually became its head once again in 1916. In 1918, the first Chevy trucks were released in the market, the same year Chevrolet became an integral part of the GM after Billy assumed the presidency of the enterprise.

The first Chevy truck was 490 Light Delivery chassis cowl. The chassis cowl included the chassis with engine, transmission, and the front sheet metal which holds the hood, front fenders, engine grilles, and headlights. The truck’s wooden cab and pick-up type body were bought from an aftermarket manufacturer. Its other parts such as instrument panel, foot pedals, steering wheels, and shift lever are the exact replica as of the cars. It has a payload capacity of 1,000 pounds and has a retail price of $595.

The other truck of Chevrolet produced on the same year is the Model T one-ton chassis cowl. It was the customized Model FA passenger car chassis, although it was modified to fit commercial purposes. Its overhead valve four-cylinder engine displaced 224 cubic inches and generated 21.7 net horsepower. It has a payload capacity of 2,000 pounds and has a retail price of $1,245.

In 1929, Chevrolet introduced the overhead valve six-cylinder engine, setting a new standard for the light truck industry. Chevrolet engineers based the new standard to the truck’s purpose which is to move the largest possible load in the shortest possible time at the lower possible cost. It eventually produced noticeable increase both in power and torque over the old four-cylinder and allowed Chevrolet trucks to move significant large loads than in the past.

Chevrolet’s International Light Delivery Chassis with Cowl used the new six-cylinder engine. It has a 107-inch wheelbase light delivery and was rated for a maximum payload of 1,000 pounds. It moves at a higher speed enabling salesmen and deliverymen to make more stops daily compared to the traditional four-cylinder engine.

Chevrolet’s Independence Series of 1931 marks the first year for a factory-manufactured Chevrolet pick-up and the 1.5-ton utility trucks were offered in two wheelbases—131 and 157 inches—either with single or dual rear wheels. The Confederate Series trucks of 1932 upgraded the basic automobile engine features. Torque were now rated 7 to 131 foot-pounds at 800 rpm. Other modifications which include the engine features and truck body were made.

Throughout the years, Chevrolet engineers have made series of modifications and enhancement of Chevy trucks, especially on the 1960-1970’s where the V8 engines are introduced. Chevrolet introduced the Corvair 95, C10, and other personalized pick-up trucks which eventually led to Chevy’s new edition of SUV trucks. Chevy trucks’ history is more than the enterprise’ treasure.


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