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Iconic Truck Designs

By on January 1, 2018
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100 Years of Chevrolet Trucks

One hundred years ago, Chevrolet introduced the 1918 One-Ton, setting the stage for a century of iconic trucks. To commemorate this milestone, the brand has shared a nostalgic look at 10 of the most iconic designs in Chevy truck history.

While Chevrolet truck design has changed radically over the past 100 years and the design baton has been passed to many visionaries, they’ve all been influenced by one guiding principle: form has followed function as trucks evolved to meet customers’ changing needs.

“Today, the Chevrolet truck design studio is focused on creating personality and customization options that appeal to a wide breadth of customers,” said Rich Scheer, Director of Exterior Design for Chevy Trucks. “Looking back on the past century of truck design, I realized that Chevrolet designers have been focused on the same goals since the very beginning.”

Representing 10 decades, following are Scheer’s most iconic Chevy trucks, along with his design perspective for each.

1918 One-Ton

The first Chevrolet production truck was inspired by vehicles used in plants to move parts and pieces from place to place. In the simplest terms, this is an example of form follows function. It was a rolling chassis featuring an open cab, an inline four-cylinder engine and an open frame, enabling customers to install bodies that fit their needs.

1929 International Series AC Light Delivery

This 1929 model was the first to feature a closed cab, which created the potential for interior design. As with all designs, once the functional elements were defined, more comfort- and style-focused features started to become important to truck buyers.

1938 Half-Ton

This was the first truck designed in the newly formed Art and Colour department, which later became known as the Design Center, so named by Harley Earl, GM’s first design chief, and his team. This year also saw car and truck designs deviate, as Design realized the need for trucks to have their own identities.

1947 3100 Series

This is one of the most iconic designs in automotive history. If you mention a vintage Chevy truck, most people will picture this model in their minds. Because it was such a departure, advertisers coined the phrase “Advance Design,” based on being bigger, stronger and sleeker than ever before. The five-bar horizontal grille is a departure from vertical grilles of the past and was the very beginning of what became a Chevrolet truck-design signature.

1955 3124 Series Cameo Carrier

Known as the Task Force truck, the Cameo Carrier is Chevy’s first Fleetside design. The bed surface is flush with the cab and fender, making a complete, elegant shape from front to back. It was also Chevrolet’s first bumper-to-bumper styled truck, as styling didn’t stop at the back of the cab.

1967 C10 Fleetside

This beautifully designed, sleek truck had a hint of wheel flares. A line flows away from the top of the bed line in beautiful balance with the front of the vehicle. The body side has a strong shoulder that tapers toward the rear. The Chevrolet bar on the front fascia connects the headlamp center with the bowtie—a design element that is still consistent today.

1973 C30 One-Ton Dually

This third-generation C/K square-body truck was the first crew cab dually on the market, and many consider it to be the first modern Heavy Duty Truck. The design reflects a dramatic increase in capability for customers who used their trucks for both work and recreation.

1988 C/K1500

The C/K1500 was the first truck design influenced by aerodynamics. This generation looked very advanced for its time. That is especially true for the new interior design, with a low instrument panel, pod-like setup, even buttons that looked futuristic. This truck still looks modern and sophisticated 30 years later.

1999 Silverado 1500 LT Z71

This was the first generation that used the Silverado nameplate. Many of the modern design elements that customers associate with current Chevy truck design were introduced with this model, especially the iconic Chevrolet front end.

2007 Silverado 1500

The 2007 Silverado is simple, modern and powerful, featuring exaggerated wheel flares and a clean body side. It’s another evolution for Chevrolet trucks with distinctive front and rear ends. This truck brought back the “tough truck” look and feel, even though it was still heavily influenced by aerodynamics.

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