Chevy Trucks: 100 Years

Chances are, 100 years ago, when Chevrolet rolled out with its first pickup—the 1918 One-Ton—the designers, engineers and executives back then had absolutely no idea that come 2017 pickup trucks would be the vehicle of choice even for people who have absolutely no sense of using the vehicle for anything that could be described as “work.” Recreational gardening perhaps, or moving kids to college, but hauling dirt, debris, etc.—naw.

Chances are, 100 years ago, when Chevrolet rolled out with its first pickup—the 1918 One-Ton—the designers, engineers and executives back then had absolutely no idea that come 2017 pickup trucks would be the vehicle of choice even for people who have absolutely no sense of using the vehicle for anything that could be described as “work.”

Recreational gardening perhaps, or moving kids to college, but hauling dirt, debris, etc.—naw.

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Speaking to the issue of 100 years of Chevy truck design, Rich Scheer, director of Exterior design for Chevy Trucks, said, “Today, the Chevrolet truck design studio is focused on purposeful design that creates personality and customization for a wide breadth of truck customers.

“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.”

Scheer picked some of his favorite Chevy Truck designs over the years.

1918 One-Ton. Here’s an interesting this to know: the truck design was inspired used by material-handling equipment in factories.

1918 One-Ton – The first Chevy truck, inspired by factory workers who modified vehicles to run parts through the factory.

1947 3100 Series. Scheer: “This is one of the most iconic designs in automotive history. If you mention a vintage Chevy truck, I think almost everyone will picture this model in their mind. It was such a departure, advertisers coined the phrase ‘Advance Design,’ because it was bigger, stronger and sleeker than ever before.”

1947 3100 Series – One of the all-time iconic Chevy Truck designs, the five-bar horizontal grill is a departure from vertical grilles of the past. This truck has become one of the classics for Hot Rodder’s.

1955 3124 Series Cameo Carrier. This is the first Chevy Fleetside design. The bed surface is flush with the cab and fender, creating one overall shape. According to Scheer, this is the first Chevy truck where styling paid attention to the entire vehicle. They didn’t just focus on the cab.

1955 3124 Series Cameo Carrier – Chevy’s first fleetside design. The bed surface is flush with the cab and fender, making for one complete, elegant shape from front to back.

1999 Silverado 1500 LT Z71. This is the first Chevy truck to be named “Silverado.” Scheer said that this is where many of the design elements that carry on to today started, such as the Chevy front end.

1999 Silverado 1500 LT Z71 – An evolution of the “aerodynamic influenced” design with muscular shapes added.