100 YEARS OF CHEVY TRUCKS

An Amer­i­can legacy that’s built to last

Street Trucks - - CONTENTS - TEXT BY MIKE SELF AND CHRIS HAMIL­TON PHOTOS BY STAFF

CEN­TEN­NIAL CEL­E­BRA­TIONS DON’T COME AROUND VERY OF­TEN. The abil­ity to hit a mark so pres­ti­gious gar­ners noth­ing but ad­mi­ra­tion and re­spect from loyal con­sumers, next-gen en­thu­si­asts and even in­dus­try com­peti­tors alike.

Quite a few com­pa­nies are cel­e­brat­ing 100 years of hard work in 2018, in­clud­ing John Deer’s en­trance into the trac­tor busi­ness and the birth of elec­tron­ics gi­ant Panasonic. Now one of Amer­ica’s most iconic truck man­u­fac­tur­ers is also in­cluded in those cen­tury-long stats as 2018 of­fi­cially marks 100 years of Chevy trucks in pro­duc­tion. We are hon­ored to salute the com­pany’s ac­com­plish­ments the best way we know how.

This long-run­ning sta­ple of the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try has con­tin­u­ally im­proved its en­gi­neer­ing, test­ing and de­vel­op­ment over the years to en­sure a con­stantly evolv­ing prod­uct in the lineage of con­sumer-based Chevy trucks. Whether you are a blue-col­lar base-model buyer or a top-of-the-line diesel diehard, you have the same bowtie-in­fused blood that has kept this amaz­ing com­pany mov­ing for­ward over the many years. Even if the fa­mous blue oval is your truck of choice, you’ve got to show some love for the brand that makes its com­pe­ti­tion stronger year af­ter year. Iron sharp­ens iron, and one can’t grow with­out the other, but we know how pas­sion­ate you guys are about your four-let­tered fa­vorite, so you can con­tinue to hide your Chevy sen­ti­ments when you’re around all the other Ford fa­nat­ics.

Start­ing on or around 1918 with a fo­cus on free­dom, Amer­i­can com­pa­nies in all in­dus­tries and lo­ca­tions around the coun­try pushed the bound­aries of hu­man in­no­va­tion be­yond lim­its once thought pos­si­ble. Com­bus­tion en­gines were on the rise and there was a de­mand for gas-pow­ered peo­ple push­ers like never be­fore.

By that time, Chevro­let had al­ready been on the fore­front of in­no­va­tion and es­tab­lished as a prom­i­nent Amer­i­can auto man­u­fac­turer, but af­ter dif­fer­ences with co-founder Wil­liam C. Du­rant over de­sign, Louis Chevro­let sold Du­rant his share in the com­pany. Even­tu­ally Du­rant be­came pres­i­dent of Gen­eral Mo­tors, and Chevro­let was merged into GM as a sep­a­rate divi­sion. In 1918, Chevro­let’s fac­to­ries were lo­cated at Flint, Michi­gan, and the truck line was in full-scale pro­duc­tion and the first of­fi­cial Chevro­let pickup is born.

The truck was meant to be an af­ford­able and flex­i­ble plat­form for cus­tomers to build on, and could be pur­chased as ei­ther a cowl and chas­sis or an ex­press body. With a sug­gested re­tail price of $1,325 this 36-hp, four-cylin­der pickup was af­ford­able for the av­er­age house­hold in­come. Fol­low along as we high­light the best of the best along Chevy’s amaz­ing time­line.

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