Standing the test of time

BY Willy Williamson. Jan 05 04:00 am

The all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado — introduced at an event last month in Dallas, Texas — will be officially unveiled later this month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

According to Chevrolet this debut occurs exactly 100 years after its first trucks were delivered to customers. Since 1918, more than 85 million Chevrolet trucks have been built.

Many of those trucks have stood the test of time and remain among the most coveted vintage trucks in the collector market.

I’ll be there in Detroit for the debut of the new Silverado, and as a lifelong Chevrolet truck fan I’m more than a little excited to be among the flock of auto journalists to see it up close for the first time.

Details are scarce on the new 2019 Silverado, and although the tough-looking Trailboss model was driven out onto the stage at the event in Dallas, it wasn’t there long and those in attendance weren’t given much of an opportunity to fully inspect it.

But Chevrolet is promising improved capability and performance, big factors in today’s competitive truck market. Obvious style cues gleaned from the released photos include an aggressive grille with wraparound headlights, and for the first time since 1972 the return of rounded wheel wells.

According to the most recent press release, higher-grade alloy is used in the roll-formed, high-strength-steel bed floor, contributing to a bed designed to be more functional and lighter weight.

This use of mixed materials and advanced manufacturing occurs throughout the new Silverado, resulting in improved performance and a significant reduction in total vehicle weight. Although Chevrolet hasn’t come right out and said it, it’s a good bet the term “mixed materials” means aluminum will be used in some, if not all of the body panels.

The next-gen Silverado will also offer an expanded range of models, with more engine and transmission combinations and more technology and convenience features to help customers find their ideal truck.

The new Silverado LT Trailboss — the only model to date we’ve seen photos of — is one of eight 2019 Silverado models poised for production. It integrates the off-road equipment of the Z71 package as well as a two-inch suspension lift.

We hope you enjoy the historic truck photos Chevrolet recently released — feel free to hang this page on your garage wall until you can park a new Silverado on your garage floor!

1918-1939 “Early Trucks”: Inspired by factory workers who modified vehicles to haul heavy supplies around the plants, Chevy created the first purpose-built truck, the One-Ton.
1947-1955 “Advance Design”: Trucks are billed as bigger, stronger and sleeker than ever before. The 3100 Series instantly became a classic with its five-bar horizontal grille and rounded profile.
1955-1959 “Task Force”: In 1955, the iconic Cameo Carrier was introduced with its industry-first fleetside styling and the legendary Chevy small block V-8, debuting for the first time in a regular pickup.
1960-1966 “First Generation C/K”: The first generation of Chevy C/K trucks becomes the go-to pickup for work and recreational activities. In 1965, nearly half of all Chevy trucks sold since 1918 are still on the road.
1967-1972 “Second Generation C/K”: New features were introduced, including padded dashboards, energy-absorbing steering wheels and dual master-cylinder brake systems. The 1967 C/K provides a wide choice of six-cylinder plus small and big block V-8 engines. (Chevrolet)
1973-1987 “Third Generation C/K”: Chevy introduces “square body” styling with its third-generation C/K trucks, a design that creates better aerodynamics and improved efficiency. In 1973, the C30 One-Ton Dually debuts and is considered to be the first modern heavy-duty pickup truck. (Chevrolet)
1988-1998 “Fourth Generation C/K (GMT 400)”: The first Chevy truck built on the new GMT400 platform, these C/K trucks feature all-independent front suspensions and a major evolution in cab comfort. Insta-Trac 4WD is introduced, allowing drivers to shift in and out of 4WD without leaving the cab. (Chevrolet)
1999-2006 “First Generation Silverado (GMT 800)”: The new line of Chevy full-size pickups are renamed “Silverado,” and feature an aerodynamic design, a hydroformed frame and a new line of Vortec V-8 engines. (Chevrolet)
2014-2018 “Third Generation Silverado (GMT K2RC): The Silverado 1500 offers powerful and efficient engines and features an exclusive CornerStep rear bumper. With the available Duramax Diesel, the Silverado HD is the most powerful Silverado pickup ever.

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