A History of Innovation: 3 Important Chevrolet Trucks

Chevrolet introduced its first pickup trucks nearly 100 years ago in 1918, and America has been in love with them ever since. Whether you live in the mountains of Greeley, Colorado or in the coastal plains, used Chevrolet Silverado trucks are in high demand.

Known for being dependable, cheap to maintain, and relatively trouble-free, there’s more to the story of why we love these trucks: innovation. From the beginning, Chevrolet pickup trucks have led the industry with innovation. Here are three trucks from Chevrolet’s history that are notable for their technological innovations: the 1930 Chevrolet pickup truck, the 1954 Suburban, and the 1973 C/K pickups.

1930 Chevrolet Pickup — The 1930 Chevrolet pickup was the first to feature an inline-6 cylinder “Stovebolt” engine that was renowned for its reliability. The Stovebolt inline-6 represents the first generation of the inline-6 engine. It replaced the 171 Straight-4 and was available in 3.0, 3.2, and 3.4 L configurations throughout its life. The 1930 Chevrolet pickup came equipped with the 194 3.2L inline-6, a 50 horsepower engine.


The Chevrolet inline-6 had an incredible 70-year run in North America through 1990 when it was phased out. A modern version of the inline-6 reappeared in 2002 in the Chevrolet Trailblazer, renamed the General Motors Atlas.

The Chevrolet Suburban — Dating back to 1936, the Chevrolet Suburban is the original SUV, and one of the longest continually-produced models in automotive history. The Suburban was beloved back then for many of the same reasons it remains popular today: the Chevrolet Suburban has plenty of room for the whole family with cargo space to spare and a strong, well-built drivetrain.


The 1954 Suburban was notable for its optional 4-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission. This transmission had been around since 1940. It was the first mass produced automatic transmission developed for passenger cars and trucks.

1973 Chevrolet C/K Pickups — Chevrolet’s C/K pickups were among the first that had components designed with the use of computer simulations. Computer aided design was also used to create illustrations.

As you can see, there is a long tradition of innovation in Chevrolet trucks. This same commitment to innovation continues in today’s trucks, such as the whether a brand new Colorado or a pre-owned Silverado. For example, Chevrolet continues to rely on computer simulations to improve the quality of their vehicles.

Last year, Wired.com reported that Chevrolet is using simulated crash tests to study the safety of their cars and trucks. More than 7 million elements of a single vehicle are accounted for in these simulations — including every bone of the human body. New simulations can be run overnight, resulting in new information and fewer actual cars sacrificed for crash testing.

To check out a modern Silverado, Colorado, or other truck, be sure to check out your local Chevrolet dealer today!