Chevy & GMC Truck History

General Motors
1919 GMC Truck advertisement
General Motors was founded by William C. Durant on September 16, 1908, as a holding company for Buick. In 1909, GM purchased the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company, forming the basis of the General Motors Truck Company, from which the "GMC Truck" brand name was derived. In 1912, the marque "GMC Truck" first appeared on vehicles exhibited at the New York International Auto Show. Later "GMC" would become distinct as a division brand within the corporation, branding trucks and coaches; in contrast, the abbreviation for the overall corporation eventually ended up as "GM".
General Motors Corporation
GMC Truck
Chevrolet Bowtie Logo (contemporary)
On November 3, 1911, Swiss race car driver and automotive engineer Louis Chevrolet co-founded the Chevrolet Motor Car Company in Detroit with William C. Durant and investment partners William Little and Dr. Edwin R. Campbell and in 1912 R. S. McLaughlin GEO of General Motors in Canada. Chevrolet first used the "bowtie emblem" logo in 1914. It may have been designed from wallpaper Durant once saw in a French hotel. Others claim that the design was a stylized Swiss cross, in tribute to the homeland of Chevrolet's parents.
1911 Chevrolet Logo (rendition)
1914 Chevrolet Logo
1943 Chevrolet Logo
1947-1954 Chevy & GMC Trucks
The Advance Design series was first made available on June 28, 1947, and were sold with minor changes over the years until March 25, 1955, and called 3100 (1/2-ton), 3600 (3/4-ton), 3800 (1-ton), Thriftmaster, and Loadmaster.
1948 Chevy Thriftmaster
1954 Chevy 3100
1955-1959 Chevy & GMC Trucks
The Task Force series was available from late 1955 (second series) to 1959, and offered options such as 12-volt electrical systems, the first V8 (265 cubic inch), and fleet-side 6-foot, 7-foot, and 8-foot length beds. Called 3100, 3200, 3600, 31, 50, 100, Apache, Cameo, Viking and Spartan.
Chevy Apache
1955 GMC
1960-1999 Chevy & GMC Trucks
The C/K series was available from 1960 to 1999 in the United States, from 1965 to 1999 in Canada, from 1964 to 2001 in Brazil, and from 1975 to 1982 in Chile. The "C" indicated 2-wheel drive and "K" indicated 4-wheel drive.
1960-1966 Chevy & GMC Trucks
The First Generation C/K series introduced a new body style and many first time features. Most important of these were a drop-center ladder frame, allowing the cab to sit lower, and independent front suspension, giving it an almost car-like ride. The C/K trucks were available in "Fleetside" (smooth) or "Stepside" (fendered) versions, which GMC called "Wideside" and "Fenderside". A new designation system would assign a 10, 20, or 30 for 1/2, 3/4 and 1-ton models. The 10, 20, and 30 series (C or K) were badged as "Apache 10", etc. The C10 and K10 models were 1/2-ton short-bed trucks, the C15 and K15 models were 1/2-ton long-bed trucks, the C20 and K20 models were 3/4-ton trucks, and the C30 were 1-ton trucks. GMC did not use the "C" nomenclature, though their 4x4 versions had the "K" designation. Also known as GMC C/K and GMC Sierra.
1963 Chevy Stepside
1965 Chevy
1967-1972 Chevy & GMC Trucks
The Second Generation C/K series introduced a new, more modern look, and were nicknamed "Action Line". The majority of the 10 and 20 series Chevrolet trucks featured coil spring trailing arm rear suspension, greatly improving ride. Leaf spring rear suspension was still available on those trucks, and standard on 30 series trucks. GMC models come standard with leaf springs and optional coil springs. All four-wheel drive models (Chevrolet and GMC) had leaf springs on both axles.
1967 GMC CK
1972 GMC Sierra Custom Camper
Chevy CK Cheyenne
Chevy C10
1973-1987 Chevy & GMC Trucks
The Third Generation C/K series had an all-new redesign and were first available in 1972 for the 1973 model year. Also called the Chevrolet Scottsdale and Chevrolet Custom Deluxe. In 1981, they underwent a mid-life facelift in response to the recent 1979 energy crisis, with fuel saving techniques, resculpting the front end with a sleeker front bow-like look. The Third Generation C/K series trucks were officially known as the "Rounded-Line" generation, although some people referred to them as "square bodys". Two pickup boxes were available. The first type, called "Fleetside" by Chevrolet, and "Wideside" by GMC, were double-wall constructed full width, featuring secondary beltline to complement the cab and wraparound tail lamps, with steel and wood floors. The second type, called "Stepside" by Chevrolet, and "Fenderside" by GMC, were narrow width pickup boxes featuring steps and exposed fenders with standalone tail lamps, initially with only wood floors available. The Rounded-Line generation ran for 15 model years (1973-1987) with the exception of the Crew Cab, Blazer, Jimmy and Suburban versions, which continued until 1991.
GMC CK (pre-facelift)
CMC CK (facelifted)
1988-2000 Chevy & GMC Trucks
The Fourth Generation C/K series trucks were introduced in April 1987 as 1988 models, known as the GMT400 platform. There were eight versions of the C/K line for 1988, including: Fleetside Single Cab, Fleetside Extended Cab, Fleetside Crew Cab, and Stepside Single Cab, each in either 2-wheel drive (C) or 4-wheel drive (K). Three trim levels were available, including: Cheyenne, Scottsdale, and Silverado. All Fourth Generation C/K series trucks had independent front suspension.
1966 GMC Sierra
Chevy CK 3500
Chevy CK Standard Cab
Chevy K3500 Crew Cab Dually

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