Our 7 Favorite Classic Chevy Trucks
From the Suburban to the Blazer Chalet these are the best classic Chevy trucks
Published September 20, 2017
Classic Chevy trucks are some of the most sought after vehicles in the used car market. They are considered reliable, hardworking and in many cases, just flat out beautiful. Regardless of whether you are cruising around town in a Suburban or are lucky enough to own 1955 Chevy 3100, classic Chevy trucks are just plain cool.
Here is a quick list of our favorite classic Chevy trucks:
1935 to Present
The Suburban is one of the longest running of the classic Chevy trucks on the list and has been in production since 1935. In fact it is the longest continuous use of an automotive nameplate in history. Over the course of its history it has been one of the more profitable of General Motors vehicles.
It started as the Carryall Suburban in 1935 and is a two-door vehicle that has three-rows and a 60 hp engine. Since its introduction, the Suburban has been produced under the Chevrolet, Holden, GMC, and Plymouth nameplates.
The more modern Suburban comes with an V-8 under the hood and can easily seat nine people. It is available as a half-ton or three-quarter ton vehicle with rear wheel drive or four-wheel drive. It comes with plenty of convenience features as well a rear vision camera, fold flat second and row seats, tri-zone automatic climate controls as well as an 8-inch color touch screen.
The Suburban has now been through eleven generations and the current version is available in three trim levels and starts at $51,210.
Chevrolet El Camino
The El Camino had a brief run in 1959 and 1960 but production was stopped due to low sales. It has fired up again in 1964 and stayed in production until 1987. The El Camino was based on the Chevelle and quickly grew in popularity to almost cult like status in its heyday. It is still one of the more popular classic Chevy trucks.
While the base version was slightly tame, there was an optional 327 small block V8 that pushed out 300 hp in 1964. In 1965, a performance version hit the market and the horsepower went up to 350 hp.
The El Camino still enjoys a cult status among certain crowds and while a 1995 concept version was created, it never went into production so El Camino enthusiasts are still waiting to buy a newer version.
Chevy 454 SS
1990 to 1993
One of the fastest of the classic Chevy trucks is the 454 SS. This truck is loaded with power and a blast to drive. In 1990, Chevy introduced the 454 SS, which was a high performance version of the GMT 400. The 454 SS was only available in a two-wheel drive half-ton regular cab with a short box. Your color choices were limited to onyx Black with a garnet red interior.
The real magic resided under the hood, where a 454 cu in (7.4 L) V8 cranked out 230 hp and 385 lb/ft of torque. This was paired to a 3-speed automatic transmission Turbo Hydra-Matic 400.
Other features included special rims, a front air dam and fog lights. Red trim and a black grille gave it a special look.
Horsepower was bumped up another 25 hp for the next model year and in 1992 and 1993 new color options were added. This was a high-performance truck that was fun to drive, unfortunately it only lasted 3 years with 1993 being the last year of production. A total of 16,953 units were sold during its run.
It is now a bit of collector car so expect to pay a premium if you are in the market for a used one.
Chevy Blazer Chalet
The Chevy Blaze Chalet did not last long and while we have added it to this list of classic Chevy trucks, it may belong on a unique Chevy truck list instead. It was built for 10 months and only 1,780 units were produced.
It was basically just a K5 Blazer with a camper mounted in the truck bed. The Camper came with a dinette table, stainless steel sink and two or four bunk beds depending on how you outfitted it. A fridge and stove were optional accessories.
The price tag is probably what killed the Chalet. The base model started around $9,426 and accessories easily pushed it over $10,000. The Chalet was available with a 350ci or 400ci V-8 under the hood as well as full time four-wheel drive.
They can be hard to find these days so expect to pay a premium.
The C/Ks are still considered some of the best looking trucks that Chevy ever produced. The C referred to the two-wheel drive version while the K was the 4-wheel drive version. The first generation of the C/Ks ran through 1966.
The C/Ks were available as a half-ton version, which was known as the C10 and K10, a three-quarter ton (C20 and K20) and finally the one-ton model, the C30. These trucks are pretty well powered with a 135 horsepower V6, or a 150 hp V6. A 238 cubic inch V8 was also available which put out 180 hp.
The second generation was only around for 4 years (1967 to 1972) and was dubbed the “Action Line.” These models carried a coil springing trailing arm system, a 3-speed transmission and either a 250 straight 6 or a 283 cubic inch V8.
Napco Chevy Trucks
1942 to 1959
If you have never heard of Napco, you’re probably not alone. In the 40’s and 50’s however, Napco was pretty well know as a Minnesota company that specialized in four-wheel drive truck components.
During the 40’s these components were part of a do-it yourself kit that Chevy and GMC owners could purchase to upgrade their trucks to four-wheel drive. In 1956, both Chevy and GMC added the NAPCO kits as optional equipment on their truck lineup. This not only made the NAPCO kit cheaper, it meant that you no longer had to do the work yourself, your brand new truck would roll off the line as a 4×4.
The lift that the kit gave the standard trucks not only meant you could get through the snow and mud, the added height added a cool new look to this classic Chevy truck.
While the Chevrolet 3100 was around for years, it was the 1955-56 model years that we find to be the best looking of the bunch. The 3100 was redesigned for the 1955 model year and a wraparound windshield and eggcrate grill gave it a unique look that still holds up today.
Under the hood was a 265 cubic inch V-8 that put out 145 horsepower. The 3100 was a big seller, mainly due to is good looks and is still a favorite of Chevrolet truck enthusiasts.