Retrospective

See every Chevrolet Suburban generation: America's original SUV turns 85

America's original SUV is turns 85 years old this year.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

America's original sport utility vehicle is 85. The Chevrolet Suburban has had a run that has lasted since the year Jane Goodall, Giorgio Armani, Hank Aaron, and Don Cherry were born. And it's not done yet.

As Chevrolet readies to unveil the next generation of the Suburban, let's take a look back at the SUV through the years.

First Generation (1935-40): 1935 Chevrolet Suburban

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The Suburban Carryall was introduced in 1934 and featured a half-ton chassis. The vehicle's signature two-door body style was produced through 1967. The Suburban got its power through Chevrolet's Stovebolt inline six-cylinder engine that produced 60 horsepower. The model got an upgrade for the 1937 sales year including a new Art Deco-inspired exterior design and a power increase to 79 horsepower.

Second Generation (1941-46): 1943 Chevrolet Suburban

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Most automaker production for civilians halted during World War II. Many trucks, including the Chevy Suburban were produced for military use.

Third Generation (1947-55): 1948 Chevrolet Suburban

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Following World War II, Chevrolet redesigned its truck line and the Suburban was refashioned as a workhorse. Its inline six-cylinder engine got a significant power upgrade, with the ability to now produce 174 pound-feet of torque.

Fourth Generation (1955-59): 1956 Chevrolet Suburban

1956 Chevrolet Suburban

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

For the model's fourth generation, Chevrolet gave the Suburban aggressive new styling. In the 1955 model year, the company added fresh technology and a wraparound windshield. Running boards were eliminated. This Suburban was powered by a V8, the company's legendary Small Block power plant. Four-wheel drive was offered for the first time in 1955.

Fifth Generation (1960-66): 1965 Chevrolet Suburban

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The fifth generation Chevrolet Suburban brought about the C/K designation to denote models with two-wheel drive (C) and four-wheel drive (K). In 1963, a ladder-type frame replaced the X-member frame. Chevrolet introduced air conditioning and rear-area heating to the Suburban for the fist time in 1965.

Sixth Generation (1967-72): 1967 Chevrolet Suburban

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The redesign of Chevy's trucks line brought about the evolution of the Suburban to move from a two-door model to a three-door SUV. There is now a single door on the driver's side and two doors on the passenger side. Ambulance companies found this configuration advantageous and purchased the Suburban in droves.

Seventh Generation (1973-91): 1974 Chevrolet Suburban

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This generation Suburban is the first ever to get a complete redesign. Up until this point, the generations just slowly evolved. Now the model was offered in a four-door body style and its wheelbase grew to 129.5 inches to support more family members and cargo. Buyers were able to enjoy more amenities than ever and by the late 1980s electronically controlled fuel injection and a four-speed overdrive transmission helped with the Suburban's fuel efficiency.

Eighth Generation (1992-99): 1992 Chevrolet Suburban

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This Suburban is a true evolution of the model incorporating the sleekest styling of the model since the 30s. It had flush glass, composite headlights, four-wheel antilock brakes, "shift-on-the-fly" four-wheel drive, and a supple suspension. In 1998, OnStar became available and for the first time all-wheel drive became an option.

Ninth Generation (2000-2006): 2001 Chevrolet Suburban

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The 10th-generation Suburban was launched in 1999 as a 2000 model. It got more modern styling, a fresh interior, and new powertrain options including 5.3-liter and 6.0-liter V8s. For the first time, four-wheel disc brakes, a load-leveling suspension system, and StabiliTrak electronic stability control were offered.

Tenth Generation (2007-2014): 2007 Chevrolet Suburban

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Eleventh Generation (2015- Present): 2015 Chevrolet Suburban

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The modern Chevrolet Suburban is the most plush, capable, and connected ever. It's also more efficient thanks to its available EcoTec3 5.3-liter V8 engine. Standard features include a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.


The 2020 Chevrolet Suburban is on sale now.

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The engine bay is decorated with images of the American flag.

Photo courtesy of Karl Kustoms

A new customized 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 pays tribute to members of the U.S. military. Karl Kustoms, a Chevrolet Performance retailer and custom shop, recently completed the build in partnership with Bad Boy Vettes. Nearly every panel of the Corvette has been modified to honor a military branch. Even the underside of the hood and engine bay have been artistically sprayed.

"It is a privilege to take on a custom project like this and use our skills to honor our nation's military," Clint Quesinberry, Digital Marketing Specialist. "This Memorial Day, we are proud to recognize those who served."

Karl Kustons US military 2016 Chevrolet Corvette The model started its life as a 2016 Chevy Corvette.Photo courtesy of Karl Kustoms

Unique features include detailed lettering of the words "Honor, Duty, Country", three words given an important place in military history after they were uttered by General Douglas MacArthur in 1962 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point as part of his farewell address. There's also imagery of a U.S. Army helicopter firing at a Russian helicopter, a serviceman with a German Shepard, the U.S.S. Iowa battleship, and Arlington Cemetery stones with Medal of Honor recipients from each major conflict.

Karl Kustons US military 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Military imagery features throughout the body work.Photo courtesy of Karl Kustoms

The car was created as a full-time show car and is currently on display at the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It will remain there through the end of 2021 before traveling throughout the country at a variety of car events throughout 2022.

The customized Corvette is also a contender for the 2021 International Show Car Association (ISCA) Car of the Year.

Karl Kustons US military 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Imagery is featured on the body and under the hood.Photo courtesy of Karl Kustoms

"We did what we could to take this thing over the top," said Ed Birmingham, Karl Kustoms Painter. "I sat there for hours doing the detail work. I spent more time than I would normally spend on a hood, but it all paid off."

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The 2022 Chevrolet Silverado HD goes on sale this summer.

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The 2022 Chevrolet Silverado HD isn't new, and neither is the Multi-Flex Tailgate. However, the combination of the two is fresh for the 2022 model year.

The Multi-Flex Tailgate will be offered as an option on all 2022 Silverado HD models, in addition to the segment-exclusive Power Up/Down Tailgate option on LT, LTZ and High Country.

General Motors, the parent company of Chevrolet, first offered the tailgate as the branded MultiPro Tailgate for GMC pickups. Then it was renamed for the Chevy trucks lineup and finally it makes its way to heavy-duty Chevy models.

2022 Chevrolet Silverado HD The 2022 Chevrolet Silverado HD will be available with the Multi-Flex Tailgate.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The Chevrolet version of the tailgate really isn't much different than the GMC version. The biggest difference is that it wears bow tie badging.

It's functionality includes:

  • Primary gate — opens from the key fob, from inside the truck or via a button on the gate.
  • Primary gate load stop — helps prevent items from sliding out of the box.
  • Easy access — the inner gate folds down, allowing a deeper reach into the box.
  • Full-width step — the inner gate folds into a large step for easy access and holds up to 375 pounds.
  • Inner gate load stop — helps prevent second-tier items from sliding out of the box.
  • Inner gate with work surface — when opened, provides a work surface as well as second-tier loading.

2022 models also will be offered in a new exterior color, Greenstone Metallic, when the truck arrives on dealership lots later this summer. Pricing has yet to be announced.

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