The Chevy Silverado is an iconic, extremely dependable and capable vehicle in today’s full-size truck market, but it has a long history rooted in the history of Chevy trucks going all the way back to 1918. The Silverado is just the latest incarnation of quality. For today’s Flashback Friday, we’re going to take a look at the history of the Chevrolet Silverado.
1988 – The Chevrolet C/K Revolution
The history of the Chevy Silverado begins slightly before the actual nameplate arrived. The C/K pickup models revolutionized the transition of pickup trucks. They changed from being strictly work vehicles to serving as the multipurpose family and work haulers that we know today. From higher-quality cabin materials to revolutionary advances in aerodynamic design, to new 4.3-litre V6 and 6.2-liter diesel V8 powertrain options, these new pickups were the beginning of the cutting edge technology that we expect in a modern truck.
Pictured: The 1988 Chevrolet C2500 Silverado Fleetside Extended Cab (right); The main blog image is the 1988 Chevrolet K1500 Silverado (left) and 1988 Chevrolet K1500 Sportside (right)
1999 Chevy Silverado Debut
For decades (1975 to 1999), “Silverado” was a trim level of other Chevy vehicles, like the C/K pickups, the Suburban, and the Tahoe. The first full-size truck to carry the Silverado name came in 1999. The Silverado arrived just in time to meet growing demand for trucks that could serve passenger and worksite needs.
Pictured Below: One of the first true Chevy Silverados from 1999
Silverado Technology Jump in 2004
Just a few years after the official Silverado debut, 2004 brought another groundbreaking idea to the full-size truck segment: the crew cab. These spacious models were able to accommodate larger families, and were often loaded with features like rear seat entertainment systems, XM radio, and advanced climate control.
Pictured Below: the 2004 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab Z71
As history has moved forward, so too the Chevy Silverado has advanced. Models in 2007 began focusing on fuel economy and refined construction. Features like cylinder deactivation, coil-over-shock front suspension, electronic stability control, and new airbag options began to make these truck even better.
Today we have options like the Chevy Silverado with an eAssist powertrain, and advanced towing technology, but we have not yet reached the end of truck perfection. Based on the steady advances of history, we know that the 2016 Chevy Silverado is great, but that future models will continue to get even better, thanks to Chevrolet’s devotion to quality every step of the way.
Pictured Below: 2007 Chevy Silverado (left); 1999 Chevy K1500 4×4 Silverado (center); 2016 Chevy Silverado (right)