Chevy Celebrates 100 Years of Building Pickups

Special edition models embrace heritage

Oct. 12, 2017 By Howard Elmer

If you're from Texas you might already know that 1 in 5 new trucks are sold in your state. In a good year that's as many as 400,000 pickups being bought in the Lone Star State; so is it any wonder that the annual State Fair of Texas, in Dallas, has become ground zero for new truck releases by all the manufacturers. Each year at the end of September the builders compete with new truck reveals - or at least dropping special editions - each brand trying to trump the other. Well, this year Chevy has it hands down.

For Chevrolet's 100th anniversary of trucks there really was never any question as to where the kickoff would take place - as it did in late September at what is the best attended truck show in the country. Close to two million people will walk through the dedicated truck zone at the state fair; over at the Chevy display what they'll see this year is truly unique. In fact the state fair debut starts a 100-day clock of Chevy truck events that will culminate in another Texas event just before Christmas that looks to bring hordes of classic Chevy truck owners together for a once in a hundred year celebration.

But, back to the fair. Under the sheets at the media roll-out were two special edition pickups. A Silverado and a Colorado painted in a distinctive Centennial Blue paint and sporting exclusive heritage bowtie emblems next to 100-year badges on the doors. This unique bowtie takes its inspiration from Chevy badges of the past using colors from the early years of truck production and a highlighting font that came out of the Chevy design archives. It most closely resembles bowties found on the trucks of the 1930's. Each of these very special trucks will also feature a laundry list of one-time features.

2018 Silverado Special Edition Features: LTZ Z71 trim Crew Cab, front and rear heritage bowtie emblems, 100 year door badge, spray-in bedliner with heritage bowtie emblem, accessory floor liners with heritage bowtie emblems, Centennial Blue exterior paint, 22" painted wheels with chrome inserts, 22" all-terrain tires, chrome tow hooks, chrome bowtie on steering wheel

2018 Chevy Colorado Special Edition Features: Z71 rim; Crew Cab and Extended Cab, front and rear heritage bowtie emblems, 100 year door badge, spray-in bedliner with heritage bowtie emblem, accessory floor liners with heritage bowtie emblems, Centennial Blue exterior paint, body-color rear bumper and front grille surround, LT optional 18 wheels with monochromatic cap, chrome tow hooks, belt molding, mirror caps and door handles

The 1918 Chevrolet One-Ton truck was the first production pickup (if you can call it that) that came out of a Chevy factory. In fact it was inspired by shop trucks that workers had cobbled together to move parts around inside the plant. Using the already established Model 490, they fashioned homemade flatbeds onto the rear frames. No doubt the debut of the first Ford truck just a few months prior added a spark to this introduction. This first One-Ton was powered by a four-cylinder, 36-horsepower engine. Its top speed was 25 mph. A century later Chevy has built more than 85 million trucks. 

What was also shown in Texas was a customized 1967 C-10, a vehicle the Chevy design team built as a tribute to the brand. It's beautifully done, going heavy on tradition and light on the mod - it too sports the special Centennial blue paint.

After its stint in Texas the C-10 will move on to the SEMA show in Las Vegas at the end of October. If you are already a "truck guy" you know that this particular generation of pickup is highly collectable; in fact Haggerty, the classic vehicle insurance company says these late 60's early 70's C-10's have doubled in value in just the last five years. However, it is curious that what was designed to be a purpose-built work vehicle has (50 years later) become a cultural icon and a vehicle that tugs at the heart strings of all those folks who work with and love trucks.

All the more reason why Chevy has started the Legends Program. Looking to connect with its most loyal customers Chevy is reaching out, across the country, to owners of any year Chevy truck with more than 100,000 miles on the odometer, or anyone who has purchased or leased more than one new Chevy truck in their lifetime.

After being launched as a Texas-only pilot in September 2016 the company has now decided to go national using the 100th anniversary as the kickoff. By signing up on the Chevy Truck Legends website members will get periodic offers from Truck Legends. These experiences could range from front-row seats at concerts, to attending sold-out Major League Baseball events, to getting a sneak peek at new Chevrolet models.

As for right now - in addition to the special edition Silverado and Colorado, Chevrolet is also getting ready to offer merchandise featuring the heritage bowtie emblem. But, we are not just talking about ball caps and T-shirts. For true enthusiasts, a special Centennial Edition bass boat will be offered by Phoenix Boats and a Centennial Edition enclosed trailer will be available.

All merchandise is available at ChevyGearUSA.com.


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