The Task Master Chevrolet styling brought truck styling to a new level, and the competition was quick to follow its lead. Rode like a Cadillac and was a solid vehicle. It was a just a honest, solid old truck. Much better fit and finish all around. Without a doubt they had the most car-like styling of any truck to date. They were tough trucks but far from impervious to rust. It is very reliable and enjoyable.
How did pickup trucks go from being no frills work-a-day vehicles to what they have become today? I believe Workhorse Chassis still uses it on some stripped chassis to this day. In my eyes, the 1966 was the best looking of this generation. I actually wonder if this book was more by him than the stated author. Others, like the Isuzu D-Max and the Ford Ranger: a very rare sight on our roads. After that, certain crew cab, chassis cab, and stripped chassis continued to use the design for many more years.
While the 1958-64 Chevrolets may have never been lauded for their handling, there is no doubt when it came to smooth, soft ride, they were the leaders of the low-priced pack. Few changes were made to the 1971 Chevy trucks. You could only lock the latch from the inside. An old-fashioned ladder frame, solid front axle and stiff riding leaf springs front and rear. Bob Bourke was the on-site director of the studio.
Something to be said for suspension travel. It could move most anything with the granny gear manual box, but stopping it was another story. Chevrolet did an excellent job of updating the styling throughout this generation, which of course was critically important to selling beyond the traditional truck market. I agree with Paul on the torsion bar suspension not being problematic on pickups. Chevrolet also introduced a high-priced Cameo Carrier, with flush box sides for the first time on a pickup, in 1955. I think I got 25 bucks for it. Parts for the torsion bar trucks are hard to find and more expensive.
You could at least keep the C-10 in one lane. Optional engines were the 292 inch and 327 inch V8 The 283 inch V8 was replaced on the 1968 Chevy trucks with the 307 cubic inch with 310 horsepower and the 396 cubic inch V8. Under the hood on Chevy models, you would find the 135 horsepower 236 inch V6; 150 horsepower 261 inch straight-6; or the 180 horsepower 283 inch V8. There not common here, but the market is rising. That jet-smooth ride sure sold a lot of cars to Joe Citizen. Brakes, engine, differential, everything is ready. Model Series designations for 1960 were completely revised.
So the trucks would also have been done during this same time. In any case, the new suspension and chassis design was decent and remained in production until 1972, surviving two different body styles. We had tractors and wagons for the heavier stuff. While this suspension was relatively simple, it proved to be rugged enough for truck use and it also found its place in Motorsports. Of course bucket seats, floor shifters, tall transmission tunnels and shopping malls put an end to that practice. This suspension consisted of two very long I-beam cross-section trailering arms that bolted to the rear axle assembly with u-bolts. Exner was given to them, to get him out of the studios, which were now firmly back in Loewy control.
You can also customize your kit from a wide variety of optional louvers, and we have lots of engine compartment upgrades available. Trim line offerings came in base and custom. Production totaled 326,195 units, which was a 5. All four-wheel drive models were equipped with leaf springs on both the front and rear axles. Max and his wife, Brenda, built the custom center console that houses cup holders, a Sony radio and speakers, air vents, and the ever-so-important airbag switches and vital signs. They also stuck with quad headlights much longer. That 235 could sure lay down a blue cloud.
Also included were the Custom Comfort Appearance and Chrome Groups option packages. There were very minor changes to the 1972 Chevy trucks. This engine was introduced mid-year but was limited to the C20 and C30 pickups. The 230 was rated at 140 hp and 220 ft-lbs of torque, while the 292 was rated at 165 hp and 280-ft-lbs of torque. Ted is doing just that, cruising in the pickup whenever possible and taking it to events like the Goodguys Mid-Western Nationals where he picked up a Classic Trucks Top Ten Award. The wide cab increased all of the interior dimensions, but the largest increase was 6 inches of additional hip room.
I finally gave up on it when the rust got so bad that the bottoms of the front fenders began to flap like wings at 50 mph or so. The combination of rough roads and tons of road salt in those long winters, causing deep corrosion pitting, were no doubt contributors to a snapped torsion bar. Clean Arizona title in hand. Of note, early production 4×4 trucks continued to use the old 235 six and 261 six. Clearly, Chevrolet attempted to civilize the new 1955 trucks, at least on the surface.
Payloads of Chevrolet trucks from this era were not particularly high. The transmission tunnel was reduced in size to increase the passenger space in the already roomy cab. I always thought they used leaf springs. Owners of these trucks claimed they rode better than the coil spring trucks but that is anecdotal at best. For the most part Max was a lone ranger when it came to restoring the Chevy, but when it came time to finish off the interior some hired guns were in order.