Chevrolet Suburban celebrates 75 years, Autoblog drives every generation

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Chevorlet Suburban 75th Anniversary
Chevrolet Suburban 75th Anniversary Event - Click above for high-res image gallery

Quick, what's the longest-running nameplate in the car business?

If you said Honda Civic, you deserve to be smacked upside the head with a four-inch exhaust tip - it's merely 37 model years old. The vehicle we're talking about is positively prehistoric by comparison. The Porsche 911? Wrong again, as it only predates the Civic by a decade. You're getting closer if you said the Ford F-Series, but still, FoMoCo didn't launch its best-selling pickup until 1948.

You've got to go all the way back to 1935 for the launch of the auto industry's Methuselah, the Chevrolet Suburban. That makes 2010 the 75th anniversary of the full-size SUV archetype. To celebrate, Chevy opened its vault on one of the Dog Days of August to let journalists drive a handful of vintage models.

It was something of a belated party, as GM stopped building 2010 model year Suburbans in June, including the special Diamond Edition model. But we're not going to complain about being given the opportunity to get seat time in eight of the ten historic "Caryall" generations. Model years 1936, 1946, 1951, 1966, 1972, 1990, 1999 and 2002 were on hand, most thanks to GM's Heritage Center.

We decided that the only proper way to approach the task was to drive back in history. This served well to highlight not just how much the Suburban has changed in recent model years, but how much the auto industry has evolved since the pre-war era. But it also showed how consistent the Suburban has been over all these years, offering eight-passenger capability in a roomy wagon body mounted on a heavy truck frame since its inception. History has shown this formula's a winner; Chevy estimates it has built between 2.25-2.4 million Suburbans in total.

Follow the jump for a taste of our experience driving the Suburban back in time to its beginning.

Continue reading Chevrolet Suburban celebrates 75 years, Autoblog drives every generation

Chevrolet Suburban celebrates 75 years, Autoblog drives every generation originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 26 Aug 2010 12:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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