Classic Chevy Suburban
Image: SpeedProPhoto, 2010
The classic Chevy Suburban was designed to be the ultimate all-purpose car. With its rugged durability and roomy, spacious design that offered even more room than the monolith station wagons of the era, the Suburban was arguably the true forerunner of today's SUVs and mini vans. It was big, yet neighborhood friendly, so you could negotiate it easily in traffic in spite of its oversized dimensions. It was tough, yet had the aesthetic of an urban touring car rather than that of a heavy-duty utility vehicle.
First introduced in 1934 for the 1935 model year, the Suburban holds the record as the longest continuous use name for any car model in automobile history. The Suburban has been manufactured by Holden, Chevrolet and GMC, where it was recently rebranded as the Yukon XL.
When car collectors speak lovingly of the ultimate classic Chevy Suburban, they're primarily speaking of cars that were produced during its golden age from the mid-1950s through the early 1970s. From 1955 until 1972, the fifth, sixth and seventh generations of this model were produced.
The fifth generation Suburban is prized by collectors because of its classic trademark 1950s design aesthetic, which includes a trapezoid grill and distinctive front fenders that are placed flush with the car's body. This model featured a V8 engine and the traditional Suburban two-door design and offered drivers the option of a three or four speed manual transmission, or a state-of-the-art four-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission. This model was available in a highly coveted four-wheel drive version, beginning in 1957.
The sixth generation Chevy Suburban was produced from 1960-1966 and featured a boxy, truck-like design with a squared-off top and oval ports above the car grille. This model, which had a V8 engine like its predecessor, boasted several new features, including a newly introduced front independent suspension and a wrap-around windshield design. As the decade progressed, this model became more streamlined, with a flatter windshield and a larger door glass.
The seventh generation Suburban, produced from 1967-1972, is popular with many of today's collectors who treasure fond memories of their families owning this particular model when they were children. This body style more closely resembled the station wagon of its times but with only a single door on the driver's side and doors on both passenger sides. This Suburban was available in both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models and boasted a V6 engine.
According to collectors, the majority of classic Chevy Suburbans produced were not four-wheel drive, so you're fortunate if you can find one with this feature. The Suburban was, after all, a car built for the suburbs, not for the rugged hill country and four-wheel drive didn't seem a necessary implementation for a car destined to drive the kids to school.
Modern car buyers may also be surprised to learn that the early Suburbans had only two doors. If you were a back seat passenger, you had to negotiate your way in by flipping the front seat forward and squeezing past it. That's why the three-door model of the late 1960s was considered such a vast improvement over its predecessors.
Today's collectors prize the classic Suburban for its maneuverability. Surprisingly lightweight for a car of its size, it was both responsive and easy to handle. They also prize this car for its unique design aesthetic. Even today, a classic Chevy Suburban is immediately recognizable anywhere on the road.
If you're interested in СlassicСar.com and you'd like to find a classic Chevy Suburban to add to your car collection, it's a good idea to do a bit of research first and find out what you should be aware of in a car this old. Once you find your dream Suburban, get it checked out by a mechanic first. If it's good to go, you'll soon discover once again why this powerhouse of a car has been recognized as one of the all-time best sellers of the automobile industry.