I attended an event today at the General Motors Assembly Plant in Arlington, Texas, that gave me cause for deeper reflection. Chevy is celebrating the 75th year of the Suburban model. A single product with three-quarters of a century lineage – now that is something. It got me to wondering: In this modern era of “here today, gone tomorrow” and disposable lifestyles what new products would be able to survive 75 years. Sure, brands can live long lives, and of course basic concepts, but what about the individual nameplate, the singular moniker.
Probably few things within our reach at this very moment can boast such survival skills.
On hand to assist in today’s celebration was four-time champion NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson who took the wheel of the 2010 Chevrolet Suburban 75th Anniversary Diamond Edition as it rolled off the assembly line, led by a vintage 1936 Chevy Suburban Carryall.
The Diamond Edition Suburban is based on a top-of-the-line LTZ Suburban package and adds unique roof rack rails, 20-inch chrome wheels, special exterior badging, 75th anniversary embroidery on the headrests, special badging on the steering wheel center cap and unique front door sill plate graphics and will be available this month in select Chevy dealerships, most of which will be right here in the Lone Star State where all Suburbans are now built (and a third of ALL Suburbans are sold).
“Times have changed, but the Suburban remains a fixture in the industry for private and professional customers who need truck-like towing capability with maximum passenger and cargo space,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet general manager. “The Suburban’s core capabilities and dependability have remained constant for more than seven decades and generations of people know that a Suburban will haul people and their gear.”
Here are a couple of significant dates in the Suburban timeline:
1935: Suburban Carryall introduced with a signature two-door body style that would last through 1967. Power came from Chevrolet’s stalwart “Stovebolt” inline-six that produced 60 horsepower for the half-ton chassis.
1973: A new generation of Chevy trucks is launched, with Suburban offered in a conventional four-door body style introduced for the first time. Its 129.5-inch wheelbase was only 0.5-inch shorter than the 2010 model’s. Also debuting is the Suburban three-quarter-ton model, which could be had with a 454 big-block engine that delivered 335 lb.-ft. of torque.
Pricing will begin at just over $55,000 for two-wheel-drive models and a tick more than 58 grand for 4×4 models.
Seeing the transition of styling from the early model Suburban to the latest was a unique experience today, and I wonder just how archaic will my iPhone look in a little over 70 years from now.