A black 1935 Chevy Suburban Carryall is shown from the side filled with a car load of people.

Mix and Match

Nowadays, it’s normal to be able to customize nearly anything according to personal taste, whether you’re ordering a laptop, the newest phone, or pre-ordering a car tailored to your specific tastes. Yes, even vehicles! Chevy pre-order allows customers to not only order ahead of time, but also to customize, practically build, their car to personal specifications when it comes to the features they want and desire. Trim options, check! Color options, check! Multiple packages to choose from. So that when you’re finished, the new vehicle is just as unique as its driver.

But customizing vehicles is nothing new, as car owners have been doing it in one form or another for as long as cars have been on the road. After all, iconic brands like Chevy have been in business now for over a hundred years. While Chevy continues to reinvent itself again and again, it has maintained a stellar reputation as a functional as well as a stand-out brand in an ever-changing, constantly expanding marketplace.

The Chevy One-Ton

Chevy’s first official truck, the One-Ton, rolled onto the scene in 1918. As expected from an automaker like Chevrolet, its unique silhouette and utilitarian design complemented each other and stood out amongst the earlier car models at the time. Even early on, makers saw the potential for growth and change in the market. Always thinking outside the box, Chevy created the new pickup truck with options for buyers to tailor the vehicle to meet the daily rigor and demand a driver needed, but until that time didn’t always have available.

In a business where for the longest time, you could only order black, black, or black, customers soon became bored with the color as cars became more commonplace. Once again, Chevy was ahead of the curve and began offering the option to once again, customize your vehicle for work or leisure. It was a game-changer, to say the least, giving the already respected automaker an even higher place in the eyes of the consumer.

Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, the Detroit automaker added a new design department to their roster and began changing up their models, designing them to look less like a buggy and more like a sleek modern vehicle to carry people into the rapidly approaching mid-twentieth century. The aesthetic leap forward led to closed cabs for the Chevy trucks, more comfort features for the interior, and color options like blue or green. Handing these exciting and affordable options over to the average buyer naturally proved to be a popular move, helping to carry the company through the rough economic times of the 1930s when many smaller manufacturers across the country were folding due to the financial strain of the Great Depression. But because of their forward-thinking and constantly evolving ethos, Chevy kept on, cementing the car creator as one of the earliest innovators of the twentieth-century automotive market.

An orange 1957 Chevy Cameo is shown from the front parked in front of a cement wall after looking at a Chevy pre-order form.

Precursor of the SUV

Where the term SUV originated is something not everyone can agree on. It’s thought to have been coined anywhere from the 1960s to the 1980s. But today, when we hear the term, people tend to picture a truck-wagon combo. Usually complete with four doors, often four-wheel drive, and topped off with an extended back for extra passengers or the convenience of hauling, SUV models vary in size from full-size truck stature down to a small station wagon silhouette. Even as the size and shape have morphed over the years, you can still see some of the original design inspiration in models today.

What’s considered the original SUV, the Chevy Carryall Suburban (later shortened to simply the Suburban), was made available to the public in the early 1930s. It borrowed from the original truck design while offering the convenience and smaller size of a wagon body. With colors ranging from black to gray to green, the design proved a hit with buyers and soon became the instantly recognizable face of the Chevy family, standing apart from other automakers at the time, whose models included cars and trucks but lacked anything that blended the two. What could be called the first hybrid of its day was born and has been evolving ever since.

The Chevy Suburban has grown into such an icon over the decades that it has become a mainstay of the automaker. Now in its twelfth generation, it’s a welcomed and familiar sight on highways and city streets. While its rugged build and contemporary styling make it easy to identify, it’s just one of the many models Chevy has available for customization and pre-ordering that drivers can make completely their own. The range of colors expanded to include pearl and metallics, and customization options include everything from the engine right down to the seats. It’s no wonder why the Suburban and the rest of the Chevy SUVs only gain popularity every year as the top vehicles in the market.

A Car is Not Simply a Car

Considering that one of the Chevrolet Motor Company founders was the race car driver Louis Chevrolet, it’s easy to see where the drive and style seen in the company’s car design originated from. Right from the get-go, Chevy began offering top-of-the-line features at affordable prices. Pioneering everything from electric headlights to V8 engines, Chevy’s innovation has helped maintain its status as one of the most popular automotive makers in the world. Chevy has managed to make its mark in a business that oftentimes has some steep competition. A company couldn’t do that without function and style, but a sleek sports car in their corner definitely helps as well.

Beginning in the mid-century, just as all things British seemed to be taking over the American market. Chevy decided it was time to add to the line of cars by introducing the world to their version of the two-seater roadster, the Chevy Corvette. While not initially a huge hit, it slowly began to gain steam as the company tweaked its original design, adding more powerful engine options and varied color choices. As the 1950s gave way to the 1960s, Chevy unleashed the always recognizable Corvette Stingray. The V8 four-speed vehicle was a huge win for the car company and remains the most popular of the Corvette models to this day. Landing prominent spots in movies like 2000’s movie Gone in 60 Seconds. The Corvette itself remains a favorite model among collectors and car enthusiasts. By adding modifications and alterations to their ‘Vette, everything from customized coloring and upgrades to the internal workings, they’re creating a car that stuns on every level and makes a unique statement wherever it goes.

Two men are shown inspecting a vintage Chevy long before the days of Chevy pre-order.

Here and Now

While Chevrolet celebrates its stellar heritage, it is certainly a company that has its eyes focused on the future in an ever-continuing effort to keep going further, envisioning what a car can be to its driver and determining what a customer wants and needs. The result makes it easy for buyers to pick and choose from a vast range of options that suit their ever-changing lifestyles. From rugged off-roading to cross country towing and the stops and stars of the city, Chevy models old and new continue to cross the globe, meeting and exceeding the expectations from people seeking a car, truck, or SUV as unique as they are.