Updated May 06, 2015
Chevrolet Suburban History - Generation 3 - 1947 - 1955
1947: The first significant redesign of the Chevrolet's truck line – including Suburban – since before the war. Torque from the inline-six engine was 174 lb.-ft. (217 Nm) at only 1,200 rpm, giving the Suburban excellent towing capability. NEW TECHNOLOGY: Flow-through ventilation improves driving comfort.
1949 Chevrolet Suburban
1951 Chevrolet Suburban
1951 Chevrolet Suburban. The Chevrolet Suburban had already been on the market for 16 years in 1951 and continued to grow in popularity as a "crew" vehicle for transporting workers to construction and logging sites.
The '51 Suburban carried the basic design that had been introduced on the Chevy truck line in 1948. It was a sleek design, with a sloping windshield and simple yet bold horizontal grille bars. Many promotional photos and catalogs from 1951 show the trucks with shiny chrome grilles, but material shortages due to the Korean War meant most Suburbans left the factory with painted grilles.
As it had since its 1935 introduction, the 1951 Suburban offered seating for up to eight in a two-door body style. The rear cargo area was accessible by either a tailgate or a pair of side-opening "barn doors." The second- and third-row seats were removable and they were mounted on a linoleum-covered floor. "Double-acting" shock absorbers were touted as main contributors to the vehicle's "superb riding comfort."
Under the hood of the '51 Suburban was the "Thriftmaster" inline six-cylinder engine. It was the latest version of the cast iron workhorse commonly called the "Stovebolt" engine that dated from before the Suburban's 1935 introduction. With a 216.5-inch (3.8L) displacement, it produced 92 horsepower. More importantly, it delivered 176 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,000 and 2,000 rpm. That meant the engine's peak torque was available essentially off idle through the majority of the rpm range, giving the Suburban a strong feeling of acceleration and great towing capacity.
1951 CHEVROLET SUBURBAN FACTS
THE BOTTOM LINE: 1951 INCOME AND
PRICES (with 2010 inflation conversions)
1953: Tinted glass is offered for the first time.
1954 Chevrolet Suburban
1955 Chevrolet Suburban
1955: Revolutionary new styling is introduced midway through the model year. Known as the "second series" design, it features a wraparound windshield and the elimination of running boards – the body is flush with the fenders for the first time. The second series model also introduces the ubiquitous small-block V-8.
New technology for 1955: Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, 12-volt electrical system, Tubeless tires.