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Why’s the 1935 Chevrolet Suburban So Famous? Burning Questions They Don’t Answer in History Class

1935-chevrolet-suburban

Legend has it that there has never been an SUV as remarkable as the 1935 Chevrolet Suburban in all of history.

Yeah… You heard that right. Often, this Chevy isn’t regarded as an SUV but we can’t take facts out. It was a pioneer. (more on that later)

Btw, if you’re still wondering who made the first modern SUV? Then you should check out that article. We did our homework! Guess what we found? Here’s the untold story about the first SUV.

For close to 9 decades, the 1935 Chevy Suburban has remained a beauty in the eyes of its beholder.

Putting many under her spell, it is said that no man has ever tasted of her comfort and feel in love with another. Lol. I must confess. I think I’m under that same spell.

Let’s take a minute to know what the Suburbans are.

Contents

The 1935 Chevrolet Suburban: How it all started

The Chevrolet Suburban is a full-size Sport Utility Vehicle from Chevrolet.

Holding the title as the longest continuously used automobile numberplate in production, the 1935 U.S model was the first to be called the Suburban and it was first named in 1934.

Literally, it marks the year Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV) was born

What year did the Suburban come out?

The Suburban was first debuted as the ‘Carryall-Suburban’ and Chevrolet began production of its “carryall-suburban” in 1934.

In 1937, GMC released its version of the Suburban. Both vehicles were all referred to as the “Suburban Carryall” but along the line, GM felt they could do better.

They felt the name was just too long and decided to do away with the ‘Carryall’ and leave it as “Suburban”.

So …

Who is GMC?

GMC (General Motors Truck Company) is also a division of the American parent automobile manufacturer General Motors (GM) – a company founded in 1911 by William C. Durant. GM focuses on the manufacturing of Utility Vehicles and trucks.

GMC and Chevrolet are among the top truck brand names in the United States.

In the past, GMC was known for its popular fire trucks, ambulances, military vehicles, transit buses, heavy and medium-duty trucks. But today, they cater to a premium-based market with products such as light-duty trucks, pickup trucks, vans, and SUVs.

You can identify a GMC ride anywhere thanks to its famous GMC logo (colored red, with a thick black border on all three letters).

GMC logo

Mechanically, there’s a huge similarity between many GMC and Chevrolet Trucks. But what sets GMC apart is the fact that GMC is positioned as a premium offering to the mainstream Chevrolet brand with the list of luxury vehicles such as the Denali series and of course the electric off-road Hummer EV series.

In 2002, GMC celebrated its 100 anniversary and released a book entitled GMC: The First 100 Years, a complete history of the company.

Why is it called a Suburban?

GMC’s platform sharing with Chevrolet goes way back in time. The same platform was also shared for the “Suburban”.

We may presume only GMC did but actually, several automobile companies in the U.S including the likes of DeSoto, Nash, Dodge, Studebaker, Plymouth, Chevrolet, and GMC also used the name “Suburban” to refer to windowed, station wagon type body on a commercial frame.

In fact, the (Westchester) Suburban name was a trademark of U.S Body and Forging Co. of Tell City, Indiana, which generally made wooden station wagon bodies for these automobile and light truck chassis and more.

Being one of General Motor’s (GM) most profitable vehicles, the Suburban marked the entry of the first generation Carryall Suburban produced an all-metal bodied station wagon.

Today, it now comes in three engine options: a 3.0 liter inline-6 turbo diesel, a 6.2 liter v8, or a 5.3 liter v8. It was until the GMC version was rebranded as the “Yukon XL” for the 2000 model year, the Suburban was initially produced under the GMC marque.

Similarly, as with any trend, there was competition. But after the Dodge Town Wagon and the Plymouth Fury Suburban Station Wagon ended production in 1966 and 1978 respectively, only General Motors (GM) continued releasing a vehicle branded as “suburban” – they later received an exclusive trademark award on the name in 1988.

Suburbans didn’t have 4 doors till the 1973 models.

 

1935 Chevy Suburban pictures

See these 11 Awesome Photos of the 1935 Chevrolet Suburban from around the web

Suburban Today

Today, the Chevrolet Suburban is indeed one of the largest Sport Utility Vehicles on the market. It has survived the competition from popular vehicles such as the Jeep Wagoneer, the Ford Excursion, the International Harvester, and the most recent competitor being extended Ford Expedition EL, a replacement to the Excursion.

The Suburban has indeed been a game-changer. Today, they are used as police trucks, EMS vehicles, fire chief’s vehicles, and even as Limousines.

The Gothic black Suburban vehicles are common with federal intelligence services such as Secret services. The Secret Service is known to operate a fully armored version of the Suburban when the President of the United States attends less formal engagements.

The Suburban is sold in the United States, Canada, Chile, Central America, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Peru, Bolivia, Philippines, and Middle East (excluding Israel) while the Yukon XL is sold only in North America (exclusive to Canada and the United States; with Mexico just getting included) and the Middle East territories (excluding Israel)

Speaking about its fame

In 2018, iSeeCars, an online automotive search engine and research website which helps users find and compare cars for sale ranked the Chevrolet Suburban as the car that is driven most each year and in 2019, the Chevrolet Suburban was the second-ranked longest-lasting vehicle.

The Chevrolet Suburban became the first vehicle to be awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame having appeared in more than 1,750 films and television series since 1952

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Did Chevy stop making the Suburban?

Having come through 12 generations and over 9 decades since Chevrolet introduced the first Suburban, Chevrolet very much still makes the Suburban.

Wikipedia has a list of vehicles made by Chevrolet

On the other hand, GMC discontinued its line of Suburban in the year 2000 and rebranded the Suburban to what we now know as Yukon XL

GMC produces more premium vehicles than its Chevrolet counterpart. Hence, the Yukon XL is a slightly upscale version of the Suburban and that’s reflected in the price and equipment.

2. How much was a Chevy Suburban in 1935?

The 1935 Chevy wasn’t the best definition of luxury but it successfully satisfied the needs of those who live a hectic lifestyle.

The Carryall Suburban being a windowed steel body atop a half-ton commercial truck chassis had  a base price of $675(excluding extras such as rear bumper and a heater),

Ever heard of the story of Ed, the man who considered selling his 1935 Chevy some years ago? It was appraised at $150,000.00. Let me know (in the comments) if you would like to hear his story.

3. Do Chevy Suburban hold their value?

Wondering what the 1935 Chevy Suburban value is? According to a depreciation analysis by CarEdge.com, A Chevrolet Suburban will depreciate 44% after 5 years and have a 5-year resale value of $37,360.

Here’s the Chevrolet Suburban depreciation curve along with new and used pricing analysis.

Chevrolet Suburban Depreciation Graph

4. Are Chevy Suburbans good in the snow?

Do you live in an area with a lot of winter days? If you do, then of course you may be wondering how well Suburbans do in Snow.

Suburbans weigh around 5,820 pounds and get powered from a 5.3-liter V8. Without an extra load like a caravan, it will go through light snow without difficulty.

If you understand the difference between 4WD (Four Wheel Drive) and AWD (All Wheel Drive), then you should already know, AWD is best for driving on snowy and icy roads. But irrespective, a 4WD is able to get you around certain road types, including rugged terrain and off-roading, as well as slippery conditions, like snow or mud.

With a lot more weight to deal with, you’d have to get some winter tires

5. Is a suburban considered a truck?

Do you often get confused about the difference between a truck and an SUV? What the heck is the difference anyway?

This is very much one of the questions we get asked often via mail and in our Facebook community (if you want to know more about SUVs, then). Questions like this and more get answered there.

While they’re quite a handful of websites out there explaining what an SUV is and what a truck is; as an authority in the SUV space, we’ve published a straight-to-the-point explanation that will definitely clear the air on the topic.

The Suburban is not considered a truck. It is rather a full-sized SUV

About that straight-to-the-point explanation I talked about – Is an SUV a truck? If you want to know the difference between a truck and an SUV then you definitely want to read that.

 

6. How long do Chevy Suburbans last?

With decent care, Suburbans are estimated to last 200,000 Miles+

Regarding maintenance, are Chevy Suburbans expensive to maintain?

Well, maintaining a car could be a hassle. With the Chevrolet Suburban being the topic is not different.

Irrespective of the year it was made, the model and color, the lifespan of any vehicle depend on how well it is taken care of.

Therefore, how long your Suburban would last depends on how well you take good care of it.

There is definitely a 101 cool stuff about Chevys that can make a man fall to his knees. Today we’re talking about the legendary 1935 Chevrolet Suburban. Imagine you still have one which would clearly be an antique. Will you be willing to trade it, for what or how much? Let’s discuss in the comment section below.

 

Written by Larry Cruise

I'm crazy about anecdotes; most especially when they tickle my fancy. I love cars, sometimes I feel like I have 9 lives when crossing the road. When I'm on a Sabbatical leave from SUVradar, you can quickly spot me in a corner talking about cars.

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