History of the family truckster
GM is celebrating 75 years of the Suburban nameplate, so we are delving into the history of this mega family wagon. Part of the world may be moving toward small electric cars, but there are still plenty of people who want and need a big truck to haul large groups of people, and for them there has always been and (hopefully) always will be the Suburban. You may think the market is gone, but Toyota, Nissan, Jeep, Ford, Land Rover, and Dodge all make a large 4x4 people hauler-but few are as comfortable and well thought out as the Suburban. In fact, the only real competitor for the Sub in today's market is a fullsize van, and to get a 4x4 van means moving from the factory to some sort of extracurricular upfitter.
The Suburban is the epitome of the land yacht, or more correctly, land barge, as it was first developed in 1935 as a truck-based wagon for hauling people and cargo without the pitfalls of the various car-based station wagons. A stronger vehicle was needed in the late 1930s, as the economy was coming out of the Great Depression and work crews needed to be ferried to jobsites with their tools and supplies.
Over the years the Suburban has grown in size and progressed from a mostly commercial truck to a family truckster perfect for hauling large families with all their gear.
The Suburban wasn't always four-wheel-drive, but it has become a go-to vehicle for exploring Americas dirt roads, mud holes, and even rock trails (with maybe a little rock rash), especially if you have more kids, gear, and a bigger cooler than will fit in a mini trail machine.
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