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1967-72 Chevrolet/GMC Truck & SUV Vehicle History



1967-1972: The Second Generation C/K Series

The Chevrolet trucks from the 1967 to 1972 period represent a significant and beloved chapter in American automotive history, marking the second generation of the C/K series. This era is often celebrated for its innovation, design, and the strong foundation it laid for future truck development. Here’s an overview of the key highlights and developments in Chevrolet trucks during this golden era:

Introduction of the Second Generation

The 1967 model year introduced the second generation of Chevrolet's C/K line, bringing a more modern and stylish design compared to the first generation. This era is often referred to as the "Action Line" and is distinguished by its sleeker lines, rounded contours, and improved cabin comfort.

Model Variants

This generation continued with the C (two-wheel drive) and K (four-wheel drive) naming scheme, with model numbers indicating the truck's payload capacity, such as C10 and K10 for half-ton trucks, C20, and K20 for three-quarter-ton trucks, and C30 for one-ton trucks.

Innovative Features

Chevrolet introduced several innovative features during this period, including independent front suspension (IFS) on two-wheel-drive models for improved ride quality, and coil spring trailing arm rear suspension on half-ton models, a first for American trucks which enhanced handling and comfort.

Engine Options

Chevrolet offered a wide range of engines during this era, showcasing their commitment to providing both performance and efficiency:

  • Inline-Six Engines: The base model often came with a 250 cu in (4.1L) inline-six, known for its durability and fuel efficiency. It was a popular choice for those who prioritize economy over power.
  • Small-Block V8 Engines:
    • The 283 cu in (4.6L) V8, available initially, provided a balance of power and efficiency.
    • The 307 cu in (5.0L) V8, which replaced the 283 in 1968, offered modest improvements in power and torque.
    • The 327 cu in (5.4L) V8, available until 1968, was a higher performance option.
    • The introduction of the 350 cu in (5.7L) V8 in 1969 became a game-changer, offering excellent power and reliability, and would become one of Chevrolet's most popular engines.
  • Big-Block V8 Engines:
    • For those needing maximum power for towing and hauling, Chevrolet offered the 396 cu in (6.5L) V8 and later the 402 cu in (6.6L) V8 (though it was still badged as a 396 for part of its production).
    • The 454 cu in (7.4L) V8, introduced in the early '70s, provided top-of-the-line power for the heaviest duties.

These engines, particularly the V8 options, contributed significantly to the trucks' popularity, offering a range of choices that could satisfy nearly any requirement, from fuel efficiency and smooth daily driving to robust towing and hauling capabilities. The flexibility in engine selection ensured that Chevrolet could cater to a broad market segment, reinforcing their position in the competitive truck market of the era.

Custom and Luxury Options

This era saw the introduction of the Custom and Custom Sport Truck (CST) packages, which added luxury features such as plush interiors, special trim, and additional conveniences, signaling a shift towards more personal-use trucks alongside traditional work models.

Special Models and Packages

Chevrolet offered several special models and packages, such as the Cheyenne with upgraded interiors and the Z71 off-road package for four-wheel-drive models, enhancing their appeal to a broader audience.

Exterior Design

The trucks featured a distinctive, clean design with a front grille and bumper that became iconic. The bodywork included a "fleetside" bed (smooth sides) or a "stepside" bed (with steps behind the cab and exposed wheel wells).

Interior Upgrades

The interior saw significant upgrades with more comfortable seating, better ergonomics, and improved visibility. The dashboard and controls were designed with the driver in mind, making these trucks more user-friendly for everyday driving.

Legacy and Impact

The 1967-1972 Chevrolet trucks are highly regarded in the classic truck community for their blend of style, performance, and utility. They set new standards for what customers could expect from a pickup, influencing the evolution of trucks from purely work-oriented vehicles to multifunctional vehicles suitable for work, leisure, and everything in between. Their enduring popularity is evident in their strong presence in the restoration market and their celebrated status at classic car shows.

This era of Chevrolet trucks not only left a lasting mark on the automotive landscape but also established design and performance benchmarks that future generations would build upon, making them a pivotal part of Chevrolet's truck history.


Chevy Blazer and GMC Jimmy

The late 1960s and early 1970s also marked the introduction of the Chevrolet Blazer and GMC Jimmy, pivotal models in the American SUV market. These vehicles were Chevrolet and GMC's answer to the growing demand for vehicles that combined the utility of a truck with the comfort and driving dynamics of a passenger car. Here's an overview of their key highlights and contributions to the automotive world during this era:

Introduction of Chevy Blazer and GMC Jimmy

Chevy Blazer Introduction: The Chevrolet K5 Blazer was introduced in 1969 as a full-size SUV built on the C/K truck chassis. It was designed to compete with the Ford Bronco and the International Harvester Scout, offering more space and power. The Blazer's design allowed for a greater towing capacity and off-road capability while maintaining comfortable passenger accommodations.

GMC Jimmy Introduction: Following the Blazer's introduction, GMC introduced the Jimmy in 1970. Essentially a rebadged version of the Blazer, the Jimmy offered similar performance, styling, and options but catered to a slightly different market segment. GMC positioned the Jimmy as a more upscale version of the Blazer, with some models featuring additional luxury options.

Key Features and Innovations

Both the Blazer and Jimmy were known for their removable rear hardtops, which allowed them to transform from a closed SUV to an open-top vehicle, making them highly versatile for both daily use and recreational activities.

Like the C/K trucks, the Blazer and Jimmy offered a range of engine options, including the reliable inline-six for those prioritizing fuel economy and the powerful small-block and big-block V8s for those needing more performance for towing or off-roading.

One of the most significant features was the availability of four-wheel drive, making the Blazer and Jimmy among the most capable off-road vehicles of their time. This feature, combined with their robust construction, made them popular for both recreational off-roading and utility purposes.

Custom and Luxury Options

The introduction of the Blazer and Jimmy also coincided with a growing trend towards more personalized and comfortable vehicles. Both models offered various trim levels, including the upscale Cheyenne for the Blazer and the Sierra for the Jimmy, which included features like plush interiors, air conditioning, and more sophisticated audio systems.

Impact and Legacy

The Chevy Blazer and GMC Jimmy played a crucial role in the evolution of the SUV, blending the ruggedness of a truck with the comfort and functionality of a passenger vehicle. Their introduction paved the way for the modern SUV market, influencing the design and capabilities of future models.

Today, both the Blazer and Jimmy are celebrated in the classic car community for their versatility, performance, and iconic design. They remain popular among enthusiasts and collectors, highlighting their enduring appeal and significant impact on automotive history.

Today, both the Blazer and Jimmy are celebrated in the classic car community for their versatility, performance, and iconic design. They remain popular among enthusiasts and collectors, highlighting their enduring appeal and significant impact on automotive history.

The Chevy Blazer and GMC Jimmy were more than just vehicles; they were a statement of innovation and versatility, contributing significantly to the SUV segment and setting the stage for future developments in the automotive industry.