It was 1957, and American truck buyers were looking for something different. The pickup truck was evolving into a part-time work truck and part-time family transporter. The 1957 GMC Suburban Carrier is a great example of the change that was coming. With smooth sides, unique tail lights, a panoramic front windshield and the Cameo style wrap-around rear window, the GMC Suburban was a game changer.
Once inside you were treated to two-tone seating and an instrument panel that you never saw before in a pickup truck. The upgraded trim with foam padding, chrome dash knobs, cigar lighter, dual armrests and sunshades were an unexpected surprise for truck buyers.
This week, Motorcar Classics in Farmingdale, New York listed a truly rare classic pickup truck. This 1957 GMC Suburban Carrier Pickup is quite possibly the first one you have ever seen. (Follow this link to read the ad and view dozens of detailed photos.) What’s more, this is a stunning example, having undergone a nut and bolt restoration some time ago, and still showing in excellent condition. It is featured here in Orbit Blue with Dover White accent and a matching blue and white vinyl interior. Motorcar Classics tells us it was restored to authentic and correct specifications. Interestingly, the Suburbans came with optional Pontiac V8 motors. This Suburban Carrier has the optional 347 ci Pontiac V8 mated to a 4-speed manual transmission. The truck is reliable and well-sorted with new tires and fuel tank. It has its original GMC radio and a very rare GMC accessory fan.
GMC produced the Suburban from 1955 through 1958. The records says that about 1,000 units came from the factory from 1955 to 1957. Very few were built in 1958 when GMC came out with the Fleetside Apache. About 300 were produced in 1955. (Chevrolet produced 10,320 Cameos from 1955 to 1958.) The 1958 models are thought to be the most rare for the GMC Suburbans. Yet the Chevrolet Cameo pickups are better known among collectors. Their desirability is off the charts. Meanwhile the Suburban Carriers have slipped under the collectors’ radar. Until now.
Both the Chevrolet Cameo pickups and the GMC Suburbans were trend setting designs. They changed the way people looked at pickup trucks. Before, pickup trucks were farm equipment meant for doing the hard work. But the Cameo and Suburban pickups put creature comforts into the pickup trucks making them seem more like passenger vehicles than work trucks. That was a changing point in the way we looked at using light trucks. This evolved here in the United States more than any other part of the world. Americans love their pickup trucks.
The GMC Suburban was the first pickup that carried the lines of the cab all the way to the rear bumper, instead of the big open wheel wells that every other pickup truck had. And it had smooth rear fenders that fit well with the design.
Not only were they the first pickups to present a more car-like appearance, the Cameo and Suburban were also the first trucks available with more creature comforts in the cabin and liberal use of chrome trim to dress them up.
Since GMC and Chevrolet engineers were worried about the integrity of the bed, they used fiberglass panels to dover the fenders and tailgate.
This stunning 1957 GMC Suburban Carrier Pickup truck is a stunning example of the kind of rare classic pickup trucks you will find in Cars-On-Line’s Classic Pickup Truck Section online today.