• 1942 Chevy 3/4-ton Truck
  • 1942 Chevy 3/4-ton Truck
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
1954 Chevy 3600
  • 1954 Chevy 3600
  • 1954 Chevy 3600
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
1958 Chevy Series 36
  • 1958 Chevy Series 36
  • 1958 Chevy Series 36
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
1964 Chevy C20
  • 1964 Chevy C20
  • 1964 Chevy C20
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
1970 Chevy C20 4x4
  • 1970 Chevy C20 4x4
  • 1970 Chevy C20 4x4
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
1977 Chevy C20 Big Dooley
  • 1977 Chevy C20 Big Dooley
  • 1977 Chevy C20 Big Dooley
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
1982 Chevy 20
  • 1982 Chevy 20
  • 1982 Chevy 20
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
1990 Chevy C3500 Big Dooley
  • 1990 Chevy C3500 Big Dooley
  • 1990 Chevy C3500 Big Dooley
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
1999 Silverado K2500 4x4
  • 1999 Silverado K2500 4x4
  • 1999 Chevrolet K2500 4x4 Silverado LS
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
2004 Chevy Silverado 2500
  • 2004 Chevy Silverado 2500
  • 2004 Chevy Silverado 2500
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
2007 Chevy Silverado 2500HD
  • 2007 Chevy Silverado 2500HD
  • 2007 Chevy Silverado 2500HD
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
2015 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD
  • 2015 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD
  • 2015 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD
  • Image Credit: Michael Harley
2017 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax
  • 2017 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax
  • 2017 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
2020 Chevy Silverado HD
  • 2020 Chevy Silverado HD
  • 2020 Chevy Silverado HD
  • Image Credit: Autoblog
Having seen the new 2020 Chevy Silverado HD, we can't really help thinking about truck design. That grille is so large it will dominate your brain activity. This took us down all sorts of paths, but the one we felt that was worth sharing was the design history of Chevy's heavy duty trucks. Particularly as the new Silverado HD throws that history out the window.

You see, for the vast majority of Chevy's truck history, the "heavy-duty" trucks consisted of a different chassis code and greater payload and towing capacity. There weren't really any styling differences. This is more understandable considering that before the AK series Chevy trucks introduced in 1941 (represented by a 1942 model in the gallery above), trucks were basically still beefed up cars. That AK pickup was the first Chevy truck design that diverged from the cars.

With these trucks, the only visual indicator of being a "heavy duty" truck would typically be a badge telling how capable the truck was. And we put "heavy duty" in quotes because, while that's how we refer to the heavy-load versions of full-size pickups, they're technically still light-duty. The next size up is medium-duty, which today is represented by vehicles such as the recently added Silverado 4500 and up. We digress, though. Early on, the "heavy-duty" trucks had a classification of 3600, 3800, Series 36 or Series 38. When the trucks adopted the long-running C/K model, the heavier duty trucks had the 20 and 30 series designations. More attention was paid at the time to make different model years and trims unique. And one of those trims was the Silverado, which wasn't the actual model name until the 1990s.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD

It also wasn't really until the 21st century that the heavy-duty Silverados began to get some styling differentiation. And typically, that just meant the addition of a slightly taller hood. The grille later started getting extra slots between the chrome bar across the middle. The most visually distinct heavy-duty Silverado so far has been the 2017 and newer model with the Duramax diesel V8. That's because it added a hood scoop in addition to the bigger hood and slightly more menacing grille.

The new Silverado HD's fierce front end isn't the only major departure in Chevy truck design. Only the roof is shared with the regular-duty 1500. That means the rest of the sheet metal is unique. Until this new model, the cabs, beds, doors and more were pretty much the same between 1500 and HD Silverados.

While the 2020 Silverado HD does mark a new era for heavy-duty Chevy truck design, it does follow a path started by rivals Ford and Ram. Ford started giving its Super Duty pickups unique cabs and front ends in the early 2000s that distinguished them as something different from a regular F-150. Ram began to separate the 1500 and 2500 a few years later, and the latest model shows the most differences yet. It will be interesting to see how this new Silverado HD fares in the market.

Related Video:

Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Information

Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

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