Truck Centennial

Customers encouraged to join celebration with Special Edition Silverado and Colorado, an event at Texas Motor Speedway and more

By General Motors, Dallas - Model year 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the first production Chevrolet truck.  A century and more than 85 million trucks later, Chevrolet has become one of the most recognizable brands in the world.  To celebrate the Chevy Trucks Centennial, the brand is honoring the owners who have made Chevy Trucks a part of their lives for the past century with a 100-day celebration featuring two new Special Edition trucks, the national rollout of the Truck Legends customer loyalty program and more.

"The Chevy Trucks Centennial is a huge milestone for us, and is equally important to our customers," said Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet Trucks Advertising and Marketing director.  "That's why we will be celebrating 100 years of Chevy Trucks over the course of the next 100 days.  It's important that we share this celebration with our loyal customers who have helped us achieve this accomplishment."

Chevrolet kicked off the Centennial Celebration today at the State Fair of Texas, where the brand announced four ways customers can celebrate the Chevy Truck Centennial:

  • New 2018 Silverado and Colorado Centennial Special Editions
  • National rollout of the Chevy Trucks Legends program
  • Branded merchandise featuring Chevy heritage bowtie
  • Chevy Trucks Centennial Celebration on December 16, 2017

From the beginning, Chevrolet Trucks has focused on making the best possible vehicle to meet every customer's needs.  After building specialized trucks to serve its factory, Chevrolet introduced its first trucks to customers in 1918.  They included the half-ton Light Delivery and the 1918 One-Ton truck.  Both were offered with an open chassis behind the windshield that allowed customers to choose between purchasing or building a specialized body for their vocation.

A century later, customer choice continues to drive Chevy Trucks.  Chevrolet is still the only manufacturer to offer customers a three-truck portfolio - featuring the Colorado, Silverado and Silverado HD - and a full line of special editions, giving customers more options for the perfect truck to fit their needs and personal style.

2018 Silverado and Colorado Centennial Editions

The latest additions to the Chevrolet Trucks portfolio of special editions, the 2018 Silverado and Colorado Centennial Editions feature design elements inspired by Chevy Trucks throughout history, including a distinctive Centennial Blue paint colour and exclusive heritage bowtie emblems and 100 year badges inspired by colours and design cues found on early Chevrolet Trucks.

"The Silverado and Colorado Centennial Editions are a result of collaboration between Chevrolet Design, Engineering and Marketing, to commemorate the history of Chevy Trucks," said Rich Scheer, Chevrolet Trucks director of Exterior Design.  "Both vehicles offer our most enthusiastic fans a way to demonstrate their love for Chevy Trucks and celebrate the Chevy Trucks Centennial with us."

The Silverado Centennial Edition is available on the LTZ Z71 crew cab and the Colorado Centennial Edition is offered on Z71 crew and extended cab models.

Vehicle Highlights


  • LTZ Z71 trim; Crew Cab
  • Front and rear heritage bowtie emblems
  • 100 year door badge
  • Spray-in bedliner with heritage bowtie emblem
  • Accessory floor liners with heritage bowtie emblems
  • Centennial Blue exterior paint
  • 22" painted wheels with chrome inserts
  • 22" all-terrain tires
  • Chrome tow hooks
  • Chrome bowtie on steering wheel


  • Z71 rim; Crew Cab and Extended Cab
  • Front and rear heritage bowtie emblems
  • 100 year door badge
  • Spray-in bedliner with heritage bowtie emblem
  • Accessory floor liners with heritage bowtie emblems
  • Centennial Blue exterior paint
  • Body-Color rear bumper and front grille surround
  • LT Optional 18" wheels with monochromatic cap
  • Chrome tow hooks, belt molding, mirror caps and door handles

Connecting Truck Legends Nationwide

To connect with the most loyal Chevy Truck customers across the country, the brand is rolling out its Truck Legends program nationwide.  The program recognizes customers who own a Chevy Truck with more than 100,000 miles on the odometer, or who have purchased or leased more than one new Chevy Truck in their lifetime.  Chevy Truck Legends was launched as a Texas-only pilot in September 2016 and grown to a community of more than 5,400 loyal Chevy Truck customers.

In addition to Truck Legends branded merchandise and access to an exclusive members-only online community, Chevrolet will periodically offer Truck Legends members once-in-a-lifetime experiences leveraging Chevrolet's partnerships.  These experiences could range from front-row seats at concerts, to attending sold-out Major League Baseball events, to getting a sneak peek at new Chevrolet models.

From Ball Caps to Bass Boats

In addition to the special edition Silverado and Colorado and the expansion of the Truck Legends program, Chevrolet is commemorating a century of trucks with a wide range of special merchandise featuring the heritage bowtie emblem highlighted on the Centennial models.  And for true enthusiasts, a special Centennial Edition bass boat will be offered by Phoenix Boats and a Centnnial Edition enclosed trailer will be available from inTech Trailers.  All merchandise is available at ChevyGearUSA.com.

The Phoenix boat and 24-foot inTech trailer, which is large enough to haul a car or other recreational toys, will be designed to complement the Centennial Blue paint and special edition badging.

Chevrolet has also built a customized 1967 C-10 show vehicle to commemorate the 100-year milestone.  It will be shown during the State Fair of Texas through October 22 and will be on display at the SEMA show in late October.

Chevy Trucks Centennial Event

The 100-day Centennial Celebration will conclude with a Chevy Trucks Centennial Celebration event on Saturday, December 16 at Texas Motor Speedway.  The event will feature opportunities to experience the latest Chevrolet products, a chance to meet Chevrolet fans like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and other exclusive experiences.

The event is free to attend but space is limited to invitation only.  Truck Legends members will be the first to receive more information on the celebration and invitations.

"This event is Chevrolet's way of thanking owners for putting their trust in Chevy Trucks for 100 years," said Piszar.  "We look forward to celebrating the past, present and future of Chevy Trucks with our customrs."

Fast Fact

The 1918 Chevrolet One-Ton truck was powered by a four-cylinder engine rated at 36 horsepower.  Its top speed was 25 mph.

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By Costa Mouzouris, Driving.ca - The engineers at Chevrolet are a sneaky bunch.  They needed an excuse to get out of the office and have some off-road fun, so they conceived a plan that allowed them to participate in several off-road rallies across the U.S., and on the company's dime, no less.  They disguised these thinly veiled recreational diversions as "engineering tests" and headed out to renowned off-road parks and trails across the States, where they proceeded to cross deserts, climb rocks, wade through deep mud, plow through sand dunes and snake along tight, technical trails.  Their excuse was the 2017 Colorado ZR2.

These tests were done in conjunction with Multimatic, the automotive engineering firm based in Markham, Ontario, which helped develop the ZR2's suspension components, and it's the resulting DSSV (Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve) suspension that contributes significantly to the ZR2's off-road ability.

Perhaps best known lately for manufacturing the Ford GT, Multimatic also builds suspension dampers mostly for motorsports applications, which can be found in cars competing in Formula One, DTM, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Indy Lights, and the list goes on.  Chevy's first collaboration with Multimatic came with the 2014 Camaro Z/28.

Peek under the ZR2's fenders and you'll see blue and gold anodized, aluminum-bodied shock absorbers that resemble premium aftermarket items rather than OEM parts.  These shocks incorporate Multimatic's DSSV damping technology, which features position-sensitive damping that varies the damping rate depending on how far the wheels travel, while external reservoirs enhance cooling.  Barring any external damage, the shocks are designed to last the life of the vehicle.

You can't just bolt on a set of Multimatics to a regular Colorado though, because new control arms provide more wheel travel.  Wheel track has also been widened by 8.8 centimetres, while ride height has increased by 5 cm.

Other off-road-enhancing features include electrically locking differentials, 31-inch Goodyear Duratrac tires on 17-inch wheels and an abundant application of skid plates to protect the undercarriage.  The added off-road equipment has dropped payload by about 300 to 1,100 pounds (135 to 500 kilograms), while towing capacity is 5,000 lbs (2,268 kg).

Visually the ZR2's most striking feature is the front bumper, which has cut-outs that expose the front tires, giving the pickup an aggressive stance, while providing additional clearance when rock climbing.

Powertrains are shared with other Colorado models (except the base 2.5-litre gasoline four).  The standard engine in the $44,215US ZR2 is the 3.6-L V6 that claims 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic.  For an additional $4,090US, you can get the 2.8-L turbodiesel four, which claims 181 hp and 369 lb-ft and powers the wheels through a six-speed auto.  Initial numbers put combined fuel consumption at 13 L/100 km for the gasoline engine and 10.7 L for the diesel.

Despite the added ride height, it's easy to climb into the cab, where you'll find the familiar Colorado cockpit, the biggest difference being the added buttons in the centre stack that lock the differentials.  Interior amenities include heated front seats, wireless phone charging, an eight-inch touch-screen infotainment system with MyLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 4G LTE on-board Wi-Fi, a rear-view camera, and sliding rear window.

Other standard features include keyless entry, automatic cruise control, a spray-on bed liner, damped tailgate operation, a full-sized spare mounted on a matching aluminum wheel, and a trailer package that includes a hitch, seven-pin connector and a trailer-brake controller.

Since the emphasis is on off-road driving, our test drive includes a high-speed closed course that emulates desert racing, and an off-road loop that takes us to Bangs Canyon and the Tabegauche Trail just outside of Grand Junction, where we perform some serious low-speed rock crawling.

The high-speed course is laid out on sand and hard-packed dirt, and includes tight bends, higher-speed sweepers, and several jumps.  Approaching one of the jumps at about 70 km/h launches the ZR2 into the air, with all four wheels dangling from the chassis.  Anticipating a hard landing I brace for a body-jolting impact only to be greeted by a surprisingly cushy touchdown.  The added suspension travel combines with the shocks' position-sensitive damping to soak up the landings without bottoming, while allowing excellent straight-line stability upon touchdown.  Even higher speeds over these jumps result in equally soft landings, a true testament to all of the engineers' "testing" done before the ZR2 hit production.

The rock-crawling portion of the test drive is equally impressive, especially since our hosts did not drop tire pressures from standard for convenience.  With the transfer case switched to 4 Low and both differentials locked, the ZR2 treads effortlessly over some impressive geological features, including rather tall stone steps.  While it's impressive to see pictures of trucks driving over obstacles with one wheel high in the air, the truth is that this is more a demonstration of electronic torque management than actual off-road capability.  The ZR2 negotiates the extreme step course without ever getting a wheel in the air.

Aside from its taller stance, there are no concessions made in ride quality on the road.  The ZR2 is remarkably composed and quiet, with only a faint howl coming from the aggressively treaded tires.

The collaboration between Chevy and Multimatic has proven that you really don't have to give up everyday comfort to be able to take serious weekend forays deep into the woods.  It's also smaller and capable of squeezing into tighter spaces than the full-sized Ford Raptor.

Of course, if you're not serious about off roading, you really don't need the ZR2; you can spec the Z71 with the V6 or the diesel (starting at about $37,000) and save several thousand dollars.  But if you spend weekends on the trails with your off-roading buddies, the ZR2 can climb rocks and handle the toughest trails along with the most capable competition, and even among modified custom jobs, right off the showroom floor.

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