Believe it or not, Chevrolet started branching out into the vendor market almost 80 years ago. Here’s another interesting truck factoid: the very first Chevrolet trucks were also dubbed ‘Express’.
The brand’s first vendor vehicle, the Chevrolet Canopy Pickup, was based on the popular FB-series half-ton pickup truck and arrived on scene in 1936. Discerning business owners could even outfit the truck with an optional canopy top and side-drop down curtains, creating the ‘Express’ model. Our image above features an early example of Chevy’s curtain-sided workhorse, a 1939 Chevrolet Half-Ton Canopy Express.
And these trucks weren’t exactly niche vehicles, either. During it’s first model year the company saw truck registrations rise to 200,000 for the first time in company history.
Thirteen years later–after WWII had come and gone–the company released a new Canopy Express. Both the 3100 Series (half-ton) and 3800 Series (one-ton) version included variants of the ‘Express’ model. With waterproof roll-up curtains and and a lower tailgate, the 3800 was definitely the truck of choice for the discerning milkman. It was even more popular than the earlier model and Chevrolet moved 345,000 trucks in 1949 alone.
With 122.7 cubic feet (3,474 liters) of customizable cargo space and 24 mpg in the city, today’s
Nissan NV200 City Express looks to continue Chevrolet’s role in the long-standing vendor-vehicle marketplace. The new Express might be short on original hardware, but it definitely continues Chevy’s long-standing tradition.