The SUV was born in 1935. That's the year Chevrolet introduced the Suburban Carryall, a windowed steel body atop a half-ton commercial truck chassis. Base price: $675, not including extras such as a heater and rear bumper.
It was an inauspicious debut for the SUV, which has become one of the industry's most popular types of passenger vehicles.
That first model had three-row bench seating for eight and windows all around, all powered by a 60-hp "stove bolt six" engine. Like its pickup base, the 1935 Suburban Carryall had only two side doors.
It was far from a modern SUV, says Dave Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich.
"It was a truck -- utility without any sport, something to haul the miners to the mine," he says. "But it paved the way for SUVs. It was a stage in the evolution."
Chevrolet had to add the "Carryall" to distinguish its Suburban from other so-called suburbans offered by Dodge, Nash and Plymouth.
The early 1930s were bursting with innovative body styles. Car-based "sedan deliveries" hauled light packages but had no back seat. Truck-based "depot hacks" carried people and baggage but were open to the weather. Enclosed people haulers had only two rows of seats.
Chevrolet experimented and in 1933 and 1934 even built three-row, wood-frame-and-canvas people movers commissioned by the U.S. National Guard and Civilian Conservation Corps.
For the 1935 Suburban Carryall, Chevrolet re- placed the damage-prone metal-over-wood side frame construction with an all-steel body. Chevy also made the rear two rows of seats removable.