You’d never know it today, when more than half the new vehicles sold are classified as trucks, and therefore command proper attention from both the media and the regulators, but half a century ago, the media and the general public paid little attention to the workhorses of the roadways.
In 1955, the big volume year of automotive production in the post-WWII decade, US factories produced 9,190,875 vehicles, of which 1,259,016 or 14 percent were trucks and buses. (In case you wondered, in that year Japanese factories turned out a total 165,000 vehicles including those classified three-wheeled,” and West Germany, 847,097.)
The big media attention in 1959 focused on the forthcoming compact cars from the Big Three, 1960-models Ford Falcon, Chevrolet Corvair and Plymouth Valiant.
But in the summer of 1960, on the eve of the 1961 model introduction, there was a sleeper: the introduction of box-like small trucks from both Ford and Chevrolet, based on the powertrains and chassis of their 1960 compact sedans.