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1957 Chevrolet 3106/3116 Suburban Carryall

This 1957 Chevrolet 3106 Suburban Carryall sports such options as a V-8 egnine, chrome grill and front bumper, and chromed windsplits on the hood. See more classic truck pictures.

The 1957 Chevrolet 3106/3116 Suburban Carryall traced its roots to a model first introduced in 1935 and at the same time, had some elements of what we'd recognized today as a sport-utility vehicle.

Chevy's 1935 Carryall predated the modern all-steel station wagon by over a decade. Back then, it was nothing more than a panel delivery truck with windows in place of solid panels.

Still, it was all steel, and a lot easier to maintain than the conventional woody wagons of the time. The Carryall continued as Chevy trucks evolved from single-purpose workhorses, to civilized transportation in the mid-1950s, to upscale Chevrolet Suburban SUVs in the 1980s, but they always remained truck-based.

Carryalls began to get civilized in 1955, with up-to-date, car-like styling touches. The 1957 Chevrolet 3106/3116 Suburban Carryall was a mild facelift from the 1955-1956 models, led by a "floating" trapezoidal grille.

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Classic Truck Image Gallery

The hood was flattened and given two longitudinal bulges, which could be decorated with twin windsplit ornaments, much like the 1957 passenger cars. A big "bowtie" emblem above the grille, elongated oval fender badges, and oval taillights added to the stylish appointments.

Passengers climbed into a Suburban via concealed "Safety Steps," which had replaced the old-fashioned running boards still used by some competitors. Covered, the steps stayed a lot cleaner, and free of snow or ice.

Inside, features included the V-shaped instrument cluster housing speedometer and gauges, the two-toned dash with non-reflective surface, face-level fresh-air ventilation, and gray "bark-pattern" vinyl upholstery.

Although Chevy's new 283-cid V-8 was optional on the Sedan Delivery, other light-duty trucks made do with the Trademaster 265 V-8, which cost $113 more than the standard six. The usual choice of five transmissions was offered.

Suburban options were numerous: power brakes, power steering, Hydra-matic, overdrive, chrome trim, electric wipers.

Chevrolet marketed two Suburbans in 1957. Priced equally, the 3106 (shown here) had "panel doors" at the rear, while the 3116 had a wagon-type tailgate.

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Collectible Pluses of the 1957 Chevrolet 3106/3116 Suburban Carryall

  • Enormous cargo and people capacity
  • Good performance from both engine types
  • Body and mechanical parts in good supply

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Collectible Minuses of the 1957 Chevrolet 3106/3116 Suburban Carryall

  • Not a lot of collector interest
  • Slow to appreciate in value
  • Underwhelming styling; not exactly a Chevrolet Nomad

For more great articles and pictures on new and classic trucks, see:

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