The 1958 Chevrolet Cameo Carrier pickup was the last of the costly Cameo line, making it a rare find today.
Starting in 1958, Chevrolet trucks adopted a new numbering system, with 30 for light-duty vehicles, 40-50-60 for medium-duty, and 70-80-90-100 for heavy-duty. In the 30 series, also known as the "Apache" line, Chevrolet continued to build the Cameo Carrier, which had been introduced in 1955.
Though the Cameo had set truck styling history with its smooth, car-like lines, it cost a premium over other trucks and had never sold well. In February 1958, it was replaced by all-new Fleetside bodies, with "jet-pod" sculpturing along the cargo bed.
The Fleetside brought a line-wide application of a styling technique the Cameo had pioneered: full-width rear bodywork, plus a chrome grille, bumpers, and trim. This was an important step for Chevrolet, since it made available Cameo-like styling at a moderate price. This precluded further production of the Cameo itself.
Classic Truck Image Gallery
As a result, the 1958 is the rarest of all Chevrolet Cameos -- only 1,405 were built. Another reason for the low production was the negative year for the industry as a whole: the recession kept truck production to well under a million, the lowest count since 1945.
Nevertheless, Chevy made numerous changes, including all-new sheet metal, then-trendy quad headlamps, a new grille and hood emblems, and seven new colors.
The grillework, in keeping with contemporary tastes, was complex and "busy," incorporating parking lights. The hood was reshaped to make it level with the cowl, and set off by new series-designation plates.
A total of 15 solid and 15 two-tone colors were available, including such vivid new shades as Dawn and Marine blue; Polar, Oriental, and Glade green; Tartan turquoise; and Kodiak brown.
Collectible Pluses of the 1958 Chevrolet Cameo Carrier
- Last of the Cameo line
- Rarest of four Cameo vintages
- Deluxe features
- Among the best-known mid-1950s collectible light trucks
Collectible Minuses of the 1958 Chevrolet Cameo Carrier
- Not as distinctive in 1958 as it was in 1955
- Not appreciating nearly as fast as the more abundant and better-known earlier Cameos
- Some specific 1958 hardware is very hard to find
For more great articles and pictures on new and classic trucks, see: