When Chevrolet introduced its Model 490 Light Delivery, half-ton pickup truck in 1918, it came without a cab or body. Those essential components had to be purchased from third-party suppliers, although, in many cases, customers simply made them themselves, usually out of wood.

The Dodge Brothers sold their first pickup, a three-quarter ton, in 1924; that vehicle was built for Dodge by the Graham Brothers. Ford's first pickup, the Model T Runabout, appeared in 1925—like the Model T cars that came before it, it was offered in one color only, black. Ford's Model A trucks followed in 1927—the first ones only had open cabs—and they were manufactured until 1932.

In the decades that followed, fleets of Chevy 3100s, Apaches, and C-10s; Ford F-100s and F-250s; and Dodge B-2s, B-3s, and Adventurers hit the road. There were also hybrids, vehicles that were not quite trucks and not quite cars, as in the Chevrolet El Camino, Ford Ranchero, Dodge Rampage, and Corvair 95.

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