Fun Facts: Chevrolet C3500
- From 1960 until 1999, Chevrolet named their full-size pickup truck product line according to their wheel drive formats. "K" models indicated a four-wheel drive base, while the "C" models indicated a two-wheel drive platform. The Chevrolet C3500, however, was the first full-size pickup truck that deviated from the naming tradition; the 1991 C3500 model became available in a four-wheel drive base, and yet, it continued to be classified as a "C" model.
- The release of the Chevrolet C3500 was uneventful. Chevrolet merely introduced the C3500 as a bridge to fill the gap between light duty pickup trucks, and medium load trucks. It was primarily offered as a standard chassis cab that catered varying commercial purposes. In 1996, the truck had a major revamp when Chevrolet offered the C3500 in a redesigned crew chassis cab.
- Despite the Chevrolet C3500 being sold as a commercial vehicle, it received very high marks from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration-most especially during the 1996 model year. Not only did the chassis receive an update, previous interior safety issues were also addressed. The dashboard was redesigned to incorporate frontal airbags on the driver and passenger side. On truck models where rear seating were not included, the space was utilized as a storage compartment.
- In 2002, the Chevrolet C3500 was rebranded as the Silverado Classic in North America and the Sierra Classic in Europe. This rebranding strategy was Chevrolet's last resort to save the sales for the truck. And true enough; the rebranded truck did receive praise from the more up-market crowd. Sales during 2002 skyrocketed, marking an all time high for the C3500.
- 2002 also proved to be the most controversial year for the Chevrolet C3500. Chevrolet filed several legal charges against an automotive manufacturer in Brazil for releasing a similar truck named Grand Blazer. The Grand Blazer was allegedly copied from the base model of the C3500; the Brazilian automaker did not have permission to do this. The legal suits were dropped when the Brazilian corporation conceded to the alleged intellectual property infringement; the Grand Blazer resumed availability in the market but has been carrying the name and the emblem of the Chevrolet brand since.
- As a side note, the Grand Blazer was discontinued being sold as truck in 2004. The 2005 model year of the Grand Blazer marked the beginning of a full-size offering from Chevrolet.