1978 Chevrolet K20 Suburban Custom Deluxe
4dr Utility Vehicle 4x4
8-cyl. 305cid/145hp 2bbl
All of GM’s light duty and medium duty trucks for 1973 featured new cabs and pleasingly squared-off styling. Building on the success of Chevrolet’s king-sized truck-based wagon, the biggest news for the new Suburban was the addition of a driver’s side rear passenger’s door. A feature that we take for granted today, it also came a dozen years after the competing International Travelall and a decade after the Jeep Wagoneer first offered theirs.
While GM may have been late to that game, they stayed for the whole game to play, as IH withdrew from the light truck market in 1975. In those two years, the Suburban not only made greater inroads with market share, they were successfully pulling in new owners who would have otherwise have been car owners. While some of this is due to the four-door arrangement, it is also due to the increasing number of car-like options such as air conditioning, power seats, power windows, tilt steering column and luxurious interior trim. For all years of this generation, the pickups and the Suburban all were available with the same trim packages – from bare bones Custom Deluxe to the well-appointed Silverado.
1980 featured a one-year only revised front styling, with a flatter front grille and square headlights. It proved to be a preview for 1981 and the rest of the production run, which had an all new simplified front clip, new hood, and single plane grille. The 1987 model year saw the series designators changed. The two-wheel drive C-series became the R-Series, and the four-wheel drive K-Series was renamed the V-series. This was done to allow for concurrent production of the all-new C and K models early in 1987. While the half-ton pickups were all new for 1988, the Suburban’s (along with the Blazers plus three-quarter and one-ton trucks) retained the previous body through 1991.