The very first pickup truck is a hotly debated topic, as there are numerous contenders for the title. Some might argue that the earliest pickup was the Model T Runabout with Pickup Body, while others might point to early Ford trucks like the Ford Model TT or the Chevy C-Series.
The Model T Runabout with Pickup Body was an assembly kit released in 1925 by Ford Motor Company. It converted a Model T sedan into a makeshift pickup truck, allowing owners to carry extra cargo and goods. The body of this kit was made from wood and metal, and it included a tailgate, rear fenders, and side panels.
The Ford Model TT was introduced in 1917 as one of the earliest mass-produced trucks. This vehicle had an open cab and flatbed design, which allowed for more flexible hauling options than its predecessors. Its powerful four-cylinder engine made it capable of hauling up to three tons.
The Chevy C-Series was initially released in 1918 as General Motors’ response to Ford’s success with the Model TT. It had an enclosed cab with seating for three passengers, and its powerful six-cylinder engine could haul up to four tons. The C-Series was also equipped with features such as an adjustable driver’s seat and electric starting.
While it is impossible to definitively say which vehicle is truly the very first pickup truck, all of these vehicles have shaped the development of pickups throughout history. The Model T Runabout with Pickup Body provided drivers with more utility than ever before, while both the Ford Model TT and Chevy C-Series were instrumental in creating strong competition between automakers in developing their own pickups.