Carry On: 1966 Chevrolet Suburban Carryall

The first Chevrolet Suburban was introduced in 1936, and that first generation was called the “Carryall Suburban,” pretty much summing up the purpose of this truck model with its moniker. The Suburban name has always been predominant, but “Carryall” seems to have stuck around for quite a while as well. For some people, it appears the names are interchangeable.

The truck is a 1966 Chevrolet Carryall Suburban offered¬†here on craigslist and located in Payson, Arizona. The seller calls it just a Carryall, and does not have much to say about its condition, other than that it has been in Arizona since the 1970s. It looks like it’s still being used regularly too.

This truck features a rebuilt six cylinder engine that may or may not be original, and some of our readers will be happy to see that it comes with a four speed transmission as well. If it is the original engine, it’s the solidly reliable but underpowered 230 cubic inch descendant of the famed Chevy stove-bolt six.

The seller says it runs strong. A good Carryall will carry all your stuff or all your family members, and probably some of your friends too. But this one appears not to have anything other than a front seat, so it may be better suited for carrying stuff than people.

This Suburban shows its age. It has plenty of bumps and bruises. As this photo indicates, the floors are pretty much gone. Someone appears to have done this repair using door hinges! One of the side windows is missing too. The flooring in the back needs some work and even though it’s a desert truck, this truck definitely has rust issues.

1966 was the final year of Chevy’s fifth generation Suburban. This design began with the 1960 model year, which was heavily influenced by that year’s passenger car design. Square and stolid, this particular Suburban style is very attractive 50 years on. By the time this truck was made, Chevy had added some more creature comforts – safety belts, back-up lights and dual-speed windshield wipers were standard.

Chevy only made about 13,000 Suburbans in 1966. How many of them are still on the road? That front seat can’t be original, can it?

Most of these mid-sixties Suburbans have succumbed to rust and use by now. This one surely has been well-used, and may be a bit too rough to serve as the basis of a full-on restoration. If the frame is solid, maybe this will be either a resto-mod or someone will just fix it up and drive it. Another option is to move this body to a more modern drivetrain. There seem to be endless possibilities for this truck.

I do love this old Carryall. I can’t explain what is so attractive to me about these early to mid-sixties Chevy trucks. Suburbans of this vintage look terrific, and while they’re fairly rare compared to pick ups, parts are readily available, and you can fit almost any drive train you want in it.

1935 Chevrolet Suburban.

While these older Suburbans definitely drive like the trucks they are, and are best at low speeds on local roads, they are practical, economical and fun to own and drive. With an asking price of $2,900, it sure seems this truck will be finding a new home soon.

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Comments

  1. JunkieTruck

    I wonder if the person that rebuilt the engine is the same one that customized the dash. The air filter wing nut stem is pretty trick too.

    • jaymes

      wonder if it hits the hood,lol

  2. Curtis

    If only I could find that big bag of money we’d all use to rescue some of these old vehicles. This would make a great vehicle to do an engine swap & upgrades to pull my 66 Malibu to the strip. This would also be a fun ride to the local drive in movie down the road, not many of them left either.

  3. Paul

    Love these old 2-door versions and you sure don’t see many around. I rescued this ’64’ from an old man’s “back 40”. Mostly complete 4×4 with 292, 4-speed. Broncos and Land Cruisers bring big money but I would not trade for two of them. Yes, the front seat is not original. It should be a 60/40 split and the second rear seat is missing. If it had come with a third seat, the back, side windows would be sliding windows. Still a cool project for someone!

  4. Scot Douglas

    If it were in Michigan, the listing would be for twice the price and it already would be gone.

  5. Jeffro

    On the positive side, ifyou chew tobacco, you could simply spit where the floor was

    • KeithK

      In my youth the rust in holes in my 72 Econoline were perfect for the disposal of empty beer cans ,sidestepping that pesky open container law. Extra points were added If the precision toss was crushed by the rear wheels.

      • Loco Mikado

        Also handy for getting rid of consumed beer.

  6. jcs

    I’m surprised that GM still has wooden floors in the rear seat/cargo area of a mid ’60’s enclosed truck, or am I missing something?

  7. Howard A Member

    My old man had the GMC version in the early 60’s. I believe, the ” Suburban Carryall” was the GMC, and Chevrolet was just “Suburban”.( anybody?) I remember the old man’s GMC had the V-6, and didn’t have enough power to pull a trailer, so he went with a ’67 Chevy Suburban,( ex-police ambulance) then the IH Travelall, and then back to the ’72, Chevy Suburban, both Chevy’s were 3 doors and both V-8’s. This particular truck is pretty rough, but try and find another, in any condition. These are extremely hard to find.

  8. Vin in NJ

    Cool Truck. The Suburban is undisputed as the oldest surviving nameplate in the U.S., dating back to 1935.

  9. geomechs Member

    Both the Suburban and Carryall have been both liberally used by Chevy and GMC. Back when the Cameo was in its glory, the GMC version was the Suburban Carrier, as compared to the Cameo Carrier.

    Now for this one: I’m not so sure that the motor isn’t a 292; those tappet covers look a little wide for a 230/250. Speaking of which, I don’t think the 230 was available in a Burb in ’66; I’m sure the 250 was the standard motor. That said, this one is a good candidate for restoration. If it was to come my way and that was definitely a 292 it would probably stay. However, if it was a 250, I’d be tempted to replace it with a dull, boring, bellybutton motor (SBC) and drive the wheels off it.

    • David Wilk Member

      Geo:
      Your memory is good, and better than mine. 1966 C-10s, including Carryalls, came with 250 CID engines. I just found this very comprehensive original Chevy truck guide at GM Heritage: https://www.gmheritagecenter.com/docs/gm-heritage-archive/vehicle-information-kits/Chevrolet-Trucks/1966-Chevrolet-Truck.pdf.

      Just about every 66 spec you’d want to know is included.
      – David

      • geomechs Member

        Hi David. Thanks for the link; I’m going to keep that close at hand.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi geomechs, the GMC Suburban pickup, whoa,,,,there’s a rare one. One source claims they were only made as a promotional piece to lure customers into the showrooms. If I read that right, only 300 ( some say 326) were made in ’55. Pretty sharp!! Love that front end! http://www.oldchevytrucks.com/images/1955_gmc_suburban.jpg

      • geomechs Member

        Hi Howard. The GMC version was less in numbers but stayed in production through ’58. There was a ’57 version in Cutbank, not too far away. The owner’s father wasn’t at all fussy about selling it yet the son never showed up to claim it so the truck sat in the backyard until one day when it was loaded onto a trailer headed for places east.

    • Tyler

      Yep, it is a 292. Easiest way to tell, besides the taller side covers, is where the fuel pump is in relation to the motor mount. On the 292, it is aft of the motor mount. On the 230 & 250, it is forward of the motor mount.

  10. waynard

    Had two of these, a ’65 and a ’66. One with barn doors and the other with the conventional clam shell doors. My ’66 had a 283 in it when I found it on a back road in an old mining community in New Mexico. I put in a 350 and kept the 4 spd with the granny gear and the monstrously heavy handling stock front end.

    By far this was one of the favorite old trucks that I ever owned. The wood floors were stock, jcs. Easy to repair. Neither of mine were ever in this bad a condition though; this one’s beat to snot. Probably worth saving regardless.

    Still fairly common here, I see one or two a month available in various conditions, throughout the region.

  11. Rob S

    This my friends restored GMC version. Been in his family since new.

    • Rob S

      Sorry, photo won’t load…

  12. Josiah O.

    I bought this truck for $2,200 at the end of July! The 292 starts right up purrs like new. The tranny’s a little janky – but drivable! I’ve already done a handful of 200-300 mile road trips – no sweat.

    I was searching Google for pictures of 66 Suburbans for paint inspiration and came across this post – and I was like, that’s Ol Yeller! (Previous owner nicknamed it that)

    This burb hauled firewood for decades at a lodge in AZ – and yes, is beat up! But my dad and I are now 11 days into restoration and the yellow is beginning to disappear. New rocker panels and repro fenders are in and the old fenders have been salvaged for sheet metal to replace rust/holes in the cabin floor and body. New repro bumper in front and rear ready to go on. Oh and the wheels and tires I picked up for $200 – because the tires on it were dry rotted and splitting. So far so cheap!

    The plan is go more stock on the outside and add some modern conveniences to the inside. For now the drivetrain is sufficient, but someday maybe an LS/4L60 combo.

    Anyway, not sure if folks still check this page – but thought I’d chime in:). Let me know if anyone would be interested in photos or progress updates.

    Carry on (or Carry-All) ;)

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Josiah, thanks for chiming in and we’d love to see progress updates!

  13. PatrickM

    Oooops! Listing expired. Did it sell? Or did time run out?

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