Last week in Found Off The Street we took a look at a 1955 Pontiac that somehow managed to stay rust-free in the Northeast. As you can tell from the pictures, this week's 1961 Chevrolet Suburban was not so lucky. The old truck wears the battle scars of a hard life of use on salty roads in the winter and salty beaches in the summer in form of rust on almost every body panel.
Sitting in the middle of an industrial park for as long as I can remember, this old Suburban hasn't seen road use in sometime. Although it is unclear whether there is a 235 inline-six or a 283 V8 under the hood, I'm willing to bet engine failure was not what pushed the Suburban into retirement. It was likely the body issues that caused this old truck to be parked for good.
The second year of a two year-only body style, the 1961 Suburbans featured some of the most distinctive styling from the model's 75 year run. The hoods are a love it or hate it styling feature that when designed fit right in with other car and trucks of the era, but look so dated and distinctive now.
Suburbans were available with two or four wheel drive in 1961. As you can see, this model was equipped with 4 wheel drive at the factory. It was only the second year in which GM did not rely on NAPCO, an independent contractor, to equip their trucks and SUVs with four wheel drive.
Early Suburbans are rare. They were of a time when trucks were purchased almost exclusively to work and serve a purpose. Because of this, not a whole lot survived to enjoy the easy life as retired collector trucks. Many were junked or scrapped at the end of their usable lives. Even though this old Suburban will probably never see the road again, for now it has managed to avoid the fate of many of its kind.