Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. The Suburban was once a bit less luxurious than today's version.

I found this truck on the same block where the Evil New Yorker once parked, and just around the corner from the '60 Rambler American Custom. I can tell its model year falls somewhere within the 1948-1950 span, thanks to the grille and passenger-side vent louvers, but that's as close as I can guess so I'm going to say it's a '49. Any clarifications, early Suburban experts?

This truck, which had a shipping weight of 3,710 pounds, came from the factory with an overhead-valve Thriftmaster 216-cube six generating 90 horsepower. Compare that to the 2009 model, which scales in at an 18-wheeler-esque 6,327 pounds… and packs an engine that grunts out 352 horsepower. So, nearly twice the weight, moved by nearly four times the power. Cupholders and power seats versus postwar style and a bouncy, rattly ride. Which would you prefer as your personal passenger truck?

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