The 3 Oldest Car Nameplates Still in Production in 2021

Car models come and go over the years, and many people are disappointed when their favorite model is discontinued. Fortunately, fans of the Chevrolet Suburban, the Ford F-Series, and Volkswagen Transporter have yet to see these vehicles fade into oblivion since their first year of manufacture. All of these car nameplates have a long and rich history over decades, and many families have remained loyal to these models for generations. 

Learn more about these historic nameplates and how they have evolved over the years. 

When did the Chevy Suburban, Ford F-Series, and Volkswagen Transporter debut?

Of these three vehicles, the VW Transporter is the youngest, as it was first manufactured in 1950. According to CarAdvice, the idea for a smaller and lighter commercial vehicle was first sketched by Ben Pon in 1947, and it later became the first VW Transporter a few years later. Nobody was quite sure how well the Transporters would sell, but by 1964, over one million vans had been sold. 

The Ford F-Series is the second oldest of the bunch, first coming out in 1947. The Ford F-Series was the first pick-up, and it opened the door for other manufacturers to release their own pick-up style trucks in the future.

Before pick-ups became popular, most people just used cars or smaller semi-like trucks to haul their cargo around. The first iterations were known as Ford Bonus-Built, and it came in three versions: F-1, F-2, and F-3. 

The oldest car still in production today is the Chevrolet Suburban, which was first released all the way back in 1935. This vehicle was particularly popular for several decades because it could seat up to eight people or haul a sizable amount of cargo with ease. Despite seating up to eight, the Chevy Suburban relied on only two doors until 1973. 

Overviews of the 2021 models of these old nameplates

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The VW Transporter is still a lightweight cargo van that looks and feels like VW should. It has maintained the boxy exterior, though it looks sleeker and more modern than ever. The Transporter got an all-new look in 2016 as part of the T6 version, and according to MotorAuthority, some speculate that a new T7 VW Transporter will be available in 2022. 

The 2021 Ford F-150 has come a long way since its debut, and it’s been a favorite among truck owners for years. This is largely thanks to its powerful engine offerings, straightforward infotainment features, and full redesign inside and out. The F-150 looks aggressive yet polished, and it can tow up to 14,000 pounds. Not bad at all. 

The Chevy Suburban is still a beast of a vehicle, but it got a full redesign in 2021 to make it look and feel a bit more elegant. It boasts powerful engine options, both gas and diesel, ultra roomy seating, and tons of standard infotainment features. It’s a bit difficult to drive and park in tight areas, but that’s just the price you pay for having a massive SUV. That’s been the truth as long as this old nameplate has been around.

These 2021 models feature fancy infotainment and safety features 

Clearly, all of these cars have undergone incredible transformations over their long histories. All of these vehicles now offer infotainment features that would seem completely alien to those who drove the first iterations of these vehicles.

Having a form of entertainment in your car wasn’t even a standard feature throughout the 1930s, as according to Car and Driver, the first car radio was costly, so most didn’t bother to add one. People simply expected their car to get them from point A to point B, and it never crossed their minds that your car would also have entertainment features like radio, Wi-Fi, or DVD players. 

Vehicle safety has also come a long way, as the most recent versions of these old nameplates come equipped with a slew of standard safety features that were unheard of even a decade ago.

The 2021 Ford F-150, for example, has a rearview camera, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and forward automatic emergency braking. The Chevy Suburban has all of that and Teen Driver settings, automatic high-beam headlights, and more to keep individuals and families safe. The first versions of these vehicles didn’t have anything even remotely close to this; after all, seatbelts, as we know them, weren’t even designed until 1959!

Regardless of how old these nameplates are, it’s clear that they still provide a lot of value in 2021.