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Chevrolet‘s first production pickup truck, the 1918 One-Ton, was an open-cab model designed for carrying cargo rather than passenger comfort. Fast forward to 1960, and there was the inception of the streamlined, passenger-focused General Motors C/K Series pickup truck. In 1967, GM introduced the second-generation C/K Series pickup, the Action Line, during the heat of the muscle car era. Here’s a look at what made Action Line trucks so special.

The General Motors C/K Series origin story

Streetside Classics, a purveyor of classic cars, says during the years following World War II, GM found success with its Advanced Design 3100 Series and Task Force-era Apache pickup trucks. However, like most trucks of the time, the practical design offered few creature comforts. In 1960, GM rolled out the first generation C/K Series pickup, changing that equation forever. 

The first-generation C/K Series trucks encompass model years from 1960 to 1966. The 1960 C10’s design offered a car-like driving experience and comfort. Changes included more forward weight distribution, a larger windshield and rear window, and an independent front suspension. 

However, the new C10s didn’t catch on with consumers until the late first-generation models debuted in 1963. These trucks featured a redesigned front fascia, coil spring front suspension, and new engine options. 

The second-generation C/K Series, often called the Action Line, included the 1967 to 1972 model years. These models rank as Streetside Classics’ best-selling classic trucks today. Holley Performance Products says while the second-generation C/K Series trucks generally offer improved outward visibility, the 1967 C10 featured a “small rear window” cab with an option for a larger window. 

Where did the Action Line of pickup trucks get its name?

The second-generation C/K Series trucks featured a radical design change from the previous generation. With its introduction timed at the height of the muscle car era, the new design appeared ready for action with sleek body lines and painted side stripes. Although the “Action Line” moniker came from GM, many people referred to the new style as the Glamour Line due to the truck’s good looks, according to CJ Pony Parts.

There are four generations of C- and K-Series trucks, where the letter C designates rear-wheel drive models, and K stands for those equipped with four-wheel drive. However, GM only produced three generations of C/K 10, 20, and 30 trucks. 

The “10” designation signifies the truck’s half-ton rating, while “20” means it’s a three-quarter-ton, and “30” stands for one-ton. The fourth generation C/K Series trucks swapped from 10, 20, and 30 to the current 1500, 2500, and 3500 badging. 

What’s the difference between Action Line and Rounded Line Chevy trucks?

In 1973, GM named the third-generation C/K Series trucks, produced until 1987, the “Rounded Line.” However, it’s more common for fans of the body style to call them “Square Body.” Design differences from the previous generation include a rounded windshield, fender openings with rounded corners, and a longer, wider stance. 

While the first three generations represent some of the most desirable classic pickup trucks among collectors, the fourth and final C/K generation is less collectible. Finally, 1999 marked the first generation of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra. Although GM still produced heavy-duty C/K Series trucks until 2002.

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