Owner: Ed Brouillet
During the early 1930’s the US Army strongly encouraged General Motors to develop a light weight people hauler for their military needs. GM’s answer to this is what they called a Suburban. The finished product was placed on a ½ ton truck chassis. This allowed GM to use most of the existing items from their pickup. New tooling was only necessary for the body and seats keeping engineering and production costs low. The new Suburban had a wood framed skinned over sheet metal body. The doors, cowl, front fenders and front floors are all 1/2 ton.
As with the other earlier 1935 Suburbans a lift gate was not yet available. A canvas drop curtain was factory installed. The top is black oil cloth over wood bows which caused an early grave for these Suburbans. Once a top leak developed years later and more and more patches were needed, the interior began to stay wet longer. Rust and wood rot soon took over.
The featured early 1935 Suburban has been owned by Ed Brouillet of Fairfield, CT for about twelve years. It has been restored as new. Ed states it is the ‘first’ oldest Suburban. The other five 1935 models known to exist are not this low of ID number.
It is restored with a Swifts red body and black fenders. An original 207 cubic inch six cylinder is in place with a 3 speed floor shift transmission. It has most all details correct and looks as great as in 1935.
Fortunately, Ed enjoys showing his piece of history. It is seen at several shows in the New England area each year. His personal collection of antique hand operated house vacuum cleaners are displayed in the back. Ed always stays with his Suburban at shows. He loves talking to people about this first Suburban and his vintage vacuum cleaners. It can be a very memorable experience!