In the world of classic trucks there isn’t a truck more iconic than the 1956 Ford F-100, the "Deuce" of trucks. After 55 years of holding the throne it’s not likely its reign will ever end, but in the arena of the most popular classic truck, a new king has been crowned. It’s a trend we’ve been watching grow for years by tracking which cover truck consistently does best on the newsstand and gets the most website hits; we are talking about the range of ’67-’72 Chevrolet and GMC light-duty trucks, including pickups and other variants such as the Blazer and Suburban.

The ’67-’72’sstyling is the brainchild of GM head designer Harry Bentley Bradley. It’s actually a miracle Harry’s ultra clean design made it into production untouched before some corporate GM design committee got their collective hands on it. As it turned out, in 1969, against designer’s wishes, the ’69 got a facelift. Harry wasn’t involved though, by then he had moved on to Cadillac’s design studio. The powers that be (which means twenty guys sitting around a table and guessing at stuff) felt the original design was too delicate, and the truck should have a more aggressive look. Along with the heavy-duty nose, the ’69-up trucks were available with upper and lower moldings that gave a busier look. In retrospect the slight change in styling wasn’t a bad thing. Today the ’67-’68s are a much sought-after rarity, and the heavily trimmed ’69-ups available with a wide array of two-tone paint schemes are equally desirable.

Another example where Harry Bradley went against the wind, and time eventually bore out his convictions, was his insistence on a small rear window. This is contrary to other classic truck brands including prior years of Chevrolet and GMC where the presence of a big-window is a semi-rare and valuable option. Harry liked how the small-window produced, "a coupe quality." For years, a general consensus based in urban legend was the ’67’s small-window was banned by the government due to the formation of the Department of Transportation in 1968. Supposedly it didn’t meet rearward visibility requirements dictated by the DOT’s new laws. Currently there’s a wave of opinion building that there were some ’68 C10s built with a small-window cab. I’ve never seen one, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

I got to thinking about another example from post-DOT days. Not the 1967 Austin Healy 3000 that was killed off entirely by DOT rules, but the 1968 Austin Mini Cooper "S" Mk.II. It’s another situation where there’s an ongoing argument among purists regarding production history. There were non-DOT compliant68 Mk.II Coopers, sold in the United States which are easily distinguished from ’67 Mk I Coopers, but they were built in 1967. The trick was to title them before the ’68 cutoff.

So, now where does that leave us? Does it mean small-window C10s were built only in early ’67 to beat a deadline? It’s real easy to clone a fake, and without a pristine example or factory documentation, the existence of a ’68 small-window remains an unsolved mystery. My guess is the small-window trucks didn’t sell as well as trucks equipped with a full-view rear window so dealers stopped ordering them. One has to remember that Ford trucks were offered with a larger rear window as standard equipment years ahead of GM. Both GM and Ford introduced completely redesigned models in 1967, but General Motors had already lost that bet. Proof that GM intended to continue the practice of charging more for a big rear window is listed in the first edition Price & Facts book, dated October 1966, under Optional Equipment.

"(Window), Full-View Rear: (Cabs) Code A10, List Price $40.00 Factory D&H $3.05 Mfr’s Sgt’d Retail Delvr’d $43.05. "

It’s interesting to note as I discovered on the build sheet of my ’68 GMC manufactured in September 1967, there was a box left to indicate a Panoramic rear window--confirmation that ’68 small-windows existed or just a raft of leftover blank forms?