Iconic Design and Innovation: The 1959 Chevrolet Apache

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In 1959, Chevrolet introduced the highly influential 1959 Apache, a truck that left an indelible mark on the automotive industry. This model year brought significant updates to the Apache lineup, featuring a bold and futuristic design, improved performance, and enhanced comfort. Join us as we delve into a detailed and comprehensive history of the 1959 Chevrolet Apache, exploring its groundbreaking design and the talented individuals behind it.

The 1959 Chevrolet Apache boasted a radical departure from its predecessors, signaling a new era for Chevrolet trucks known as the Fleetside era. The truck received a complete exterior redesign, characterized by its squared-off and angular appearance. The front end made a bold statement with a massive grille adorned with horizontal chrome bars and flanked by dual headlights on each side. The sharp and clean bodylines exuded a sense of modernity and forward-thinking design.

The design of the 1959 Chevrolet Apache was the result of a collaborative effort among talented individuals at Chevrolet, including the design team led by Clare MacKichan and the chief designer, Chuck Jordan. Clare MacKichan, a General Motors veteran, played a pivotal role in shaping the Chevrolet truck design. As the head of the Chevrolet studio, MacKichan believed in creating trucks that were not only utilitarian but also visually appealing and ahead of their time. His influence can be seen in the clean lines, bold grille, and overall modernity of the 1959 Apache’s design.

Working alongside MacKichan was Chuck Jordan, the chief designer of Chevrolet during the late 1950s. Jordan brought a fresh perspective and innovative ideas to the design process. His vision for the 1959 Apache centered around creating a truck that would stand out on the road with its futuristic and daring styling. Jordan’s touch can be seen in the distinctive dual-headlight setup, the aggressive front grille, and the angular bodylines that defined the 1959 Apache’s aesthetic.

The 1959 Chevrolet Apache’s striking design and the creative contributions of Clare MacKichan and Chuck Jordan solidified its place in automotive history. It set a new standard for truck design, showcasing a harmonious blend of form and function. Today, the 1959 Chevrolet Apache remains a highly sought-after collectible, celebrated for its iconic design and the innovative spirit it embodies.

As automotive enthusiasts, we invite you to explore the rich history and captivating design of the 1959 Chevrolet Apache, a truck that continues to captivate hearts and minds with its timeless appeal.

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Cab and Interior: Inside the 1959 Apache, Chevrolet prioritized driver comfort and convenience. The cab received updates to enhance the overall driving experience. The dashboard featured a clean and functional layout, with improved instrument gauges and controls. Chevrolet introduced a new wrap-around windshield, providing better visibility and reducing glare. The seating was comfortable, and the cabin offered ample space for occupants. The Apache was available with various interior trims and options to suit individual preferences.

Engine and Performance: The 1959 Apache offered a range of engine options to cater to different power requirements. The standard engine was a 235 cubic inch (3.9-liter) inline-six, producing approximately 135 horsepower and 217 lb-ft of torque. For those seeking more power, Chevrolet provided a larger 283 cubic inch (4.6-liter) V8 engine. This V8 variant delivered around 185 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque, providing improved acceleration and towing capabilities. The engines were mated to a three-speed manual transmission as standard, with the option of a four-speed manual or Hydra-Matic automatic transmission.  p f

Suspension and Handling: The Apache featured a robust and well-engineered chassis that contributed to its excellent handling and ride quality. The truck utilized an independent front suspension system with coil springs, which improved comfort and maneuverability. At the rear, a solid axle with leaf springs ensured the Apache could handle heavy loads and maintain stability. The suspension setup struck a balance between smooth driving characteristics and the truck’s rugged hauling capabilities.



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Model Lineup: The 1959 Chevrolet Apache was available in various trims and configurations to cater to a wide range of needs. The lineup included the Apache 31 (½-ton), Apache 32 (¾-ton), and Apache 36 (1-ton) models. Customers could choose between Fleetside and Stepside bed options, depending on their preference for a smooth or traditional look. Chevrolet also offered different cab styles, such as the standard cab, deluxe cab, and custom cab, providing further customization options.

Market Impact and Legacy: The 1959 Chevrolet Apache made a significant impact on the truck market and became a symbol of style and innovation. Its bold and futuristic design set it apart from other trucks of its time, attracting buyers with its modern appeal. The Apache’s enhanced performance and improved comfort appealed to a wide range of customers, including farmers, small business owners, and truck enthusiasts. The 1959 Apache’s legacy continues to thrive today, with restored and well-preserved models being highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts.


In conclusion, the 1959 Chevrolet Apache was a game-changer in the truck industry. Its groundbreaking design, improved performance, and comfortable interior made it a standout choice for truck buyers. The Apache’s influence can still be felt in modern trucks, as it set the stage for future Chevrolet truck designs and innovations. The 1959 Apache’s enduring legacy as a symbol of style and innovation solidifies its place in automotive history.