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The 1978 Dodge Lil Red Express. (Credit: Chrysler/Dodge)

The 1978 Dodge Lil Red Express.

Built for the long haul: pickups through the years

Pickup trucks have become a staple of the American auto industry, and are known not only for their ruggedness but also for their continued innovations in comfort, design and technology. But there was a time when the average truck was little more than a modified car chassis with a wooden flatbed. Here is a gallery of pickup trucks through the years.

A 1909 Model F Truck.
(Credit: GMC)

A 1909 Model F Truck.

The 1913 GMC Model KU 5 Ton Chassis.
(Credit: GMC)

The 1913 GMC Model KU 5 Ton Chassis.

The 1930 Chevy Roadster was one of the
(Credit: GMC)

The 1930 Chevy Roadster was one of the company's first models to resemble the modern-day pickup. Chevrolet began producing trucks for the public in 1918. Buyers had to purchase their own wooden cab and cargo box for the original models, according to Chevy.

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The 1937 Chevrolet GC Series Half-ton was one
(Credit: Chevrolet)

The 1937 Chevrolet GC Series Half-ton was one of Chevy's earliest truck models to feature a more modern, streamlined design and a larger engine than previous trucks, according to the company.

The 1939 GMC AC100 is pictured here.
(Credit: GMC)

The 1939 GMC AC100 is pictured here.

The 1947 Tama Truck was available in electric
(Credit: Nissan )

The 1947 Tama Truck was available in electric and gasoline versions. "Tama" was the brand name used by Tokyo Electric Cars Co., which got its name from the Tachikawa Aircraft Company, said Nissan.

The 1948 GMC FC101.
(Credit: GMC)

The 1948 GMC FC101.

The 1951 Dodge Power Wagon was based on
(Credit: Chrysler/Dodge)

The 1951 Dodge Power Wagon was based on similar truck models used by the military during WWII.

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The 1955 Chevrolet Cameo Carrier.
(Credit: GMC)

The 1955 Chevrolet Cameo Carrier.

The 1956 GMC Pickup.
(Credit: GMC)

The 1956 GMC Pickup.

The 1960 Datsun 1200 Pickup was a modified
(Credit: Nissan )

The 1960 Datsun 1200 Pickup was a modified version of the Datsun 220 pickup trucks, which succeeded Nissan's 120 pickup line.

The 1966 Nissan Cablight 1150, also known as
(Credit: Nissan )

The 1966 Nissan Cablight 1150, also known as the A20, was used heavily for commercial goods transport, according to Nissan.

The 1967 Chevrolet C10 was part of a
(Credit: GMC)

The 1967 Chevrolet C10 was part of a Chevy's lineup of redesigned trucks, with front and rear spring coils and a lower-silhouette cab, according to the company.

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The 1971 Toyota Hilux was part of the
(Credit: Toyota)

The 1971 Toyota Hilux was part of the first generation of Toyota's long-running truck line, which is in its seventh iteration.

The 1978 Dodge Lil Red Express.
(Credit: Chrysler/Dodge)

The 1978 Dodge Lil Red Express.

The 1981 Power Wagon was the last model
(Credit: Chrysler/Dodge)

The 1981 Power Wagon was the last model of Dodge's truck to be produced.

The 1982 Chevy Tahoe S10 was the first
(Credit: GMC)

The 1982 Chevy Tahoe S10 was the first compact pickup truck to be produced domestically, according to Chevrolet.

The 1989 Dodge Dakota Convertible was the first
(Credit: Chrysler/Dodge)

The 1989 Dodge Dakota Convertible was the first American convertible truck released since the Ford Model A.

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Toyota introduced the 1993 T100 SR5 to compete
(Credit: Toyota)

Toyota introduced the 1993 T100 SR5 to compete with American truck companies like Dodge and Ford.

The 1994 Dodge Ram 1500 was featured in
(Credit: Chrysler/Dodge)

The 1994 Dodge Ram 1500 was featured in the disaster movie "Twister."

In 1995, Toyota introduced its Tacoma 4WD truck
(Credit: Toyota)

In 1995, Toyota introduced its Tacoma 4WD truck to cater to American and Canadian audiences seeking a truck more for leisure driving than for towing purposes.

The 1999 Chevrolet Silverado was designed for both
(Credit: Chevrolet)

The 1999 Chevrolet Silverado was designed for both personal transport and towing capacity, with an emphasis on comfort and an upgraded V8 engine, according to Chevrolet.

The 2004 Nissan Titan is a full-sized truck
(Credit: Nissan)

The 2004 Nissan Titan is a full-sized truck built for American audiences, and can be outfitted with bluetooth, navigation systems, a DVD player, and other modern features.

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The 2004 Chevy Silverado 1500 was one of
(Credit: Chevrolet)

The 2004 Chevy Silverado 1500 was one of the company's first and most popular light-duty trucks, and helped to transform pickups into a multi-purpose vehicle for work and family uses, according to Chevrolet.

The 2007 Toyota Tundra Double Cab.
(Credit: Toyota)

The 2007 Toyota Tundra Double Cab.

The 2013 Chevrolet Colorado is one of the
(Credit: GMC)

The 2013 Chevrolet Colorado is one of the company's newest mid-sized pickups, and is being marketed heavily overseas, according to Chevy.

The 2013 Honda Ridgeline Sport is Honda's newest
(Credit: Honda)

The 2013 Honda Ridgeline Sport is Honda's newest pickup model.

The 2014 Toyota Tundra.
(Credit: Toyota)

The 2014 Toyota Tundra.

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The 2014 Ram 1500.
(Credit: Chrysler/Dodge)

The 2014 Ram 1500.

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