A New Reference Arrives

American Light Trucks book cover
Cover of American Light Trucks & Utility Vehicles

Eighties Cars has been somewhat weak when it comes to the trucks, vans, and SUVs of the decade. Sure, there have been a few posts, including a recent one about the 1985 Chevrolet Suburban, but there certainly isn’t a representative amount.

There are a few reasons for this. One is that I simply don’t feel as familiar with trucks and SUVs as I am with automobiles. Another is that references are sparer for trucks and SUVs than for cars—at least American ones.

That second reason was at least partially ameliorated today with the arrival of J. “Kelly” Flory, Jr.’s latest opus. American Light Trucks & Utility Vehicles, 1967–1989 is exactly what it says—every model of truck, van, and sport utility vehicle, year by year. It’s a weighty tome, running 1,461 pages. I sourced it from Powell’s Books, and it arrived quickly.

Kelly Flory is familiar to folks who use automobile references. I already have his three American Cars volumes—1946 to 1959, 1960 to 1972, and 1973 to 1980, which combine for 2,950 pages. These books give a different view of any particular car model by placing it within the context of the overall marque and the rest of the American automotive industry for each model year. American Light Trucks & Utility Vehicles follows the same format.

For Eighties Cars, this new resource will mean two things. First, there will be more posts about trucks, vans, and SUVs. Second, I will revise previous truck and SUV posts where data was spare or imprecise.