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Forgotten 1972 Highlander

Thursday, February 11th, 2010


1972 Highlander

During 1972, a unique Chevrolet promotional pickup was introduced for a limited time in 1/2 , 3/4, and 1 ton models. This truck was designated the ‘Highlander’. Unfortunately, it did not have side emblems or related name plates that would cause people to remember this special model. On the actual truck the word Highlander was only listed on the glove box door inside ID sheet.

This vehicle was actually a modified middle series ‘Custom Deluxe’. The horizontal lower side trim has black inserts, not wood grain. The usual ‘Custom Deluxe’ chrome emblems are displayed on the front fenders. As with most of the 1972 GM trucks the dash housing, glove box lid, and door panels do not have the wood grain inserts as on the top of the line Cheyenne Super.

It is the cloth seat inserts that stand out on the Highlander interior. This feature was the special Scottish plaid nylon cloth seat insert material. Four plaid colors were available, depending on the exterior color.

GM used the top of the line 1972 Cheyenne Super seat covering but instead of the hounds tooth inserts substituted this unique Tartan plaid material. The vinyl seat edging, door panels, and seat belts were all parchment no matter the seat or exterior color.

1972 Highlander

The exterior feature of the Highlander is the attractive stainless wheel covers on the ½ ton. They have no emblem or letters and are specific for this particular model truck. (These actually had been used several years before as the stock 15 inch cover on the 1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.) The 3/4 and 1 ton Highlander used hub caps, not wheel covers, that were stampings from the standard base truck.

Actually, the more advertised feature of the Highlander was three pre installed option packages. Chevrolet put together several popular factory options in a base package and reduced the total regular price as much as $260.00. Original equipment (standard on the Highlander package A) were chrome front bumper, upper body moldings, door edge guards, and Below-Eye-Line door mounted mirrors.

Package B included the above items plus turbo hydramatic transmission, power steering and tilt steering column. Package C added the above plus air conditioning and Soft-Ray tinted windows.

In today’s world, Highlanders have been mostly forgotten. Unless you bought one new or located an original piece of sales literature, it is likely that even GM truck lovers were not aware they existed.

1972 Highlander

Comment

Another example of General Motors saving production costs: On the 1972 GMC only, the Chevrolet Highlander seat material was an option on their Wide-Side (fleetside) and Suburban. To give this seat insert a different appearance, than the Highlander, it appears the material was turned 90o so the stripes ran the opposite direction.

1972 Highlander

1972 GMC (optional) (above)

To get the most sales from the special Scottish plaid used in the 1972 Highlander, GM used it in one other application. The special Highlander seat covering could be obtained with the 1972 Suburban. It, like the Highlander truck, was a custom Deluxe series with lower side trim having satin black inserts. The special wheel covers were not used on this Suburban body.

Two of the enclosed pictures are from Frederic Lynes, who has these pictures of his 1972 avocado green and white Suburban the day it was bought new. Note the Highlander seat coverings.

Mr. Lynes also furnished the two photos of the 72 Hawaiian blue vehicle showing a great color view of the Scottish plaid. Frederic Lynes can be contacted at stingrayl82@comcast.net.

1972 Highlander

1972 Highlander

1972 Highlander

1972 Highlander

1972 Suburban Highlander

Thursday, February 11th, 2010


During the late 1970’s, trucks accelerated their change from a more commercial work vehicle to one desired by the family as their everyday transportation. During 1967-1972, Chevrolet and GMC introduced names such as CST, Cheyenne and Sierra Grande to show buyers that their trucks were no longer just for work. Options that rivaled cars could now be ordered for their vehicles.

Surprisingly, the Suburban was held back as the trend toward very deluxe trucks continued. This vehicle was not given the top of the line appointments as the trucks. The middle series in the pickup line was the ‘best’ in the Suburban. Though this was changed in the new 1973 body style, the 1972 Suburban lacked wood grain trim, bucket seats, and the more deluxe door panels. The rubber floor mats were colored to match the interior but carpet was not an option.

The following pictures are of a totally original 1971 deluxe Suburban. Note the door panels. They are almost identical to the Cheyenne pickup but lack the horizontal wood grain strip at the top. Outside lower moldings have satin black inserts, not wood grain. The seat covering is the Custom Deluxe style found on middle series pickups. The blue floor mats are rubber, not carpet. There is, however, a unique upper trim molding used only on Suburbans when you ordered the more deluxe unit.

To get the most sales from the special Scottish Tweed used in the 1972 Highlander, GM used it in one other application. The special Highlander seat covering could be obtained with the 1972 Suburban. It, like the Highlander truck, had lower side trim with satin black inserts. The special wheel covers were not used on this Suburban body.

1972 Suburban Highlander

1972 Suburban Highlander

Mr. Lynes also furnished the two photos of the Hawaiian blue Suburban showing a great color view of the Scottish Tweed. (Frederick Lynes can be contacted at stingrayl82@comcast.net)

The enclosed pictures are from Frederick Lynes who has these pictures of his 1972 avocado green and white Suburban the day it was bought new. Note the Highlander seat coverings.

1972 Suburban Highlander

1972 Suburban Highlander