Marketing Material: 1983 Chevrolet S-10 Ad
This clipping from an attention-grabbing ad was Chevrolet’s way of ensuring readers took notice of the significant improvements they had in store for their “new-size” trucks.
Even though their S-10 series was an all-new line of trucks for 1982, 1983 would bring about added equipment and a couple more models. So they headlined this image with the words, “Chevy S-10 blows them away. Again.”
New models and segment exclusives
What had Chevrolet’s marketers so excited was their expanded S-10 lineup and segment exclusive-equipment. Apart from sister division GMC, Chevrolet was the only small-size truck to offer V-6 power.
For the 1983 model year S-10 gained two new variations, the two-door S-10 Blazer and a “Maxi-Cab” variant of the pickup, plus a trick four-wheel-drive engagement system.
The Ford Bronco II and Jeep Cherokee SUVs wouldn’t show up until the 1984 model year which left Chevrolet (and GMC) almost a full year head start in the soon-to-be crowded segment. Personally, I liked the look of the two-door Blazer more than that of the Bronco II and even the Cherokee. But I’d have to say that both the subsequent four-door Ford Explorer and Jeep Cherokee models looked better than the first-generation four-door S-10 Blazer (which to me had an after-the-fact, quick-response kind of look to it).
Chevy’s new Maxi-Cab provided a 14.6-inch cab extension which went to good use on the smallish trucks. The extra length contributed to a total of 18.4 cubic-feet of interior storage.
Despite additional models boasting greater indoor space, it was S-10’s newly-expanded outdoor capability that arguably made for the most significant change.
For 1983, any S-10 model could be equipped with the new Insta-Trac four-wheel-drive system which had automatically locking front hubs. This was big news to off-roaders that were accustomed to manually locking the hubs.
That particular exercise meant physically leaving the vehicle and, many times with great difficulty, twisting the dial in the wheels’ hubs in order to engage four-wheel-drive. (Further, in some cases, it required backing the vehicle up to complete the engagement process.) One problem with the manual method, besides the time it took, is that by the time a driver figured out the added grip was needed, the environment outside the cab had usually already turned ugly (e.g., muddy).
Besides not having to leave the vehicle, the system also allowed switching between two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive high modes at any speed.
(Click the thumbnails below to see the three-page ad in much higher detail.)