Before the word "Suburban" was the official name of Chevrolet's long-wheelbase SUV, the term was used by automakers to describe a wagon body style with added utility. One American wagon adopting the Suburban moniker in the 20th century included the Plymouth Suburban seen in these vintage ads from 1949 and 1950.
"The New All-Metal Plymouth Suburban, the Car with 101 Uses" 1949: To show that the '49 Plymouth Suburban was well suited for work and play, the wagon is shown in this ad (above) against a golf course backdrop. Mom and Dad enjoy a day on the country club green, and their Suburban is only steps away with room for all their gear in case they need to get to the next hole in a hurry. The ad emphasizes the Suburban's practicality by calling it "the car with 101 uses!"
"New Plymouth All-Metal Suburban" 1950: Golf clubs are one thing, but what if you need to transport a bicycle or grandpa's fire hose? The '50 Suburban has you covered. This ad further promotes the Suburban's many uses, with three simple cutaway images on the left showing the two interior configurations. The ad boasts, "It's your Handy-Andy -- rear seat pivots down, forms part of the floor, giving full-width space almost six feet long!" Other features included Ignition Key Starting, 7.0:1 compression, Super-Cushion tires, and Safety-Rim wheels, which Plymouth claimed would "protect in case of blowouts." The 1950 Plymouth Suburban was also available in "10 handsome colors" and two trim levels, including the more upscale Special model.
Check out the vintage ads below to travel back to a time before the Chevrolet Suburban's dominion over the name.
Source: The Henry Ford