Chevrolet Looks At Its Past Vans As City Express Hits Streets
Legacy Shows Brand’s Commitment to Small Business
It may be based on a Nissan built in Mexico, but the Chevrolet City Express has a bowtie affixed to its grille and is sold in Chevy showrooms, so the brand is making the case that the model is a legitimate heir to its long history of utility vehicles aimed at small business owners.
Specifically, Chevrolet is calling out its line of Canopy Express vans from the 1930s and 1940s as vehicles that were purpose-built for street-side entrepreneurs, with waterproof side curtains and a low tailgate, to allow easy access to the goods in the back and even facilitate sales directly from the cargo area.
Chevrolet says the new City Express is likewise built to meet the needs of small business owners such as caterers, security installers, and other businesses that need the cargo capacity offered by a compact van without the bulk and fuel consumption of a fullsize van.
The City Express may not look much like its predecessors, and its 2.0L transverse I-4 mated to a CVT is far different than its forebears’ straight-six and three-speed manuals, but the purpose of keeping small businesses on the go remains. It may not get the enthusiast’s heart racing like a 454 SS, but if it helps add to the bottom line for small business owners, that’s a thrill all its own.