Chevrolet Meets Up with 101-Year-Old Veteran Chief Truck Engineer in Savannah
Paul Hitch Worked for Chevy for 42 Years
Chevrolet received an interesting cold call recently: A former chief truck engineer was about to turn 101 and wanted to reach out to the company. With the assistance of his son, Chevy veteran Paul Hitch reconnected with the company—as well as his successor, Eric Stanczak, Chevy’s chief engineer for trucks.
Hitch worked at Chevrolet for a full 42 years, from 1935 to 1977. Part of that career included a stint as Chevy truck chief engineer from 1966 to 1972, which meant he worked on some of the company’s most significant and sought-after pickups. He started his career with the company as a General Motors technician, and he made his mark on the company’s trucks starting in the 1950s. Fittingly, Hitch’s most memorable pickup is the third-generation Chevrolet C/K, which went into production in 1972 as he stepped away from his chief position with the company’s trucks.
To celebrate his career with Chevrolet, Stanczak made the trip to Hitch’s home in Savannah, Georgia. There, he learned more about Hitch’s time with Chevrolet, including his idea to cut down a pickup chassis a bit to make the first 1969 Blazer. According to the veteran engineer, the sales department anticipated they could sell 300 a year. “That year, we sold 5,000,” says Hitch. Hitch and Stanczak also compared their work: a 1978 Silverado K10 and a 2018 Silverado 1500 Centennial Edition.
Hitch was also able to speak with General Motors CEO Mary Barra via video call. Barra, who was 15 when Hitch left the company, thanked him for his work and congratulated him on his 101st birthday.
So if you drive (and love) a classic Chevy truck, watch the video above. You owe it to Paul Hitch.