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A body design that appeared very early in history of light-duty trucking was the "delivery car or van was actually the first type of panel truck." A panel truck is similar in function to its smaller cousin the sedan delivery, a station wagon with no backseat and no side windows aft of the front doors. Both types of vehicles are frequently used as delivery vehicles.
Panel trucks are often used by construction and maintenance contractors and were sometimes configured for ambulance and hearse roles. Other variations include canopy express models, which have open display areas behind the driver's seat primarily used by farmers for selling fruits and vegetables. The evolution of sport utility vehicles can be traced to panel trucks, as the Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon, as well as the International Harvester Travelall were passenger versions of these trucks. In modern times minivans have been adapted to some of these functions.
The 2001 to 2010 model year Chrysler PT Cruiser is a compact hatchback wagon whose "design that is reminiscent of panel trucks of the past." The 2007 to 2011 Chevrolet HHR panel model was inspired by the Chevrolet Suburban panel truck, although the HHR is also a compact crossover utility vehicle instead of a full-size truck like the Suburban.
- "Panel truck". thefreedictionary.com. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- Gunnell, John (2003). Standard Catalog of Light-Duty Ford Trucks 1905-2002. Krause Publications. p. 17. ISBN 9780873494113. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- "Chrysler PT Cruiser". automotive.com. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
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