Luxury Truck: 1975 GMC Gentleman Jim

In today’s automobile market, upscale pickup trucks are popular among customers, and also an easy cash grab for manufacturers. Both Ram and Ford offer range-topping Limited trims for their full-size pickup trucks, while General Motors offers a High Country trim for the Chevrolet Silverado and the luxurious Denali trim for various GMC models. However, long before all of these existed, GMC produced one of the first ritzy pickup trucks with the Gentleman Jim trim for the Sierra Classic, with this example showing up here on eBay after emerging from storage in a barn.

This special Sierra Classic is available in Mesa, Arizona with a clean title. Due to its location, the truck is mostly rust-free, but the interior and exterior have seen plenty of sun. Because of this, the seller claims this truck will need a complete cosmetic restoration, though it is mechanically sound.

Each Gentleman Jim truck was a long bed Sierra Classic model with various comfort-oriented features, such as air conditioning, an automatic transmission, individual bucket seats, wood door panels with extra sound deadening, and more. Additionally, every one of the trucks used a black and gold color scheme for the exterior, which also includes a gold grille and gold Rally wheels.

Production figures for these trucks vary, but the seller and most online sources indicate that around 1,000 of these trucks were made during their 6 month run in 1975.

This Sierra Classic features a 350 cu.-in. V8 engine. While these powerplants are notoriously stout, the seller does not include any information about the truck’s mileage, but they do claim that it runs flawlessly with no burning oil, ticks or knocks.

Bidding for this rare luxury truck begins at $5,000, though there are not any bidders at the time of this article being written. Would you want to fix up this sunburnt Gentleman Jim, or would you prefer a modern day luxury truck?

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Comments

  1. geomechs geomechs Member

    I always thought these were a little bit gawdy but they still got the job done. Well-made and super reliable. A good, honest truck. The ’76 models had a tendency to rust a little more than the ’77 and up models but they weren’t all that bad. I noticed that those of us who frequented the car wash and spent extra time blasting out the fender wells fared out quite well. However they still could rust out above the rear wheel wells. Lots of patches available. I sure wouldn’t turn down a truck like this one…

    Like 2
    • Howard A Member

      I thought you have a truck like this???

      Like 1
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        I have a ’79 GMC K1500 4×4. It’s the Sierra Grande package which is one off the bottom. In ’73 and ’74 the Sierra Grande was the full load but in ’75 they changed everything, making the Sierra the base, and The SG getting a nicer gauge cluster and color-keyed floormat. Then the High Sierra and Sierra Classic rounded everything out. Interesting that I looked at this truck for quite a while before I realized that it was black and gold. I think that was the only colors I ever saw this package come in. I ordered my truck with the regular deluixe tu-tone (brown metallic and calf scour yellow–GM wouldn’t want me in its color division).

        Like 6
  2. Howard A Member

    Oh, oh, no bids, at what I think is a plausible price for a decent truck,,the market for square-bodies went bust before I even had a chance to advertise mine. These were nice trucks, but not the 1st luxury pickup, I believe that would be the Cameo. Still, the tide was turning and truck makers needed catchy names to sway the public. They sold so many, it didn’t really matter what they called them. A “Gentleman Jim” would have been something the boss would drive, or the bosses kid, anyway, us “normies” didn’t see many “Jims”.

    Like 1
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Actually we sort of equated the Gentleman Jim scheme more with drug store cowboys. The owners would put a chrome bucking horse on the hood and put two spare tires standing up at the rear of the bed. I remember one ‘C’boy’ who was so determined to have two spare tires in the back, he put a six lug wheel on the other side. I think it was also a 16 inch rim…

      Like 2
    • Angrymike

      You definitely called it, my boss at my first job had this exact truck, and his name was Jim !

      Like 1
    • Jerry Brentnell

      heres the thing these were build in oshawa ontario along with the chev beau james which was silver color and they were never sold in canada! my boss at the time tried to order one dealer couldn’t do it us market only! and they all came with 454 v8s in them! how do I know? my friend worked in the truck plant installing engines in them full load on them no options! and no 350 v8s either !

      • Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

        It would appear the a/c is not hooked up. That can be an issue if you’ve ever replaced an evaporator on one of these. Though not as hard as some other vehicles, still a lot of work. But then again it might be something easy like a compressor or condenser. At any rate I like this truck, call me what you will I like comfort.
        God bless America

    • danny

      Is this gentleman Jim still available

  3. NotSure

    I am objecting to the opening bid with all of that luscious sun-baked goodness going on. I also think that I’m not being realistic any longer. I would drive this truck and most likely not change anything. But I’d prefer a price closer to $2k.

    Like 1
  4. Mike

    I LOVE the “Rounded Line” (a.k.a. Square Body) trucks so much that I own 7 of them! 2 of my favorites are my Gentleman Jim and his brother Beau James. My grandpa bought the Gentleman new in 75 and I found Beau at a place a few hours away that sells western trucks. They’re basically the same truck in different colors. The paint jobs and trim are what makes them special, otherwise, they’re just a long bed 1/2 ton with heavy duty suspension, brakes and cooling system. Mine are both restored but still get driven about 2000 miles or so every year. The Gentleman even pulled the homecoming float for our youngest daughters class 3 years in a row since the school colors are black and gold. I even let her drive (under her moms supervision) for her junior and senior homecoming parades. Out of the 7 that I have, my 78 K35 will always be my favorite but I don’t think she minds her older brothers getting all the attention, she’s pretty but she’s always been a working girl. I bought her back in 84.

    Like 7
    • Patrick J.

      Sounds like we need pics then!!
      Especially that K truck.
      Wouldn’t mind a 78 short box stepside 4WD myself.
      Any out your way in good shape??

      (I’m on the top of NY state, so certainly none around here!)

      Like this!

      Like 1
      • Cary A Gay

        I will keep an eye out. I’m in Texas and there is plenty out here.

  5. Miguel

    What was luxurious about this truck?

    Like 1
    • Howard A Member

      Not around in ’75? The ’70’s was a big change in truck buyers. Pickup trucks up until this time had vinyl bench seats, rubber floor mats, they were very basic units. Trucks did dirty jobs and was no place for deep pile carpeting or bucket seats. As suburbs grew, pickup roles changed, and every truck maker threw everything they had in the comfort bins at them. Trucks like this changed pickups for ever.

      Like 5
    • David G

      Chevrolet/GMC trucks of the mid seventies were the first to offer luxurious interiors. Full trim on the upper cab areas, including full headliners. Excellent sound deadening insulation, and starting in ’77 full door panels that include carpeted bottom areas with storage pockets. First in industry power windows and door locks from ’77 onward as well. In short, the first to offer car-like comfortable interiors and amenities in trucks.

  6. TimM

    Pretty basic truck 350 with auto transmission!! The A/C looks like it wasn’t hooked up but it is good to see the lines capped to keep contamination out of the system!!! I would daily this truck it would be good for that!!!

    • Howard A Member

      Not really, Tim. I have the ’77 “High Sierra” model, 2nd from the top, and I’d say, even without many of these options, it’s still a pretty fancy pickup for the ’70’s. Like I told Miguel, door pockets and trim, tilt wheel, fancy dash, bucket seats, even A/C, were all new to pickup buyers. In the ’70’s, you could still buy a pretty basic 6 cylinder, 3 on the tree, no options pickup. What ever happened to that?

      Like 4
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        When I worked for GM the image really started to change in ‘73. Still a pickup with A-C was about as common as a winning lottery ticket. By ‘75 about a third of the trucks we sold had A-C. By ‘79 it was better than half. Truck buyers decided that some luxuries were worth while, even in a work truck.

        Like 2
      • Ken

        My uncle had a light blue ’75 Sierra. Nothing grande, high or classic about it. Just a basic work horse with an inline six and three on the tree. I liked it so much that (almost) every pickup I’ve ever owned has been a GMC. My current ride is an ’04 Sierra 2500 HD with the LLY Duramax Diesel engine. I don’t drive it much, only about 5,000 to 7,000 miles a year. It only has 112,000 miles on the clock after 15 years, and I’ve never had a moment’s trouble with it.

        Like 2
  7. Larry Medford

    No comments on the seller’s name….rhatphink?

    Like 1
    • Ken

      His three most recent feedbacks as a seller are not good – two negatives and a neutral. I think I’d avoid this guy.

      Like 3
  8. Dave

    Here in Steeler country these sold well in black and gold, as did the Ford Steeler Special. The witches brew PENNDot used to de-ice the roads sent pretty much all of them to the crusher. The fracking brine they use these days is adept at eating through brake lines so beware of anything coming from western Pennsylvania.

    Like 2
  9. Jim Benjaminson

    I worked for a GMC dealer in 1975 and I was under the impression all the Gentleman Jim’s were blue in color?

    • BP

      The Beau James trucks were blue and silver, Gentleman Jims were black and gold.

  10. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Nice work Kevin.

    My daily driver is a luxury pickup. It is interesting to me to look back at the decades-long evolution of this particular, and now highly popular, part of the automotive landscape. This Gentleman Jim is one of the milestones.

    Another milestone is from my growing-up years. I remember the first of the restyled, re-engineered 1967 Ford Pickups which showed up at my hometown dealer. It was a loaded Ranger model, automatic, a/c, option list a mile long, white with a red interior. My ten-year-old self was captivated by both the new model, and how it was equipped. I remember thinking, “this is really nice,” especially in comparison to my dad’s stripper 1966 Ford work truck. Ford was obviously learning from the 1965 LTD how a nicely-trimmed bread-and-butter model could be successful.

  11. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    There’s an original one that always is at church on Sundays in my hood….he won’t part with it fer sure.

  12. Cary A Gay

    My neighbor got me hooked on GMC’s at a very young age, and when in high school a girl I was very fond of never would have happen had her father NOT had a black 1980 GMC. I’m such a geek. And yes, she’s my wife.

    Like 1
  13. Dean Pavlik

    The Gentleman Jim from Mesa made its way north to Wisconsin. Needs a few minor parts but is everything he said it was, very nice truck. Will be keeping the look as is much as possible.

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