2WD Survivor: 1977 Chevrolet Surburban

As Chevy’s Suburban grows older with each passing year, its status as an emerging collectible will continue to burn brighter among collectors. That’s especially true for stock survivors wearing great colors such as this yellow-over-white example listed for $4,000 firm here on craigslist. With 2WD and an original 454 big block under the hood, it may not go everywhere its 4×4 sibling can, but it’s still very clean truck with few glaring faults.

We’ve seen plenty of ‘Burbans over the years wearing red on gray or black over blue, but I can’t recall ever seeing yellow over white previously. The first owner of the Suburban was an institute, specifically the Sandia National Labs, which is one of three National Nuclear Security Administration research and development laboratories. One of its main campuses is in New Mexico, so this Suburban hasn’t strayed far from home.

The seller says it runs extremely well, and Sandia likely did a good job of keeping up with maintenance if the Suburban was to be used for executive transport to and from airports and over the campus. The dash has a standard-issue cover over it, which doesn’t tell us whether the ruthless New Mexico sun has had its way with the brittle dash plastics. Carpets are believed to be new and but pictures show a baggy headliner and tattered cloth upholstery.

The engine bay isn’t ridiculously clean, which is the one shortcoming I’ve noticed in terms of trying to sell a nice survivor such as this. To me, it would make an awful lot of sense to spring for a detailer to tidy up areas like this to present as nicely as the rest of the truck. Otherwise, the 454 is said to run well and without issues, helped by a recent tune-up that included a replacement fuel pump. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Ikey H. for this survivor Suburban find.


  1. Steve R

    This is something you use as a swapmeet cruiser as it sits, until someone makes an offer that gives you a reasonable profit or you find something else. It’s cool and can be useful, but keeping it filled with teas will get old quickly.

    Steve R

    Like 2
  2. Bear

    “Holy Hanging Headliner Batman!!” :-O
    The heat of the New Mexico sun has taken it’s toll on the headliner, dashboard, & some other parts of the interior.
    Still, given the 42+ years of use it has held up well overall.
    Gotta wonder WHY those front fenders have rusted so badly in the lower forward portions?? …perhaps it is due to battery acid leaks on the passenger’s side. …or it might simply be due to GM’s almost total lack of rust protection on their trucks during these years!!
    That 454 is gonna get a consistent 8-10mpg. Good day, bad day, fully loaded, or mostly empty. 8-10mpg no matter what the conditions!! LOL!
    Too Bad it isn’t a 4×4, as it would easily be worth 2x the current asking price.

    Like 2
    • local_sheriff

      It’s a strange market as you claim a 4×4 Sub would be more valuable – as I’m into Blazers it seems the ‘C5’ is worth more than a comparable K5.

      From personal experience – for on-road and light off-road duty a RWD C/K is a fully capable rig given it’s Posi equipped, and a lot more comfortable. The Sub in question will have more than sufficient properties for vintage vehicle use. Considering its 42 years it looks really unmolested, only worn as we must expect for a used truck. Really like it

      Like 4
  3. geomechs geomechs Member

    We sold a pile of Burbs from ’75 to ’83. Most of them were 454 powered, until the 6.2 diesel came out; the diesel quickly dominated our sales until the dealer folded up. I found that ’76 to ’79 were some of the most economical 454 engines made. I got a lot of reports into the mid-teens. My dad had a ’77 pickup with the 454 and he consistently got 15. He was very disappointed when he traded it for a new one in 1980 and couldn’t get a 454 anymore. That 350 was a slug (including poor economy) compared to the Rat motor, and Dad complained bitterly…

    Like 5
    • Bear

      Gotta admit, I had to chuckle when I read “economical” & “mid-teens” in the same breath. LOL!
      How times have changed……….. :-)

      Like 3
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Well, you know that things haven’t changed a lot. I’ve got an ’02 3/4 ton 4×4 that gets around 17. One of my boys had a ’98 Ford F-150 4×4 with the 4.2 V6 that you had to baby to get 16. I think the only thing that’s really changed is the price of gas…

        Like 6
      • local_sheriff

        Times haven’t changed a lot… while a Rat isn’t necessarily the cheapest mill to run, modern trucks and SUVs aren’t getting much better MPG though they are way more advanced. Considerable higher curb weight of modern vehicles evens out the benefit of aerodynamics and computerized combustion.

        Don’t think anyone neither in 77 nor today would buy a Suburban for fuel economy – they would buy it to get the properties only a 77 Suburban offers; space, comfort, pulling power, ease of maintenance and of course the great look!

        Like 4
  4. Bear

    Nice truck, but when you can buy a 25-year-younger 4×4 Suburban in nice condition for 1/2 of this money you have to wonder WHY anyone would shell out $4K for this gas-guzzling antique.
    Perhaps to revisit a happy memory of past family vacations…..
    Perhaps because they like this particular body style……
    Perhaps that is why it remains unsold.

    Like 1
    • TimS Member

      Makes one pause to wonder why you’re even on this site.

      Like 29
    • Jay Bradley

      These trucks dont have all the computers and fuel injection systems and are so simple and cheap to restore and if you have a good frame and body you can literally build a new suburban from an LMC truck or Classic Industrys catalog

      Like 7
  5. 68custom

    nice suburban equipped right as well! Add a pair of headers and recurve the distributor, rejet the carb and get high teens on a good day! Love to own this one!

    Like 9
  6. Doug B

    Frankly this POS needs to be crushed. It’s virtually a detriment to anything good on this planet. I, embarrassing as it is to admit, owned one. It DID get 8-9 MPG. And spewed a ridiculous amount of nastiness into the air. And seriously, the paint color. omg. It’s like one shade off of baby s**t green. You guys come on. Let’s get back to barnfinds. This belongs on cowpies.com.

    Like 3
    • local_sheriff

      There are obviuosly way varying opinions about this – I’d consider taking it hadn’t my garage been full already. Personally I love ‘intestine’ colors as they mirror the time such cars were made. 77 is also a specific year for C/Ks as it’s the only year for the mustard stripe in the trim – but that may not be a great argument for anyone who doesn’t crave for 70s colors…?

      If you’re concerned about the Rat here it may successfully be replaced with a newer SBC to improve mpg or pollution footprint – or even be converted into E85

      Like 2
    • TimS Member


      Like 4
    • David Ulrey

      In bad pain today or maybe a fight with your significant other? Normally I’d just read a negative comment and move on without responding but WOW

      Like 3
  7. Karl

    All GM pickups and burbs had rust issues during this time, I would be very surprised if it didn’t have rust in the fenders. It would have a turbo 400 which was a very solid trans. The 454 was a good engine decent torque and gas mileage around 8 to 12 mpg at best. Most of the burbs had BIG fuel tanks 42 gallons or more. The curse of these vehicles was RUST otherwise the ran good and lasted decades or until you got tired of water splashing in through the holes in the floor!

    Like 3
  8. William I Decker Member

    This is an outstanding deal, regardless of what the two trolls above think (if you have nothing constructive & pertinent to add on this listing, please move along),and the fact it is not 4wd is irrelevant. With the 454 & 2wd, this Suburban is more than capable for any job someone would consider using this classic truck for. The condition is amazing (real vintage enthusiasts put little emphasis on interior condition, so long as it’s complete) & the yellow/white paint combination is rarely seen & classic. If it were closer & I had another garage bay, it would have a new home.

    Like 6
  9. Joseph Zimmerman

    I would have it swept for Plutonium et al and have the steering wheel replaced even before my FIRST test drive.
    After buying it I would then get the vanity plate Beta DK.

    Like 2
  10. Bo

    This beauty screams “Road Trip”. Love the colours.

    Like 2

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