42,500 Miles! 1984 Chevrolet Suburban Silverado

081016 Barn Finds - 1984 Chevrolet Suburban - 1

Talk about an amazing time-machine! This drop-dead perfect 1984 Chevrolet Suburban Silverado is in Lakeland, Florida and is listed on eBay with a current bid price of $6,600 and the reserve isn’t met. This thing is spectacular!

081016 Barn Finds - 1984 Chevrolet Suburban - 2

I’ve always wanted a Suburban for the ultimate people and vehicle hauler, and this one is hard to beat. This seventh-generation Suburban is a one-owner vehicle and it only has 42,500 original miles on it! I’ve looked at the photos over and over again and I only see one flaw: a missing door-pull-cap on the driver’s door. Amazing. This has to be the nicest Suburban on the planet. One disclaimer: this isn’t a 4×4, it’s a rear-wheel-drive Suburban, so those of you in snow country will have to consider that.

081016 Barn Finds - 1984 Chevrolet Suburban - 3

The seller says that this Suburban has never been driven in the salt or snow; that goes without saying, this thing is 99% perfect and as close to being factory-new as you will ever find. The underside is equally as amazing as the overside.. er.. as the top side is. People usually buy Suburbans for their ability to swallow up a huge amount of stuff, and as you can imagine, the stuff-hauling-area is also 99.9% perfect. This Suburban rang up a bill of almost $18,000 when it was new, that’s $41,300 in 2016 dollars. $41,300 will buy you a used Suburban today since the new 2016 Suburban’s starting price is $49,700! Give me this 1984 model any day of the week.

081016 Barn Finds - 1984 Chevrolet Suburban - 4

Ok, I can’t help myself, I have to throw this one out there: OMG! A very, very rare public OMG from Scotty G. This truck is perfect, other than that one missing door pull cap. The interior is as nice as you’ll find anywhere other than a perfectly-restored Pebble Beach-quality 1984 Suburban, which there probably will be someday. Of course, you don’t get dual airbags or even a driver’s side airbag, this was just prior to that era. But, if you wear your lap and shoulder seatbelt you should be ok. That’s one area where the 2016 Suburban has it all over a 1984 Suburban: safety. Speaking of safety, 1984 was when GM removed asbestos from the rear brakes! Wow, that’s scary that it lasted well over a decade after we all knew that it was lethal. But, back to the interior.. The front seats, rear seats, headliner, door panels, and everything else is as perfect as if this vehicle was bought new in 1984 and just stored, which it basically was with only 42,500 miles on it over the last 32 years; that’s an average of only 1,300 miles a year.

081016 Barn Finds - 1984 Chevrolet Suburban - 5

I call this a knife-and-fork engine compartment, for obvious reasons. It looks like black undercoating was applied around in here, maybe that’s how this whole truck stayed looking so perfect after so many decades. Or, maybe that’s an aftermarket Ziebart or Rusty Jones-type of undercoating? This hulking monster engine is Chevy’s 7.4L, 454 V8 with 230 hp and 385 ft-lb of torque. I’m guessing that this was a trailer-hauler for the original owner so they didn’t need 4-wheel-drive but they wanted the biggest engine available. This 1984 Suburban is a bit newer than we usually show here, but man, what a beauty! Is the rear-wheel-drive a deal-killer on this one or would it’s almost-perfect condition win you over? What do you think this one will sell for? $12,000? $15,000?


  1. The Chucker

    Hang an Airstream off the back of this….perfection!

  2. Mark H

    Lack of 4WD on a vehicle like this should be a nonissue – it is in too good shape to get it all messed up driving on salty roads or offroad mudding. I would try to keep it in pristine condition, maybe do some fair weather cruising, hauling, or trailering.

  3. Fred w.

    Wow…the underside and interior are as mind blowing as the paint. No worries about safety as any modern car with a crumple zone will crumple when confronted with 5000 pounds of 80’s GM steel. Air bags really don’t matter – even if it had them, you would have to replace them as they have a defined life of something like 10 years of reliability. And chances are you could’t find new replacements, only junkyard or 30 year old NOS units.

  4. Karo

    The 2WD is fine with me. That’s how they like them in Texas, where these were/are very popular. Perfect long-distance road cruisers. It really should have the rear A/C, though, IMHO.

  5. Mike

    My normal Daily Driver is a 2003 2500 Suburban and it is not 4wd, because I don’t take it anywhere that I would need 4wd for. At my age I drive trucks for a good reason. My Suburban just got back from hauling 3 generations to Alabama pulling my 32′ Airstream camper, yes the gas mileage sucked, but you know what the comfort of the camper saved us a ton on hotel expense, plus we saved a lot of money cooking in the camper or over a fire at a state park, which we stayed at for 9 days in Alabama, and 2 nights in Tennessee.
    You don’t need 4wd if you watch were you are driving, beside who would want to buy this pretty thing and then go tear it up 4×4 in it!!

  6. geomechs geomechs Member

    This one could come to my place. These ‘Burbs’ were well built and there are a lot of them out west still in service. I’ve got a customer with a diesel 4X4 version of this and it’s still a daily driver at 500K miles. Mind you it’s getting to be like ‘Grandpa’s axe’ that came over from Europe 100 years ago; It’s had 3 handles and 2 blades but it’s still the original axe. It’s like my ’79 GMC 4×4 pickup, you drive the same vehicle for so long that you know what’s going to need attention next; you just include it in the maintenance schedule and keep on going.

    • Scotty Staff

      HA! Grandpa’s axe! HA, dang, that’s the laugh of the day, thanks, Geo! That’s excellent.

  7. Blindmarc

    I know I’ll get some down thumbs, but if you put a r700 trans in it the gas mileage would really increase, I’m a believer in driving a vehicle on a regular basis, not having it just sitting and looking pretty.

    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Hi Blindmarc. The theory of less engine rev’s per mile which translates to less power strokes per mile does have some merit. Unfortunately the larger the vehicle the less effective that is. Having worked in a GM dealership I’ve seen it countless times. It all comes down to physics; it still takes X-number of units of energy to move the mass down the road. It doesn’t matter if that energy is divided out amongst 100K power strokes or 60K, it will take the same amount of energy; the slower turning motor will simply take larger quantities of fuel on each stroke. I’ve argued that theory many times with people and it always ends up in a deadlock. I remember one customer of mine who had a ’79 GMC K-1500 just like mine except he was running a 350 with 3.42 gears while I was running a 400 with 3.73’s. Both running THM 350 transmissions and NP 203 transfer cases. Our mileage was around 14. Take a trip down to Great Falls and back, travel the same speed (70 mph) and we were down to tenths of a gallon difference; it was negligible. Running O/D in a light vehicle on a flat highway DID help marginally but nothing even close to what the theory claimed it would do. Heavier vehicles, I’ve often found that O/D is more detrimental. Of course other people’s calculations will vary…

    • Dave Wright

      You don’t even know what gear ratio it has now…….how could you just throw an OD transmission in it? My 68 IHC has an overdrive 5 speed from the factory but it also has 4.10 gears instead of typical 3.73’s. You could really screw up the driving dynamics of the old girl.

  8. CJay

    My 1987 2wd Suburban has over 10 times that mileage. The most serious problem it has, is towing with a 700R4. Maybe a gear vendor overdrive unit would be better. IMO the rear barn doors are more convenient than the tailgate. The new Suburbans’ folding seats eat up about 30 cu. ft. of cargo space the older generations. I do love this unit though.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      Doors are way more convenient and cheaper in the long run, the glass and hinges all suffer over time, though the ZERO rot and low mileage means many service years even for the tailgate!

  9. Blindmarc

    Geomechs and Cjay, thanks for the info!

    • Bobsmyuncle

      My ’88 had the 700r4 and it was flawless. And these days they can be built quite strong.

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        By ’88 the 700R4 was a good transmission. It sure didn’t start out that way though. In ’82 and ’83 they were doorstops at best, especially behind a 6.2 diesel. Put it all in a Suburban and your were lucky to get 20K miles out of one. We’d get them in with Reverse the only gear that worked. Drop the transmission, strip it down; find the clutch packs smoked; put $1800.00 worth of parts into them; reassemble and reinstall; only to find that the only gear that worked was Reverse. Call the ‘General’ and only then be told to install a NEW transmission. I remember calling the DSM and asking why we couldn’t simply get a new transmission and avoid the lost parts and labor. He could never give me a good answer. We had (10) transmissions (all with new parts inside) stacked up when the dealership closed in ’84. A transmission shop bought them at the auction. The guy told me that he was aware of the problems and would re-case the transmissions and sell them.

  10. whippeteer

    I’ll take this over the Impala.

  11. RickyB

    Is the firewall stock/normal- black splatter coating? Hard to tell in the pictures.

    • Waldon Herdman

      I have owned 2 Blazers and 2 trucks, (81-87) and they all had the same undercoating on the firewall seam. Yes this was done at the factory.

      • Bobsmyuncle

        I have had two as well and they both had it.

  12. Rodney B

    The paperwork states “4 speed manual transmission” I don’t see a stick shift? Very nice unit! Dad had a 1982 3/4 ton diesel we had as kids… Always liked the styling of this era!

    • Rodney B

      oops I found it… standard is 5.7 4 speed manual… in the options is the larger engine with the automatic transmission.

  13. jaymes

    no cats (

  14. Bill

    I had an 88 Suburban. Two wheel drive was never an issue. Handled the snow like a boss. Best truck I’ve ever had.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      I agree!

  15. 68 custom

    3/4 ton Big Block and very clean, this one would last forever if well maintained . Safer than a box full of airbags as well.

    • 68 custom

      also has the rarely seen tachometer!

      • 68 custom

        De smogged with NO cats, headers and full dual exhaust! I want it!

  16. John H. in CT

    Love it, and at this price I would consider putting an aftermarket Atomic or Edelbrock fuel injection on it and throw the old carb into a storage box. Depending on the gears, that might be the best thing for any efficiency to be had. Certainly for eazy starting/running if you only drive it infrequently.

  17. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Do they salt the roads in Florida ?

    • MikeK

      Nature does.

  18. patty

    I had a 73 Suburban, half ton, two wheel drive with no air as my first Suburban. That had a six cylinder eng. That was my first Suburban love, lol. Next got an 83, half ton, with the colors the opposite of this one here, rear wheel drive. It had a small V-8. I really loved this vehicle even though it has been through hell and was not very reliable but it drove beautfully. Next I bought an 88 Suburban with the barn style doors on the back. This one was meticulous but needed major engine work. I laetr bought an 84 that came with a plow but only for a yard car but this one is rough. My first three are in Suburban heaven only because my health took a turn for the worse and I could no longer work on them but I loved every one of them. I bought each one of them when most people would consider them junk but I saw something different in them.

  19. Red'sResto

    My scout master had one just like this. Exact color and 2WD. Spent many miles riding in the back seat on the way to camp. Great memories!

  20. Alan (Michigan)

    So cool, the original owner traded in an ’83 “Burb on this ’84. Nice.

  21. metalman

    As far as the “undercoat” that was applied at the factory at the spot welded firewall seam line to seal it. You will note that it also goes over the edges of the cover for the HVAC. My original 1986 has it, as does the 78 half ton big block pu (factory), alas totaled. I have been a body tech for over 30 years. My dad worked for Chevrolet corporate. 53 thru 90. These trucks are my stomping grounds.

  22. Alan (Michigan)

    Ended at $9,451.00 (below the reserve)

  23. Bus Plunge

    Wonder how come he didn’t order the full wheel covers?

    Here’s the 1986 C/20 suburban we owned doing what Suburbans do best.

  24. Moe G
  25. Dan Anderson

    Our 2003 Yukon XL has gone 330k miles. 3/4 ton, 6.0 ls. Fuel pumps and one hydroboost replaced is it. 16 mpg highway. Very comfortable rig. We leave the third seat out most of the time. Excellent tow rig.

  26. Jason

    4×4 + the diesel, would make it perfect

  27. ML

    Grew up riding in Suburbans. My grandfather owned a Cadillac dealership. My grandma was an interior decorator specializing in drapes both residential & commercial. She never drove a Cadillac! She always bought a 2wd Suburban with a bench seat & barn doors. Traded them in @10yrs old. Always had at least 150-200k @trade in time. When she retired she bought a GMC Acadia. She traded it back in 1 week later on a Suburban & driving it until she was 93yrs old!

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.