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454 Camper Special With AC! 1976 GMC C2500

Shiny two-tone original paint gleams on this honest big block camping truck. The 1976 GMC C2500 High Sierra in Fort Harrison, Montana comes to market looking much as it did some 45 years and 132,000 miles ago. In the listing here on eBay and a walk-around video on YouTube, the impression of a well-kept and well-maintained pickup comes through. Before the days when nearly every truck benefits from four-wheel-drive, this one did fine as a camp truck with RWD. Running and driving, with nearly everything working, the High Sierra should have plenty of life left in the mighty 454 and TH400 three-speed automatic transmission. At least 10 bidders have cast their lot to write the next chapter in this truck’s story, raising the market value above $5800.

The reupholstered seats bring an ’80s vibe that clashes slightly with the brilliant Hawaiian Blue paint. The seller confirms a cracked dashboard under the aftermarket cover. Credit the seller with a well-constructed listing that far outshines some we have seen for vehicles that sell near or above six figures. Air conditioning keeps passengers cool, offering respite from a hot day of work or hiking.

Though mostly stock, the GMC features a “Cal-Custom programmable horn” that almost certainly can be announce your arrival with Dixie or the festive La Cucaracha. Heavy duty everything makes these trucks legendary and bulletproof if properly maintained, and this one has been kept running its entire life.

The 16 inch or original 16.5 inch steel wheels with the “dog dish” hubcaps give the three-quarter-ton GM trucks a burly look, and the heavy duty suspension gives them a stature that might be confused with a four-wheel-drive vehicle. In the ’70s and ’80s the half-ton pickups had a more car-like ride while the heavier pickups’ stiffer suspensions made for better handling as well. The tailgate wears the truck’s only refreshed paint!

The radio and overhead 8-track player are among the few electrical components that do NOT work according to the listing. The seller knew both prior owners and the truck’s history back to its original order. I’ve driven a near duplicate of this truck, a 454 Trailering Special, and make no mistake – even the smog-restricted big block makes tug-boat torque that will boil the tires while cruising at 15 MPH or pull, push, or haul whatever you throw at it. Have you owned a tough GM truck?


  1. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    “That’s all I can stand, I can’t stands no more”( in my best Popeye voice) Yep, throwing in the towel, and as much as I hate to get rid of my truck, I just need to adapt better for the Rocky Mountains. ( an unsolicited cue for anyone wanting to trade a CJ, or a chuckle, a ’66 Bronco, for it,,, laughing out loud, let me know. I know, it doesn’t work that way, what you have is never worth what someone else has) BTW, 2wd pickups get stuck going downhill in the snow, they really are pretty helpless. I’m going out on a limb, saying, mine is nicer than this, although, it’s not a 3/4 ton, and not a full box or a 454, but make no mistake, they are climbing in value and for a used truck, it won’t get any better than this. Why, just the other day, I was watching a Mecum farm auction, and while the tractors still hovered around $5g’s, a restored truck just like this sold for $15g’s. Again and again, the only thing I can figure, is due to the offerings that are available today, interest has shifted to 40 year old pickups. Nice, hey? .

    Like 3
  2. Avatar photo Paul Wells

    Had one like this in the early 80’s. The faster you drove the better gas mileage you got.

    Like 2
  3. Avatar photo Mark P

    I don’t know, I’ve had a 50 mile commute each way to work for about 40 yrs here in New England. I got my first 4WD truck in 2010. Never had a lot of trouble in the snow with 2WD. Over the years I’ve had many 4+ hour commutes in the snow. I do like 4WD don’t use it as much as I thought I might. Actually 2WD always have more payload and towing ability. Watch one of the big three truck commercials, they show these maxed out trucks doing all sorts of stuff. Read the fine print at the bottom, usually says hauling and towing specs based on two wheel drive with steel rims and certain package only. So fleet and true commercial models, not the “Motor Trend Luxury Car of the Year” Trucks. Awful to be priced out of a new truck after having one for over 40 years because of a population purchasing on status and competition for vehicles that mostly see cargo of golf clubs.

    Like 5
  4. Avatar photo Had Two

    Had one (not two)……even had a match for that camper shell.
    Gobs of torque. Pull hills effortlessly. The dual gas tanks
    were a necessity because these 2500 trucks with the 454
    get 10 mpg. Period. At 55 mph or 70 mph, 10 mpg.
    Watch the fuel gauge decline to 1/4 tank then switch over to the
    other tank, in case you run out on a long stretch of road in Nevada,
    you can switch back and have that 1/4 reserve for an additional 40 miles.

    Like 4
  5. Avatar photo Al

    That’s a steal at that price. You can’t get much today for for that kind of money, much less a good old pickup. This truck will do anything you need done, and you don’t have to mortgage your house to fix it if it breaks.

    Like 4
  6. Avatar photo Whynot Member

    Nice truck a real truck and has been used as one. Pretty sure this truck has seen it’s share of snow being from Montana . Men don’t need 4WD to drive if the weather turns cold soccer moms do. And god forbid don’t go anywhere without a high lift jack and shovel mounted on your hood.

    Like 3
  7. Avatar photo Michael

    Why are they covering up the VIN?? 99% of the cars sold, provide the VIN on the details? Inquiring minds would like to know.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo BabyHuey

      Michael, if you go to the linked album the full VIN is shown on the SPID, the door tag, and the safety certification label in the door jamb. The reason many vehicle sellers suppress the VIN in many cases is to limit nefarious operators copying the ad and relisting it fraudulently. Carfax isn’t available on old trucks like this, so eBay doesn’t require it.

      Like 1
  8. Avatar photo Henry

    THIS is a real truck, unlike the new luxury pickups. luxury pickups? seriously?

    Like 0

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