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4×4 Survivor: 1986 GMC K2500

The “Square Body” is a staple of American truck history, and this GMC K2500 is a nice example of a survivor with great options. Flaunting 4WD with a “Heavy Duty” chassis, and air conditioning makes this an easy to drive classic. Although shiny, there are a few minor blemishes on this truck. Finding a classic rust-free “Square Body” is a challenge, but to find a rust-free 4wd air-conditioned truck is uncommon for sure. Ready to roll, this truck is currently bid up to $7,900 with less than a day remaining in the auction. Be sure to check out this sweet pickup here on eBay out of Oakland, California.

The tan interior is a real treat as it is in fabulous condition and really lends to a classy feel with this GMC. From what can be seen, the interior looks great, with no major issues to mention. The door jamb area is well worn from foot traffic, but the bench, and the armrest on the driver’s door look good.  You will notice there is a 4-speed shift lever in the cab, and there is a shift lever for the transfer case. Equipped with a locking diff, manual locking hubs, and a heavy-duty frame, this truck is ready to do some dirty work if needed. I personally think this GMC would look great towing a vintage travel trailer, or perhaps that 9 second Camaro you play with on the weekends at the track.

From this angle we can see there is some paint fade to the driver front fender. There is also a small dent in the side of the bed just after the driver’s door. If you look closely you can see the lower dog leg of the driver front fender is bent, and there is a minor dent and a mark along the bottom edge of the driver door. While none of this is really heartbreaking, it is good to acknowledge.

Also, there is a solid dent in the passenger rear quarter panel area. This is the worst of the damage, but still, the truck holds great curb appeal. I can’t help but notice that the front fenders appear to be a different color than the rest of the truck, or vice versa. Perhaps it is paint fade? All in all, a great truck that could easily be used as-is. Or if you are really planning for the future, this could be an ideal restoration candidate to get the bodywork sorted out on. What would you do with this solid GMC?


  1. Steve R

    It’s nice, but there are better choices for towing, such as almost any Suburban especially those made since the year 2000 with a 6.0 liter LS engine.

    Steve R

    Like 2
    • Iggy O.

      I think the idea is to have a vintage truck towing a vintage car. Of course, any modern truck/large SUV will have better performance/towing capability.

      And yes, to me, 2000 is modern.

      Like 4
  2. XMA0891

    Looking at this beauty amazes at just how long ago 1986 really was: Single cab, vinyl bench seat, 8 foot bed, manual locking hubs and transmission. All things that made a truck a usable, durable tool. Quit living in the past I’ll say to myself…

    Like 9
  3. Scott Rowley

    I’m thinking she’s had at least one re-spray in her life.
    Have to assume that was due to an accident,or body rot. So it doesn’t really command the price being sought.
    That said,I’ve owned this style,and still love the truck (gave it to a cousin) a while back. And still going

    Like 2
    • Steve R

      It wouldn’t have had body rot based on where it’s located. Trucks if this era are a common sight, you still see rust free square body’s every day on the road and a couple parked in driveways of almost every neighborhood.

      Steve R

      Like 3
  4. AndyinMA

    Waiting for Howard A and Geomechs to weigh in on this one, I love reading their commentary.

    Like 3
  5. Shane

    We beat these to death daily on the farm. Came back for more every morning no matter the temp in MN

    Like 1
  6. geomechs geomechs Member

    It’s too bad there was some damage to the right rear quarter. Of course it can be fixed with a minimum of bother. Much easier than rust I might add. Super smogger 350. I would likely undo some of that stuff which would include changing the timing sprocket on the crankshaft to something that will allow it to pull instead of just pour gas through it. This would still have a carburetor which wouldn’t be much different than the old carburetor except they really did NOT want you to get at those idle mixture screws; you had to EXCAVATE the steel caps out of the throttle plate. The Electronic Spark Control (ESC) was on ALL GM engines by that time and it actually WORKED albeit too well at times. I used to demonstrate how it worked by putting the engine on fast idle then taking a hammer and tapping a manifold bolt–it would slow down considerably. There was literally a microphone in the water jacket that was tuned to pick up detonation. Unfortunately pebbles bouncing off the undercarriage made similar sounds so a drive down a gravel road oftentimes affected performance. And it wasn’t just a drive down a gravel road that could do that.

    A neighboring dealership had a Camaro with a 305/4spd. that was an absolute dog to drive. Bypass the ESC and it ran just fine. They replaced EVERYTHING under warranty but always got the same answer. Exasperated, the ASM told them to just run it without the ESC. The car came back to the dealership for regular maintenance. One day while it was up on the hoist, the grease rack boy was underneath checking for loose bolts, etc, just giving everything a shake and tapping bolts with a hammer. I don’t know how he discovered it but nestled in a little pocket on the transmission behind the bellhousing was a glass pill bottle, like an aspirin bottle. It had been there for some time as it showed the signs of rattling around. The guy got the service manager who re-enabled the ESC. Presto! the problem was gone!!!!

    Like 7

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