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Bought and Parked: 53 Mile ’88 GMC Sierra


My brother had one of these GMC Sierra pickups, damn near the same color as this one here on craigslist – with one major difference: his truck did not have a mere 53 miles on the odometer. He did not buy his truck new and then park it in the garage the next day, never to move again. The asking price is $28,000 for this new-in-the-wrapper truck, and it’s even equipped with a manual transmission. 


The interior remains untouched, complete with the GM floor mat protectors still in place. I remember riding in one of these trucks with a stick when a salvage yard operator took me on a yard tour – the shifter feels like it belongs in an 18-wheeler, not a short-bed pickup. The use of maroon for everything from the dash pad to the door panels was not uncommon in trucks of this era, along with the two-tone paint job. Given the reputation these pickups have for being durable work rigs, I’d love to know why this one led such a sheltered existence.


From the brake booster to air cleaner to the valve cover, the engine bay does its part of looking like a truck with just a few more miles on it than what would have been racked up during delivery and final testing. This looks like the 5.7L V8 to me, but if any of our readers can confirm, please do. Even with the low mileage, I’d want to perform a thorough mechanical inspection to ensure brake lines and fuel lines still get a clean bill of health. My brother’s had a few nagging issues (though it performed admirably when dragging my first-ever project car home years ago!)


Look at that truck’s bed. Guaranteed you won’t find another one like this unless it’s in a GM museum. Which, some might say, is where this truck should end up. I’m not sure the seller is going to find a buyer on craigslist for what would otherwise be a completely ordinary – and cheap – truck if it wore more typical mileage. But if I were a GM collector, this would be a cherry on top of my garage since it’s quite unrepeatable. I sure hope whoever buys it finds out the story behind how this Sierra went from the showroom to the garage.


  1. Luke Fitzgerald


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  2. Fred

    Hope they started this every 6 months and drove it up and down the driveway. Otherwise it’s going to be a little stiff in the joints. Kelly Blue book online doesn’t go back to ’88, but if you plug in “’92” with 58 miles and check condition as “excellent” it books at $3000.

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  3. jim s

    they are in the price range of a nice new truck with a warranty. great that this has a manual. too nice for me as i would want to daily drive this and use it as a truck. great find.

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  4. Glen

    I had the same truck with the 5.0 L engine, same colour. Paid $500.00 , put about $1000.00 into it to get it legal. It lasted 4 years of abuse. Sold it to the scrap yard for $250.00. ( kept the new battery) I think that was a good deal! Unfortunately, the previous owner died two days before we agreed to buy it. His wife said take it and pay later. They were nice people, retired farmers.

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  5. JW

    Nice truck but for that price I can get a new Ford F-150 with a warranty.

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    • Ralph Robichaud

      yeah, but then you don’t have the unique and classic factor.

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  6. The Walrus

    I like original stuff. Too bad it’s a long bed, 2WD stick which is the worst possible combination when considering desirability and collectability. Yuck.

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    • Al8apex

      the manual trans is one of the only things going for it …

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      • The Walrus

        In most cases I couldn’t agree more. But in this case I couldn’t agree less. It’s a lumbering long bed 2WD pick up, the stick just adds aggravation to the experience. An enthusiasts dream this is not. If it were a 4WD a stick could be a plus, but you aren’t gonna get very far off asphalt in this behemoth.

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    • joshua horton

      thats the best combination a long bed 2wd stick a short bed is useless

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  7. MH

    That’s amazing. Maybe GM would buy it back.

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  8. The Chucker

    Wow, that shift lever looks like a broom handle.

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  9. mat


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  10. nighttrainx03

    Hand shaker with crank windows, I don’t think so. Heck its not even 4 wheel drive. Maybe good for the secret GM museum. It is nice but not 28k nice.

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  11. Rando

    All I can say is WHY? Too many “why”s…. And one big ol’ WTF…. other than upgrade 2 tone paint, this is a work truck. Nothing fancy about it. Probably paid $14K for it new? And trying to double their money? Would like to hear the story for sure.

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  12. Dolphin Member

    An unused ultra low mile vehicle like this has extra value only to a collector who values ultra low mile perfection in this particular year / model vehicle.

    Is there anyone out there like that? I doubt it, and I doubt they would pay $28K even if there were. As soon as this gets a few miles any extra value it might have to someone starts to disappear.

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  13. James

    Now if it was an 85 I mighty be interested but nothing special about an 88 in my book….

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  14. Dylan

    I’ve never understood the fascination with sub 100 mile vehicles. Even if I collect vehicles, what use is it if I can’t drive it? Purely visual? An 88 longbed certainly isn’t worth $28k to look at.
    I could see maybe 8k if the fuel system and such weren’t shot, but who knows?

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    • Glen

      There’s just so few, that is the fascination for me. I think this would be best in a museum somewhere.

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  15. ron

    who buys a truck and leaves it in the garage?

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    • Glen

      I’ve asked that same question about other low mileage vehicles on this website. Who buys anything and never uses it?, especially a work vehicle.

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  16. Chebby

    They were destroying nice clean examples of these during Cash for Clunkers.

    $28K? I don’t think so.

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  17. Joe Howell

    You’re right about that shifter, smooth and speedy shifting was not a strong point. Too bad it’s not a short bed 4×4.

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  18. moparedtn

    That’s going to be the 305 V8 (5.0). Only other engine that year in half ton was a 454. Pretty anemic. NADA’s highest value for the truck is about $10k and they’re being real generous.

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  19. dj

    You could get both engines in 88, the 305 and 350. But the first production 88’s had the 305. I worked on a ton of these at the dealership. It’s a ho hum truck. Nothing special.

    Like 1
  20. Jubjub

    I looked at that same red dashboard, albeit with a little patina, on my way to work this morning.

    These are great looking trucks but they seem to always end up with some weird and and undiagnosable drive ability issues.

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  21. James

    My Grandpa purchased a 1979 Chevy Big 10 brand new, the first new vehicle he ever bought. He drove it for 110 miles and died of a heart attack. It sat in the garage for years until the estates (my Grandma died 2 years later) were settled.

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  22. Jim

    Why all the hate for 2wd and 8foot bed? Half the country doesn’t deal with bad snow and about 1 out of 50 4×4 owners actually go off road and I’m not talking about gravel driveways. I’ve had both 2+4wd trucks, except for bad snow or driving on the beach to fish I almost never use 4×4. Personally I prefer the 8ft bed cause I use my trucks and haul parts and tow. The longer wheelbase makes a more stable platform for towing also. I’m not questioning anyone’s personal choices of vehicle but everyone jumped on these two points fast. It is a truck! I’d love to get this one but it’s way overpriced, it’s not a collectable vehicle except a museum for average cars and trucks, put it next to the 90 Taurus and an 80 Citation!

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  23. Nate Member

    Still for sale down to $18.5k

    Like 0

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