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Brute Survivor: 1987 Chevrolet Suburban


One memory from childhood that has always stuck with me is my father driving a blue Suburban just like this one whenever his car was in the shop. For a number of years, my dad would buy used Mercedes, gas and diesel models, from a small car shop in town. Since he was friendly with the owner, he’d drive the proprietor’s personal vehicle – the Suburban – in lieu of a traditional loaner. It was comfortable and capable, but I haven’t seen one as nice as his since they were nearly new. This 1987 Suburban here on eBay breaks that tradition with only 46,000 miles on the clock and exceptional bodywork. 


The impressive condition carries over to the interior, with the captain’s chairs in unmarked shape and a great looking color combo of gray and white trim. These ‘Burbans were cavernous inside, and with the third row seat, you’ll have little issue hauling the kids and their soccer team. Being an Arizona vehicle, it’s not surprising that both the insides and outsides have survived the test of time, and the tinted factory glass has helped keep surfaces protected from the hot desert sun.


Mechanically, these vehicles were nothing short of stout. Locking hubs, a humongous fuel tank and the venerable 350 V8 / Turbo 400 transmission were all part of the package. Though it’s the base engine, parts availability will be a snap. What I like most about this hauler is that unlike modern SUVs, which are laden with big wheel and tire packages, finicky infotainment units and complex engine management systems, these old Suburbans do the same job with less fuss, and endless supplies of junkyard parts will keep them on the roads damn near forever.


This is an excellent specimen of a truck that is commonly used up and rusty by the time it reaches this age. At the bottom of the listing, the seller claims no reserve but there clearly is one; at $8,000, it hasn’t been passed yet. There’s a Buy-It-Now for $16,000, which truthfully doesn’t seem crazy for such a unicorn example of a Suburban. $13,000 would probably be my max; what is it worth to you?


  1. Avatar photo Joe

    Yes, very nice, I would pick one of these to get me through a Zombie Apocalypse. Would just attach one of those wedge-shaped snow deflectors used at the front of trains in case I need to plow through masses of Zombies.

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  2. Avatar photo BRAKTRCR

    Those Unicorn examples are worth a bunch : )

    Like 1
  3. Avatar photo L.M.K.

    I recently bought a 1989 Suburban….This one is a nice example . Mine is rusty and will be getting a few new body panels. Hopefully I won’t regret my journey with it…

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  4. Avatar photo MountainMan

    Nice old Burb. A friend of mine in Nashville has one thats from 1977 or 1978 with the factory 454. Great trucks that are truly capable haulers

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  5. Avatar photo Gary I

    Maybe ten or twelve thousand would be the local market. I missed an opportunity on a clean 1976 with a 454 about 6 years ago. I watched it in a front yard go from 12,500, to 8,500 to 6,500 to missing out on a super deal at $5,500 to a hard up owner. I wish It had gone to me.

    Like 1
  6. Avatar photo JW

    This one of only a few GM trucks I would own and this is a nice example. Great Find.

    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo grant

    Just sold a 93 suburban after an unfortunate divorce. I miss the truck more than the wife.

    Like 1
  8. Avatar photo Steve

    My dad bought an 82 surburban silverado with a 6.2 deisel new in 1982. Between the two of us we put nearly 350k miles on it. It never had much power but got 20 mpg highwAy. I had a lot of good memories with my folks pulling our travel trailer all over Texas and the south, including one trip to Dogpatch USA, Disney World and Branson Mo. It was still running when i parted it out. Sold the engine for $1k. It had a wierd electrical gremlin where it would start cranking on its own, even with no key in the switch. It had been ziebarted and had no rust. Stripped everything and sold shell for scrap. Sad, but nobody wanted it. I used the 700r4 trans, alternator and barious bits on my 72 cheyenne.

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  9. Avatar photo jim s

    glad it has shoulder belts in the second row outside seats so you can use child seats. if seller needs to post vehicle history report, if miles are right this would make a nice driver. nice find

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  10. Avatar photo Drew

    Very nice example but I bought an ’03 2500 with Quadrasteer and 87k for just over 12k this summer. I’d still take mine over this but it is pretty dang nice.

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  11. Avatar photo Peter R

    It looks very good with low mileage which is rare for these trucks – it is hard to put a value on one that is the exception. But to me $16K seems high no matter how “nice” I think it looks

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    • Avatar photo Alan (Michigan)

      Apparently the seller took heed about the former BIN, and the reserve as well.
      Looks like it will go to the highest bidder, currently at $8500, no restrictions.
      10 hours to go.

      Like 0
  12. Avatar photo geomechs Member

    I see that the listing has now closed. No doubt in my mind that the new owner will be very happy. The only thing I don’t like about this Burb (and others of the same vintage) was that GM chintzed out on the A-C compressor. The R-4 was pretty good on smaller truck cabs and mid-sized cars but the Burb stretched it out to max and beyond. They should’ve kept the A-6; that’s a big cabin to cool down.

    Like 0
  13. Avatar photo metalman

    My 1986 Suburban. Just turned 100k on St. Patrick’s Day. I’m the second owner. It is a Trailering Special. Daily driver, even in the rain. 13mpg around town, 16 hwy. And that’s with the original (NEVER rebuilt) Quadrajet 4bbl with a properly working choke. Last year for carburetor’s. 700 trans. still shifts perfectly. And as a GM tech, only GM parts go on it if needed. I love this truck.

    Like 0
  14. Avatar photo Thomas G. Malloy

    Nice truck. I am surprised that it doesn’t have a 700 overdrive transmission. I have a 1987 G20 conversion van. I paid 4k for it 3 years ago with 29k miles.

    Like 1
  15. Avatar photo ML

    Old school Suburbans were great. My grandma was an interior decorator, specialized in drapes for windows. ( Remember them?? Lol) She was a tiny lady at just 5ft tall. She always bought 2wd, bench seat, barn door Suburbans & kept them 10yrs no matter what. She retired in 2004 & traded her Suburban in on a GMC Acadia. After 1 week she traded it in on what was her last Suburban. She always had great reliability with all her Suburbans & always said they contributed to her success. Lotsa memories/road trips towing the camper places on weekends.

    Like 1

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