California One Owner: 1983 Chevrolet Suburban

1983 Chevrolet Suburban

This 1983 Chevrolet Suburban is said to be a one previous owner, California vehicle that has recently been registered after a 20 year slumber under a tree. While the seller notes there is a branch rub mark on the roof, it only has 58,000 miles on it and currently resides in Yorba Linda, California. There is a VIN listed and the title is said to be clear. The asking price is $9,000 and you can view more on Craigslist.

1983 Chevrolet Suburban

There is an incredibly long list of mechanical maintenance that has been performed. The original 454 cubic inch V8 is attached to an automatic transmission and was ordered with a tow package when new. According to the listing the tasks recently completed are but not limited to; fuel system cleaning and new fuel pump, new battery, spark plugs, wires, ignition, water pump, thermostat, and radiator, to name a few.

1983 Chevrolet Suburban

Inside, the truck was ordered with a third seat delete from factory. New window switches and motors have been installed. A new headliner has also been installed. There are a few minor notes though, including the rear tailgate lock is missing, the vent fan motor is noisy, the steering wheel lock is not installed, the rear window doesn’t always work, and the ashtray is missing. The seller has one from another truck to replace it.

1983 Chevrolet Suburban

It will also need new shocks according to the seller as well. All of those minor issues do not seem to detract from how original and cool this Suburban is. While the general public tends to buy SUV’s like there is no tomorrow, it is nice to look back on what the original SUV was. This one is cheaper and would provide plenty of smiles than a new one. The seller gladly offers you to come see it, drive it, and present your best offer.


WANTED 1968-72 Chevrolet Nova Looking for a survivor rough around the edges original car for a sleeper project!! Contact

WANTED 1973 to 1976 Chevrolet Impala Wagon 1930 Ford Model A two door – I’m looking for a good right rear fender Contact

WANTED 1960 to 2005 Honda any Looking to buy low mileage original Japanese vehicles for my collection gary dunc Contact

WANTED 66-72 Chevrolet chevelle no 4dr Contact

WANTED 1975 – 77 Ford Granada 2 door Would like a V8 in decent shape Contact

Submit Your Want Ad


  1. Dan

    This rig probably sat under a tree for 20 years, and accumulated so few miles, because someone tired of meeting its voracious demands for fuel! It looks to be a good example, but it’s not for me.

    Like 5

    Nice Suburban. Plenty of life left in it, but I think it’s a bit pricey. It’s obviously had a lot of work completed, but still needs tires, and shocks.
    I have had 4 Suburbans, and all have been gas hogs. You know it, accept it, and are grateful to be in such a stout safe vehicle. This 83, would likely hover right around 10 mpg. My 2001 gets the same mpg

    Like 8
  3. James S.

    This is at best a $3500 vehicle. They gave it the kind of tuneup/work any Auto Zone employee could give. The 20 year old tires didn’t stop them from slathering Armor All over them. Can’t even add a bit of freon? Asking $9k and can’t even fix the shocks, or the other things? No surprise the listings been up for almost a month already.

    Like 5
    • Rosco

      Price is too high, but at $2500 I would be all over it. Doubt an Auto Zone employee could do the work described, and probably tough in CA to just add freon. Most likely would need to be updated/converted.

      Like 1
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        And since it’s in the state of California (before he adds the Freon) he’ll have to apply for 19 different permits, pay the fees, file for separate EPA and CARB environmental studies then pay the costs for those studies….Probably why he’s selling it!

        Like 6
  4. doug

    Well, we’ve heard from the ” too expensive” crowd. All we need is the ” resto-mod” crowd to pipe up yet. With new tires and shocks you MAY have $10,000 in it. Where could you buy a vehicle that will tow anything anywhere for that price except for something with 200,000 miles on it.. I have a similar ’87 and love it. Price is fair for this one.

    Like 5

      Not trying to pick a fight, and I see your point, there is real value here, provided everything checks out of course. But this Suburban’s appeal is really only as a work vehicle, which it will do very well.However, it has no third seat, Vinyl bench seat, no factory tint on the windows, and it’s 2WD.
      Nothing wrong with any of those things. But just for the sake of comparison, I bought my current Suburban a year and a half ago. It’s an 01, 2500, with the 8.1 Litre BB, and 4WD. Also has 3 rows seats, buckets and a console. It had 105K miles. It’s loaded, had new tires, and I paid 8k from a dealer.
      Please don’t think I’m trying to brag, I’m not. I looked a long time to find the Sub I wanted, and feel I got a great deal. As much as an “Old School” type of person I am, I don’t see the 9K value in this 83
      Again, just my measly opinion. Hmmm wonder how it would look tubbed, with a blower sticking out of the hood… Just kidding

      Like 7
  5. Bill Member

    Bought a 1982 Suburban new. Biggest piece of crap I ever owed. Tranny burned up with less than 1000 miles. Engine blew up at 20,000. Constant electrical gremlins. Rear window motor caught on fire. Had to repaint sections three times in seven years. And those are just the highlights I can quickly remember after all these years. Happiest day of my life was selling that thing

    Like 1
    • Karl

      I grew up with 3/4 ton suburban BBC all 4 WD used for towing and hunting virtually never a problem just maintenance they were great vehicles each and every one of them. I am reasonably certain this would be a great fit for someone who doesn’t need 4 WD!

      Like 6
  6. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Too big, too bland and too thirsty. I never saw the appeal in owning an over-sized gas hog with all the style of a cardboard box with lights and a grille. I know some folks like them but there are better looking, more fuel efficient options out there that will do the job better.

    If you must have it, buy it for less than half of the asking price. The four or five thousand saved will help keep this thing fueled up for a few weeks.

    Like 2
  7. JOHN Member

    I’ve had three, ranging from 82-90, all three were small blocks, one was a 2 wheel drive 1500, and two 1500 4 wheel drives. I can’t recall any issues above routine maintenance, (tires, brakes, shocks) no alternator’s, water pumps, starters, etc. The 90 was EFI, throttle body injection if I remember correctly. All were factory loaded up Silverado’s, with the tow package. I thought they delivered reasonable mileage for what they were, aerodynamic an a shipping container. The rear mounted A/C was awesome. This one, as a 20 series with the 454 you know has to have an appetite for fuel, but overall, a nice Suburban. You just don’t see many in this shape.No pics underneath or underhood, but I imagine there are no disappointments.

    Like 4
  8. Miguel

    Where I am you can get a nice small block Suburban for around $2000 USD. I don’t see how anybody can or would pay so much for this truck.

    Like 1
  9. reddog

    i had a grey 88 and used it to death without anythjng stopping it except snow as it was rwd. no matter what anyone thinks or says about proce, you will NEVER find on in the mid atlantic or northeast in this shape for 2 or 4 thousand. NEVER. ill buy it today if someone fimds it in this shape at that price, dreamers.

    Like 2
  10. Mark Epperson Member

    Big Red. That is what my daughter’s called it. 8 MPH downhill, uphill and towing no matter what. Loved the capacity, 4WD and range. Used extensively in the mountains, on the ranch and you hear it from 2 blocks away. Loved it!

    Like 3
  11. local_sheriff

    I agree it’s a 3-4k vehicle – when it was parked under that tree that is. I think anyone would be hard pressed to pick a similarly equipped square-body in such an unmolested condition for much less $. They’ve simply been everyday workhorses to a point when access to them has dried up.

    Those few issues with this example should be easily adressed and must be expected when one is looking for a 36 year old vehicle. Grab an LMC catalog, your toolbox and get to work!

    Like 2
  12. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    It’s was built for hauling/towing don’tchaknow ! A little high but not much considering the work. Small block won’t carry the goods like a BB does – doesn’t even get better gas at that.

    Have a beater 1977 with a Goodwrench 350 in it….worth ever penny I paid for it and then some.

    Like 2
  13. LEMAN

    i sold a 94 suburban top of the line 5.7 v8 with every option except remote entry for $ 2750.00 after putting $5500.00 in the gas hog, that money i wasted on it included new a/c front & rear, radiator, alternator, continental tires, a valve job plus $465.00 for a tune-up that only included wires and spark plugs. the gm mechanic said it didn’t need a coil or condenserbecause it had the h.e.i. ignition.

    • Steve R

      How long ago?

      Steve R

      Like 3
  14. Bikefixr

    If it was anywhere near NJ, I’s be ALL Over this. Low miles, RUST FREE Cali body, 454, AC…oh yeah. That is solid gold out here. Another grand puts it in solid shape. It’s got a decade of life left in it out here. Ours rot out underneath us.

    Like 3
  15. Del

    Nice unit.

    Probably get it for 7000 ?

  16. Bob Ricewasser

    I am the original owner of an almost flawless 94 Suburban 3/4 ton Silverado with 3rd seat, rear a/c. It has the original paint, new tires, new battery later truck/Suburban factory aluminum rims & it has a 454 cu” engine. The transmission was also recently rebuilt. The color on this vehicle is Burnt Red Metallic (maroon) with silver cloth upholstery. I am asking $10,500.00 obo & hope that someone will appreciate acquiring a vehicle in almost pristine condition. I have an ad coming out in the next Hemmings.

  17. Otis

    Not sure if this is the place to hijack a thread to advertise your own vehicle for sale.

    Like 1

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.