BF Exclusive: 1985 GMC S-15 Jimmy

It’s wild to think there are some vehicles you seemingly saw every day, and then you look around and realize how few remain in respectable condition – if on the road at all.  The first generation S-10 Blazer and S-15 Jimmy were incredibly popular when new, and also quite robust. Given they weren’t used for off-road purposes but mostly for tromping around suburbia, the fact that so few survive in this sort of condition is somewhat surprising – but this example listed here on Barn Finds Classifieds is a standout in numerous ways, from low original mileage to a boatload of factory options. The seller is asking $16,550.

My last memory of one of these is a friend who had the Blazer version and ripped some seriously smoky burnouts in the high school parking lot. Of course, that may also help explain why so few of these early SUVs remain, given they took tons of abuse without much complaint. They were also extremely cheap to maintain and to buy, so if you ruined one, just buy another one. This example has been preserved thanks to being a second vehicle since new, and after being stored inside for the last 25 years, it presents as one of the nicer S-15 Jimmys we’ve seen in a while. The interior is in very clean condition, and mileage is low at just 55,269.

I love original details like the 4×4 lettering inscribed on the insulation pad under the hood. The seller states that the Jimmy runs very well, and since new, it’s only needed nominal maintenance. That may sound like a negative, but I think it’s the opposite because trucks like these that were loved proved to be extremely reliable. The seller claims the only parts replaced since new are the tires and the battery. Other highlights include a very generous options list from new, featuring 4WD, tilt, cruise control, Premium Sound stereo, oversized tires, OEM trailer hitch, rear defogger, and more.

The paintwork looks very clean, and the OEM spare tire still sits securely in its original spare tire cover. I’m guessing the hatch struts are weak or otherwise compromised, hence the additional support keeping the rear gate up. The seller notes everything else works, however, including the air conditioning. The truck received Ziebart undercoating from new, so rust isn’t an issue. These are part of an emerging class of collector vehicles, both for the nostalgia factor (how many of us had parents who drove these?) and the ongoing rise in popularity of square-body SUVs. The vehicle is listed by the original owner and comes with a clean title. Thanks for featuring this appreciating classic on the Barn Finds Classifieds!


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  1. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    Oh my gosh, for a 16K ask, replace the dang rear window struts! Also, with 50000 miles, and according to the seller that they’ve only ever replaced tires and a battery, be ready to replace the upper and lower ball joints and all control arm bushings. This was a know problem with these trucks when I worked for GM.

    Like 24
    • Bear

      Heck, ask $16100 if you have to, but lose the “redneck fix” rear hatch prop rod!! :-O

      Like 8
    • Miguel

      Don’t forget the exhaust manifolds.

      Like 1
      • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

        You’re right. Actually, I did forget about those….

        Like 1
  2. Howard A Member

    A while back, a 2wd S-10 came through, and I didn’t notice it was a 2wd, this is much more like mine was. I liked the truck, even though my ex-wife puked 2 motors. The 2.8 was a so-so motor, I’ve had good ones, but just as many bad. Strict oil changes were needed, and they weren’t very powerful, so leadfoots, like my ex-wife, burned them out. Again, ( and again and again), serious rusters, amazing to see one like this. Nice truck, small, goes through the snow great, great heater, but to find one not rusted, is pretty rare. Kind of GM’s answer to the 4Runner, and I thought it was as good or better. Toyota probably still outsold the Blazer/Jimmy 2 to 1. Great find.

    Like 6
  3. Deacon

    I rolled one on it side on the interstate doing 70mph.I can tell you they slide in a straight line…..

    Like 6
  4. Steve

    These were a big seller for the New York City sanitation and parks department. They bought thousands of them and the pick-ups. And after they killed them they sold them to the public thru city auctions for a couple hundred bucks. I had one of the pick-ups. Drove it till the body fell off of it.

    Like 9
  5. Weasel

    Ouch!! The BF classifieds usually have overpriced stuff. Occasionally there’s a deal but please don’t use it as “a place for deals”.

    Not a sustainer

    Like 4
  6. AndyinMA

    I had an 85 like this new, 2 tone blue and white. I think the 4wd made it a T-15. Anyhow the motor was bad, always stalling issues that varied with weather. Not a bad little trucklet all in all.

    Like 3
  7. Rob Member

    I bought one new 1985.2.8 v6. At that time everyone wanted a Toyota 4runner, The price I paid new:12,500. Changed the oil every 3000 miles, at about 53,000 miles the head gaskets let go, The tack quit just after the warranty expired. O’ yea, oil leak from the rear main was a warranty fix that never worked. It was the last GM I ever bought. Good riddance.

    Like 5
  8. Maestro1 Member

    The first thing to do is replace the rear window struts so the car presents well. Let’s not be shy on a low priced way to show the thing off.

    Like 2

    Sentimental value appears to ecxeed monetary worth in this case. It might sell if priced $10,000 lower.

    Like 1
  10. GTiDave Member

    Nice car, seems a bit pricey.

  11. Miguel

    This is definitely the wrong year.

    If the seller doesn’t know how bad the engine is, everybody else does.

    The 4.3L that came out in 1988 was 10 times the engine this one was.

    Like 7
    • AMFMSW

      One of my previous roommates was the sort who would rather push a Chevy than drive a Ford. Even he admitted that the 2.8L V6 was not a superb piece of engineering. Jeep guys thoroughly detest that engine, too.

    • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

      Again, I have to agree with you on the 4.3L engine, it was a much better mill. The only real problem with those engines were that pesky Vortec spider fuel injector.

  12. John

    The 2.8 V6 gutless and my overdrive conked out every 12 months. It looked nice in my driveway

  13. dogwater

    These things were gutless engine problems etc Junk……

  14. Jost

    I forgot what these looked like without rust!

  15. Jim

    Sorry, I thought I was reading BF, not Bring a Trailer

    Like 2
  16. bhowe Member

    It seems to me as we look at more of these 1980s classics here as of late, the interiors seem to be far superior to what is being offered today. COLOR. my gosh color!!! Not just drab grey, dark grey, greyish black, and black but actual color!!!!! Nice truck but a bit too rich for my taste. That being said, back in the 80s I couldn’t afford a new vehicle and now that I can afford new vehicles very few made today are appealing in the least to me. Honda’s aren’t as nice as they were in the 80s. GM vehicles aren’t as nice today as in the 80s. They may be more reliable today than back then, but everything made now is just a rounded off blob with no personality. You know cars are bland when only the headlights and taillights have any kind of styling to them.

    Like 1
  17. Slp522

    That’s way overpriced! Nice vehicle , but too much $$$

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