EXCLUSIVE: 1987 Chevrolet Suburban

UPDATE 12/3/2019 – This Suburban really needs to go, so Steve has lowered his asking price to just $1,500. Be sure to contact him with any questions or to make an offer!

UPDATE 9/6/2019 – Steve really wants to see this Suburban go to a good home, where it can be enjoyed, so he’s dropping his asking price to $1,950! If you just want a great SUV to drive or something to build into a wild custom, this rig is definitely worth considering. Be sure to message Steve via the form below!

FROM 7/9/2019 – When Reader Steve E saw this Suburban at an insurance auction last fall, he decided he just had to save it. Yes, it had damage, didn’t run and came with a salvage title, but it just looked so cool to let it go to the scrapper. So he bid on it and ended up winning it. He’s since done all the work to get it back on the road, fixed the body damage and has been driving it, but he’s decided to move it along. It’s located in Eugene, Oregon and Steve is asking $2,300.

Getting this 2-wheel drive Suburban back on the road took some work. The 5.0 V8 wasn’t running when he bought it, but with a new distributor, plugs, cap and rotor, and a new in-tank fuel pump he was able to get it to start right up. It’s now running smooth and quietly with no leaks or drips showing up on his driveway. The brakes, lights, wipers, and heater all work as they should, but the AC needs work. All the AC components are present with the belt on the pump but it doesn’t produce any cold air.

Tuning it up and getting running was probably the simple part of this project. The body had suffered damage to the passenger side, so Steve found a used fender and repainted it with the correct 1987 striping to get the front looking better. There is still damage on the back half, but it shouldn’t keep you from driving and enjoying this truck. If you are so inclined, you could fix the rest of the body damage and have this rig looking like new again!

Here is a closer look at the damage. Given how sharp that crease is, you’ll probably have to cut the panel out and replace it (at least that’s likely the easiest option). These rigs still show up in our local junkyards, so you could probably find replacement doors and sheet metal to fix this one.

The odometer is showing 8,800, but Steve is confident that it’s covered 108k miles. The interior looks to be in decent shape given its age and mileage. Steve notes that there is a minor split seam on the driver’s seat, but it looks good from here. He states that the rest of the interior looks really good. There’s a small crack in the dash where the radio speaker is, the headliner is missing and the rubber floor mats are showing their age but usable. It appears to be usable as is, but a headliner and new rubber mats would make this a place the whole family can enjoy.

Steve believes much of the paint is some original but there are thin spots and a few spots appear to have been redone. He believes there was some work done to the driver’s rear quarter and has been clear coated. The back is still wearing Valley View Ranch on the back, which is a cool touch.

Before you put many miles on it, you may want to install some new tires, as the ones that are currently installed are getting old. It also could use one of the tips on the dual exhaust. It’s otherwise ready to be enjoyed. Steve is including touch up paint in both red and beige, as well as new trim for the right rear wheel well. He has the title in hand and a bill of sale. So, if you’ve love to cruise around in this Suburban, be sure to contact Steve via the form below!

  • Asking Price: $1,950
  • Location: Coburg, Oregon
  • Title Status: Salvage

Contact The Seller

List your car here on Barn Finds for only $50!



    Wow a 5.0 in a Suburban, who knew? Looks to me like this would be the ultimate work truck. Haul your tools, lumber or paint, and $2300 seems like a gift to me.
    Still surprised at the engine size. I have had 4 Suburbans, mine were all big blocks. My current 2001, has the 8.1 and gets 9mpg. Maybe the 5.0 would get better?
    Regardless, I think this work horse is a bargain

    Like 7
    • Andre Joly

      Believe it or not in the square body ‘burbs (and earlier generations) the straight 6 was available.

      Like 6
  2. CapNemo

    I agree, at that price it would be a heck of a good work truck! Best of luck with it!

    Like 11
  3. Andre Joly

    Very reasonable price for a super reliable truck. Whether a work truck, hauler, or a toy to drive while you work on it there’s a ton of value. Nice buy for someone.

    Like 7
  4. Brett

    I would never buy a Suburban with a 302 and since when did GM ever make a 302? I thought they made 305’s and 350 V-8’s as well as a 250 inline 6. I had a 1982 short wheelbase truck with the same paint job and a 305. That engine was a dog with no power. I did, however, have a 76 Chevelle Malibu Classic with a 305 and that car ran really good!

    • stevee

      The decal under the hood states 5.0 liter. Ford called their 302 a 5 l, Gm called both the 305 and the 307 a 5.0 l. So, it just depends on the year and the builder. I was just going with what the decal said.

      Like 10
    • Evan

      Well, for starters, Brett, Chevy did make a 302 V-8, in 1967-1969 Z/28 Camaros. So that’s “when did GM ever make a 302?”

      They made small block V-8s in 10 displacements, in fact.

      262, 265, 267, 283, 302, 305, 307, 327, 350, and 400 cubic inches.

      Like 4
    • Robert White

      I had an 81 GMC 305cid half-tonne longbox that was a complete dog on power until I swapped out the original intake & carb for an 750 Holly on a 60s GM intake with no EGR valve. With the 750 Holly & straight through 60s intake manifold the power was excellent after that I could drive my truck at 100mph without timing problems after that swap.

      None of the stock 305s could breathe oxygen enough to mix with the fuel at speed. They were all performance dogs from the factory. With just the manifold change & carb change the horsepower was increased by at least 20%. Fuel costs were actually better after the swap because of the increase in performance.

      The transmission even acted better after the intake & carb swap.

      P.S. The 76 intake manifold had EGR as well but the carb was a better carb than GM was putting out with the trucks in the 80s.

      Pollution Control on these trucks is mindboggling.


      Like 1
  5. Karl

    Always loved suburbans the only problem with owning them is you always end up driving because everyone and their gear fits. I always bought 3/4 ton 4 WD with the BBC because I was always loaded with gear and or pulling something fairly heavy. Great vehicles but that size engine is a deal breaker for me, put 10k behind that engine and you would not even move down hill.

    Like 4
  6. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Buy it now…..nice truck for the money….

    Like 2

    I don’t see mention of a 302 anywhere Brett, but Chevy did make a 302. for the 69 Z28 Camaro and they were 290 hp. But all I see in reference to this Suburban is the 5.0 which is as you stated the 305 Cu in engine. Granted, they weren’t that popular of an engine, because they weren’t a powerhouse, but they were reliable, and inexpensive to maintain. Much like the 307 engines of the late 60’s, not popular with hot rodders, but still a solid engine
    Hope that helps.

    Like 3
    • JOHN Member

      For what it’s worth, the 302 CID rated at 290 horsepower was introduced in 1967 in the first year Z/28. They were used through 1969. With the introduction of the 2nd generation Camaro, the Z/28 came with a 350/360 LT1 engine. The exact same engine in the Corvette was advertised as 350 CID, 370 horsepower. The 302 was a high RPM screamer, and needed some deep gears to make it a contending drag car. 4:11, 4:56, 4:88 gear sets were common back in the day. The little 302 was rumored to have horsepower in the 340-370 range.

      Like 1
  8. David G

    Nice Suburban at a cheap price. Seen hundreds of them over the decades, but never saw one with an engine smaller than a 350. Didn’t know they made them with smaller engines.

    Like 4

    I want to start a business, just so I can use this thing, ha ha. Throw your tools in the back, get in and drive.
    Oh, the starter goes out? Every auto parts store on earth has 3 of them. same with 90% of the parts on this thing, and now the price is great… if you need the truck.

    Like 5
  10. YourSoundMan

    Wait, what model year did Suburbans and Blazer get the exterior refresh(flush glass, etc)? 1988?

    My uncle has a base 1997 Chevy – hand crank windows, radio only, P-metric tires. The aero exterior though, it never looks old!

    • Miguel

      The Suburbans and Blazer were restyled for the 1992 model year.

      Like 1

      The pick up a got the new body style in 88, Suburbans, not until 92

      Like 2
      • YourSoundMan

        Oh, that’s right! I keep forgetting that. Well, by the time they reskinned them, the style was probably already out of date compared to what other truck makers were doing by then.

        Still looks modern even for what is really an ’80s era reskin.

        Like 2
  11. JimZ Member

    The truck shows nice, good job with clean up and pics, seller Steve E!
    I’ve had several Subs over the years, but was always partial to the diesel rigs.
    As for the 5.0 motor being strong enough, it would be interesting to know the rear axle ratio. If it was in the high 3’s, it would be more than enough to haul that big chassis around.
    Just sayin’…….

    Like 2
  12. ACZ

    Superb winter truck. A full tank of gas and a new set of snow tires and there is nowhere it won’t go. Leave the hot rod in the garage.

    Like 3
  13. Robert White

    Whiskey dings makes this nice solid truck a deal at $1500.00 but $2k is pushing the deal factor with the steel factor, methinks.

    It does look to be a good start for a restoration paintjob at least. All the parts seem to be there so it’s an okay deal. A 454cid can be planted.


  14. Steve

    Back when trucks were trucks, and men were men.

    Like 4
  15. KevinLee

    I’ve owned 3 Suburbans, all with the 350, including a 3/4 ton four wheel drive. That engine is very adequate for pretty much anything you could throw at it. I hauled music gear all over Texas with my ’89, and never had a problem keeping up with traffic at 75 mph, with the a/c cranked. I wouldn’t mind owning this one!

  16. Howard A Member

    I say this is pretty unsettling, can’t even give this nice truck away. It’s so hard to find these in this condition north of I-70. It just bolsters my opinion, nobody wants to mess with this stuff anymore. Like I’ve said before, it’s going to need work, and I just don’t see people doing that anymore. When going to Autozone, which I think is the best of the parts houses, there’s never a line, these guys are dusting off oil bottles. Years ago, as evidenced by the hitch, this was the vehicle of choice to pull anything family related. Sadly today, both those things tanked.

    Like 1
  17. Julian K

    The 5 liter is a 305 small block.

    Like 1
  18. TimM

    Buy of the week here on barn find!!! I know I could fix that door and quarter panel but I don’t know if I would!! Just get in it and drive!!! Wish I were a little closer!!!

  19. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Wait…..wasn’t it cheaper a few months back….and no takers ?

    Like 1
  20. glenn

    Same here. If it was within a $500 haul, I’d grab it. Love these. I can fix the body and I have a low-mile ’74 454 sitting here looking for a new home. But it would cost $1G to get it to the east coast.

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