Family Owned: 1979 GMC Suburban Sierra Classic

A lot of us aren’t even 40 years old yet and those of us who are older than that wish that we were as well-preserved as this 1979 GMC Suburban Sierra Classic is. This gigantic GMC can be found listed here on eBay in beautiful Boise, Idaho. Bidders have upped the price to over $7,800 but the reserve still isn’t met. The seller has a buy it now price of $11,950 listed. Let’s check it out.

GM seemed to have a lock on these giant SUVs. Why Ford didn’t make one in this era, or a factory production model, is beyond me. There were a few customs but I’m not aware of Ford making a big, four-door SUV to match the Suburban for the US market – although they did make them in this era for other markets as Jeff Lavery showed us a few months ago. This sure is a beautiful truck, isn’t it? I literally don’t see one flaw in this rig inside or out.

If you can’t haul it in or with this vehicle, using the towing package then you really have a lot of stuff. This Suburban was owned by one family since new with the current owner, an 83-year old gentleman, inheriting it from his sister a few years ago. I can’t imagine an 83-year old person driving this gigantic vehicle or really anyone unless they live in the country or go on trips a lot. As a city vehicle, I can’t imagine that this is a lot of fun to drive in traffic and park, but I could be wrong, again.

I would have thought that a Sierra Classic trim level would include power windows, but I guess not yet. It was still 1979 after all, the must-be-coddled-at-all-times vehicle buyers were probably still in the larval stage at this point. The interior is beautiful as well and needless to say, there’s a ton of room in the back seat and in the cargo area which is in a different time zone than the front seat is.

The engine looks almost like new and the seller says that this truck has 25,965 miles on it, maybe that’s why. They also say that this is a “GM Crate 350 CID V8 motor that is running VERY well. The motor also sports an ORIGINAL Style 4 barrel intake manifold, ORIGINAL exhaust manifolds, ORIGINAL Style valve covers, ORIGINAL jack, ORIGINAL air cleaner housing and an ORIGINAL Style 4 barrel carburetor, Etc… Sounds GREAT too with the factory style exhaust system. The engine is backed by a SMOOTH !! – Code “MX1” – Three speed – “TH-350″ – Turbo Hydra-Matic – automatic transmission that also functions very well”. Any thoughts on this big beauty?

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Comments

  1. Bill

    Owned a 1981 version. Bought it new. Biggest piece of garbage I ever owned.

    4
    • C.Jay

      This 1987 has over 400k replaced the engine at 296k, the 700r4 has been replaced and rebuilt several times. I tow a lot with it though. Six trips between Ft Bliss El Paso TX and central PA hauling truck parts in one summer.
      I love my Suburbans!!!

      7
  2. OIL SLICK

    Nice truck but sorry i need PW and PDL. I’m not coddled either cuz its a PITA to stop and roll windows up and down

    1
  3. Chuck Dahl

    Why did it require a crate engine? That normally means the original was replaced for some reason.

    5
  4. paul a den broeder

    followed it on ebay,for the price he wants,it better comes with a few gold bars in back.

    1
  5. bdub
    • bdub

      Note: I used software to compare every word in the listing… the only thing that changed between when it was listed 2 weeks ago and now is the deletion of that “1” before the 25,XXX

      5
  6. KSwheatfarmer Member

    Hey Scotty, wife is trying to get our contact info to you on the Magstars, not sure if its getting to you. Thanks

  7. BRAKTRCR

    I have had an 81, an 89, a 92, 95 and now an 01
    Have loved them all except the 89. The 81 was pretty much the twin of this one… until I yanked the small block and put in a big block. The only 1/2 ton with a big block. I never got the hook up for the kick down on the th400, but it really didn’t need it.
    My 89 was my least favorite, had a “spring wrap up ” issue that could never be resolved. That’s why I got the 92. All of them inhaled gas, and my 01 is the worst one, of all of them. Still love it, 9mpg and all. The 8.1 and 4wd is worth it. This 79 is quite nice, but I think it’s 125k on the miles.
    Not a fan of those running boards either

  8. local_sheriff

    I cannot believe it’s possible to have only 25k on the odo in 40 years, and at the same time need a new crate engine… However, this must be one of very few early Subs left that isn’t completely worn out,and didn’t get converted to the R/V face as was so popular around 2000.
    In contrast to cheapo truck variants,there is a TON of interior parts in these Subs which all seems to be in very nice used condition here. Many of these are specific for Suburban and not available as repops.
    Vehicle looks great!And is a lot cosier and multi task hobby vehicle to bring along the entire family than comparable trucks.It deserves being picked up by a caring person!
    I’ve owned a C5 Blazer and C30 ; the late 70s C/K trucks are the easiest , cheapest and funniest vehicles I’ve ever worked on, before they got cluttered with emmission,electric and vacuum everything…

  9. LEMAN

    I WAS THE PROUD OWNER OF A 1978 SUBURBAN THAT WAS USED BY THE US NAVY FOR 10 YEARS BEFORE I GOT IT IN 1988 I PUT A NEW CRATE ENGINE IN IT IN 1995 WHEN THE FAN DECIDED TO GO SOUTH ON ME AND IT WAS IN IMMACULATE CONDITION WITH JUST 74k MILES ON IT AND THE BEST I COULD GET FOR IT WAS $2950.00 IT HAD THE T-400 AUTO TRANS. A LOW MILEAGE ENGINE BEEFED UP TRANS WITH RV GEARING. WHAT MAKES THIS ONE ANY MORE VALUABLE IS BEYOND KNOWING.lemanhw

    • local_sheriff

      Maybe you sold a few years ago? You may have noticed the square bodies have had an extreme rise in popularity in recent years, I remember a few years ago when these Subs were regarded as nothing but donor vehicles. Pickup body has always caught more money than respective Blazers and Subs, now that pickups are getting pricier the ‘SUV’ body catches up the pace.
      I cannot claim anything as I have not seen your truck, but being a former official vehicle wouldn’t that mean it was cheaply equipped? Unless you haven’t seen the listing for this specific Sub, I can testify there are MANY pics of it from any thinkable angle, showing this is a significantly nice, well equipped example.A crate engine installed NEW in 95 wouldn’t be NEW 23 years later…
      Just some thoughts, no pun intended

      1

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