Gold Runner: 13K Mile 1985 Chevy Sierra K1500

The auction for this 1985 Chevy Sierra ends tonight, and this 13,741 mile Sierra pickup looks practically good as new. The seller recounts an interesting ownership history tied to a former uranium mining engineer who worked on The Manhattan Project, which was responsible for producing the first nuclear weapons. The truck is located in Oakland, California, and you can find here on eBay with bidding over $10K. 

Credit to the seller for taking one of the prettiest pictures of a pickup bed ever. Despite being owned by an engineer who also owned several gold mines in the area, it’s apparent the truck didn’t do much hauling. Between the connection to the Manhattan Project and owning gold mines in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the previous owner sounds like an interesting individual. The seller notes, “The bed looks as it did when it left Mel Rapton GMC almost 33 years ago,” thanks to a custom Gem Snug Top shell and bedliner that was installed.

Also worth noting is that the Sierra has been in storage for the last several years and the previous owner kept in a climate-controlled setting. In addition to the Snug Top, several other desirable options were selected: “…this is a Special Factory Ordered truck with all the right options including the most powerful and highest torque  LS9- 5.7L V8 available, the 700R4 Automatic with overdrive, G-80 Locking differential the optional G-U4 3.08 axle ratio for maximum fuel economy.” The interior presents quite well with no obvious defects.

All documentation for maintenance is said to be included, and with this level of preservation, we don’t doubt the previous owner took care to keep it maintained to factory specs. While the seller goes on about how the C/K series trucks from GM are becoming some of the most collectible ones out there, a truck in this condition with this equipment and such low mileage will always be in demand. It’s listed at no reserve and $20K doesn’t seem unrealistic – what price do you think it will reach?


WANTED 1959 Chevrolet Apache 3200 Fleetside LWB Looking for project truck. Complete vehicle with minimal rust desired. Contact

WANTED 1966 Chevrolet nova “plan jane’ Factory 327/350hp Muncie 4 speed 12 bolt rear on the east coast any condition Contact

WANTED 1958 Buick Limited 2 Door Hard Top Looking for a 1958 Buick limited coupe hard top, survivor or restored. Contact

Submit Your Want Ad


  1. Superdessucke

    Not sure what it’ll bid up to but picture 17 of 23 is hands down the most romantic picture of a pickup truck bed I’ve ever seen, as you observed. Throw in a surfboard and I might have even bid.

  2. Ray Smith

    This has 113,000 miles. Go to the E bay listing and click on history report. THEN click on “view detailed history” on the bottom. Big surprise, it appears to have hit 100,000 miles between 1999 and 2001. The mileage was noted at time of emission tests.

    • grant

      Thank you! Theres no way that drivers seat has only seen 13k.

  3. Coventrycat

    Truck porn. I love it.

  4. Dave Wright

    There was never a Chevy Sierra. You guys are slipping

    • jdjonesdr

      Love it. Has GMC emblems all over it, and the write up says Chevy. Somebody needs their morning coffee.

  5. Sparkster

    Over $10,000 with 36 bids. But I didn’t win Powerball nor Mega Millions so truck for me.

  6. Ray Smith

    My guess is the PO probably used this to primarily pull a trailer of some sort. It must have been fairly light with the 3.08 gears. Tell tale signs are the extra leads coming off the positive battery terminal and trailer brake controller under the dash. I also find it interesting that there is not a photo of the back of the truck with the tailgate up. I get a funny feeling about the seller here. Deceptive about miles and who knows what else. I wouldn’t even think about buying this without an in person once over. It could very well be a pig with lipstick.

    • Mister319

      All I see under the dash is a c.b. Radio, and the hitch is just a lightweight bumper mount. Regardless of the mileage it is still a very clean truck.

  7. Wolfgang Gullich

    I’m holding out for my father-in-law’s ’87 Silverado. Bought new, 108K, always garaged, and the interior still smells and looks brand new too!

    Like 1
    • ChevyTruckGuy

      She’s a nice-lookin’ truck! Even though I’m not a fan of truck caps, this one seems to work well with the two-tone color scheme of this particular truck. Is she a K10 or K20?

      • Wolfgang Gullich

        She’s a K10 with 4wd. The cap has been on it since day 1 as well.

    • Classic Steel

      I like the two tone colors… the cap is okay .. I have the picture below of the patina aged model… I have a cap for mine but took it off.

  8. Paul

    He does make it clear in the ad that it has over 100,000 miles. He says the previous owner had it for 33 years and averaged 3400 miles a year during his ownership.I think that works out to around the correct number. Pretty hard to overlook that as he says it a few times in the ad.

    • Ray Smith

      Under “Item Specifics” he lists “Mileage: 13,741”. I call that deceptive at best.

      • Paul

        I agree with you, it was misleading.I was just pointing out that there was other information in the listing. Even if the odometer reads 13000 he needed to say it was not correct and had rolled over. I would be wary of this listing in many ways. Due diligence would surely be needed.

  9. Mister319

    All I see under the dash is a c.b. Radio, and the hitch is just a lightweight bumper mount. Regardless of the mileage it is still a very clean truck.

  10. Gene Parmesan

    Misunderstanding the mileage, and calling the truck a Chevy twice, both underneath and above the lead photo, which shows the GMC logo emblazoned across the grille. This writeup is a mess! I guess someone had too many martinis last night! Eh, we all have rough days. Sweet truck anyway.

  11. Troy s

    Hold out for an ’87 if you really want a decent running gmc or Chevy truck in this older body style with the 350. Throttle body injection helped a bit and gas mileage was a tad better. But I could never see spending that much money on one of these as trucks have certainly come a long way since the 80’s. Can’t believe how much people are willing to spend on one of these.😱

    • Tim S. Member

      Camaros, Challengers & Mustangs have come a long way too and people still love older models. If you want a new truck I guarantee your local dealer has a website. That’s where you should be, or posting on Facebook about how you got a Gonzo Deal at Bonzo Chevrolet or some such, instead of looking here.

      Like 1
      • Troy s

        Hate Facebook, don’t give a hang about Bonzo Chevrolet, Love the older ones, but 1985 will never be far enough behind me to consider this truck worth 15000 grand or more. Bid cheap on these to keep them affordable for people to enjoy. Please!🙅

    • Alex

      To be honest any truck from 1987 is fine with me in fact I own an 1987 Ford Bronco and it a amazing truck and I would love to have an 1987 truck to but that Bronco not this beautiful but I have to admit this is a beauty.

  12. geomechs geomechs Member

    Most definitely a GMC. Nice truck but the emissions laws were really starting to leave their mark. Valve timing was retarded. A good fix to that was to flip the crankshaft sprocket around. Lift the metering rods at least half a turn and advance the ignition timing. Keep that under the detonation point or else the ESC will undo everything you just did. A 700R4 with 3.08 gears is bordering on the ridiculous. It makes the engine lug. A 3.73 is hard to beat although I had customers who had fairly good luck with 3.42s. I might add that my ’79 K1500 with 400 SBC, TH350, full-time FWD, and 3.73 gears consistently got 15mpg, which is about what you can expect with this.

    • Steve

      “A good fix to that was to flip the crankshaft sprocket around”


      • geomechs geomechs Member

        It essentially advanced the valve timing about 8 degrees which added up to what it was before 1981. You could also simply install a roller chain and sprocket set for a 327/early 350 and not bother with it.

  13. Henry Drake

    I get it. It’s not a Chevy Sierra. But in the grand scheme of things, who cares. Chevy vs. GMC…..just different emblems. FYI: the High Sierra was the equivalent of the Chevrolet (and better known) “Scottsdale” trim level, one notch below the Silverado (or GMCs Sierra Classic).

    Disappointed that the owner is deceptive about the mileage.

  14. Rodent

    You can buy his house to go along with his truck.

    Seems odd that they would stage a house in this price range, but that doesn’t look like old man stuff inside.

  15. JohnD

    I’m annoyed when eBay sellers list mileage as ‘135’ for a vehicle w/ 135,000 miles or ‘13741’ if the truck so obviously has 137,4xx. Clearly the intent is to avoid being ‘filtered out’ of an eBay search specifying trucks w/ <100k Miles. I wonder, if I win the auction can I decline to seal the deal because the seller misrepresented the truck? Buyer beware indeed!

  16. Tricky

    One of the nicest trucks I have ever seen!

  17. Classic Steel

    This is a nice looking truck .. These I remember were continually vetted by GM to trade in due to the dual saddle gas tanks that exploded upon rare bad impacts but a recall from the mid 80s etc. I know this as my dad had one that was passed to me and still on the family farm which continually back the day had letters sent offering a high trade in value. Mine has patina due to the out in the elements work truck with over 100K miles and a 396 big block that swapped out the failed GM diesel attempt engines.

    I definitely like the look and the clean interior whether its one million miles or low miles as stated.

    The gold grows on me….

  18. curt

    The metal around the left tailight is damaged if you blow up pix you can see it…theres no way this truck has just 13k miles..

  19. Nrg8

    It is a well looked after truck. Lots of square body parts bin raiding here, or swap meet parts if you prefer. Tail lights are of 1980 and down vintage. 1981 and up were painted silver trim. Diesel dash bezel. The romantic spin the seller does makes you question his credibility. This truck will sell itself without listing it as 13k miles, er 113k, original paint or whatever. There is blended paint and new paint. Whatever. This guy is taking what is an easy sell and making it feel sketch. Truck in my opinion needs nothing, drive it and flavour it as you go.

  20. Tyler

    Anybody know what that is mounted on the driver side inner fender? It has an auxiliary battery, so I’m guessing some kind of power inverter?

    And I question the originality of the interior. The door panels to me look like LMC replacement panels, & I can’t say that I have ever seen a dash pad that was a different color than the other trim pieces. The SPID list the interior as saddle tan, but the dash panel is clearly brown. And to nit pick a little further, the gauge cluster bezel is brushed aluminum finish, while the dash & door panel bands are black, they should match. Also, there is an indicator at the top center of the cluster bezel I have never seen on a gas powered truck, that is usually where the glow plug light is on the diesel versions.

    It’s possible that the truck came this way, but after owning 13-14 square body trucks of various years, most of them 81-87 model GMC’s, I haven’t seen this combination & find it a bit unusual. I’m gonna go with partially restored on the interior.

  21. Mike

    it’s a LWB. Meh.

  22. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended: Jan 07, 2018 , 9:00PM
    Winning bid:US $10,850.00
    [ 38 bids ]

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.