One Owner Survivor: 1980 GMC Sierra 4×4

This 1980 GMC Sierra 4×4 pickup is offered for sale for the first time since it was sold new, and has just 69,000 miles on the clock. Wearing great colors and sporting the preferred combination of a 350 V8 and Turbo 400 transmission, the GMC hails from the Pacific Northwest where all the great survivor cars and trucks apparently live. The price seems reasonable at just under $10,000, which is a fair ask in today’s market for 1980s GMC/Chevrolet pickups. The truck is equipped with mudflaps and sidesteps and comes with a clean title. Find it here on craigslist and thanks to Barn Finds reader Matt H. for the find. 

When it comes to 1980s domestic trucks, the two-tone paint job is perhaps the most distinguishing feature of models from this era. What’s your preferred combo? My brother had a C10 with the red and white scheme, and you could spot that truck coming – it was a giant candy cane on black steel wheels with white letter radials. The GMC seen here is a more attractive pairing of faded red over equally faded desert sand, and while it’s tired, it also works well on a slightly scruffy truck like this. I thought at first this was a short bed model, but upon further review, it appears to have the optional (and arguably less desirable) long bed design.

Ah, maroon – without this color on the inside, it’s only half a truck. The seller reports no issues from the cabin, but he doesn’t say much about the truck’s condition in general. Still, with 69K on the clock, you’d expect this GMC to be in fairly good shape inside and out. The bench seat isn’t torn and the door panels appear sound, and even the map pockets are still “hanging” in there. The carpets appear clean and there’s a period-correct CB radio hanging from the dash. No word on whether the GMC came with air conditioning, but it likely wasn’t needed in the Pacific Northwest, so it wouldn’t surprise me if it didn’t have this comfort feature. The dash is cracked, sadly, and combined with the faded paint, it seems likely the truck spent some time outdoors.

The engine compartment is clean and not detailed, but it doesn’t exactly need it, either – this is simply an unspoiled engine bay that needs only minor spit and polish if you’re inclined to making it shine. The 350 will run forever with nominal maintenance, but I suspect this truck was treated to a respectable maintenance schedule given the overall cleanliness of the presentation. The market for Chevy and GMC pickups of this era will likely remain warm for a while, with the survivor short beds going for more (and selling more quickly). However, a genuine four wheel drive model without any apparent issues is a sought-after truck as well, so I don’t expect this one to hang out long.

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Comments

  1. Terrry

    Overall, a nice truck. GMCs looked better than Chevies in those years. It may have a bit of rust in the fender wells, very common on this body style, but it has the most desirable running gear.

    Like 6
    • John S Dressler

      I put up a lot of hay in the field with one of these. The Target Master 350 that you could get in these would wear like iron! This could be a good farm/work truck for someone looking for one.

  2. Raymond

    Just a square gmc with uncofortable seat, all the trucks of all makes and its a lot these were like a park bench and way too upright…good work trucks..bring a cushion…

    Like 1
  3. Frank Luczak

    It’s got air. Nice pickup. Asking about what they ran new. Bought a 1979 2wd for $6800.

    Like 6
  4. Paul Farmer

    I can see the A C.compressor.wether it works or not would be the question.

    Like 1
  5. MnGuy

    Hey. Nice truck here. I just spotted two 1940 Chevy panel deliveries listed on my Facebook for sale here in MN. How do I share them with Barn Finds?

    Like 3
    • Doug

      I would like to see the pics of the panel wagons.Always wanted one.

  6. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    Great color combo! IMO, not worth the ask due to the rust on the hood, fenders and besides, and wherever else we can’t see.

    Like 5
  7. mikeh

    I’d put a slide in camper on and head out to Colorado. Maybe text the wife every now and then to let her know all is well.

    Like 6
  8. NHDave

    Would want to inspect the undercarriage and lower half of the body/doors closely. The lower portion of red is noticeably brighter than the top half (it doesn’t seem due just to less sun exposure), and the open passenger door picture appears to show overspray residual on the striker.

  9. Jon

    It definitely has air,the belt is attached to the compressor in the pictures,not hard to see.
    Made with more steel than the crap put out today. What 42 year old truck wouldn’t have a little rust?

    Like 2
  10. GOM

    As a 2500 (3/4) ton truck, I believe the 8 foot bed was standard, and there was no shortbed option. Most 1500’s had the Turbo 350, not the 400, as well, so for me this is a very desirable combination!

    Like 5
  11. Troy

    Well the good news is they don’t Salt the roads in western Washington like they do back east, its only been the last 10 years or so they spray that ani ice brine crap to try and stop the roads from freezing but in that part of Washington typically if it snows its only around a day or two than it’s back to rain. If I had the cash I would snap it up because you detail this thing better and post it here or on BAT and you will get $20+ k for it

    Like 1
  12. Rodney

    There’s rust. If you look at the door pics, it is about to erupt from the inside out.

    Like 1
  13. Carlos J Guzman

    Great looking survivor truck.. I like it.. the rust looks fixable. I like the color combo.. just a little clean up and color sanding bring back pop in the color.. interior is great.. plenty of parts for this truck..

  14. David G

    It has definitely been repainted. The truck’s original color is visible on the lower dash.

    Like 1
  15. Colin

    I have to stop looking at this page… I have an 86 silverado 4×4 I got out of Ca. A few years ago, i wanted a 3/4 tone or 1 ton , but couldn’t find one. If the wife woulnt kill me I’d be trying into figure out how to get this back to Nova Scotia now. That’s easily a 20k truck here. I get chased down in mine all the time.

  16. Ted Marks Member

    Well talked to the guy and it’s sold!!! Some car guy from Tennessee just wired him a bank wire full asking price I’m sure the dealer guy who got it will have it repaired and ask about $30k for it

  17. geomechs geomechs Member

    I lost track of the number of these that we sold. A-C was getting more popular all the time. 1980 was the year (only) that GM used the fuel tank switch relay. Until then the system defaulted to the RH tank and only ran on the LH side when the key was on. Most systems were running a return circuit so if your RH tank was full, when you shut your truck down, you would get a couple drops of gas that might drip onto the ground. Well some environmentalist was at the KFC having lunch one day. He looked up over his basket of left-wings and saw a drop of gas from an earlier Square Body hit the street. He immediately had to rush to a ‘Safe Space’ to calm down. He then contacted his friends at the EPA and informed them of this insane travesty. After the members emerged from their ‘Safe Spaces,’ they donned gasmasks and invaded the HOUSE. A few pairs of wet undergarments later a new regulation was passed requiring a relay to be installed that momentarily kept the tank switched to the LH side until the fuel return pressure had dropped. That ‘new’ invention worked fairly well—until the truck was unloaded from the carrier at least—and life went on. Tune in tomorrow to hear about how the nation’s savvy mechanics, the ones with the red glow from the backs of their necks, solved the problem…

    • Mountainwoodie

      geomechs:

      Hilarious…but I never eat at kfc! You need to wear a higher collar. Interesting bit about the gas tank relay and ignition on and off.

      Like 1
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Thanks. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I was coming down from dealing with a bunch of “Green Fiends” and my neck was still a little on the red side. So the cynicism was still there. I’m glad the admins let it run…

    • CVPanther Member

      Thanks, Geo, that is the best laugh I had all day.
      Lol…. left-wings….

      Like 1
  18. Jerry Fields

    Didn’t need to see the compressor. You could tell by the dash vents. If it had no air it wouldn’t have them.

  19. MNGuy

    Doug. The pics of the ’40 Chev panels were on my Facebook. Location listed as Aitkin, MN area.

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