Rare 4×4: 1989 Chevrolet S-10 Baja Edition

I can’t get enough special editions, 1970s, 80s, and 90s especially. Special or limited editions with graphics packages and other unusual features really turn my crank. They usually don’t do much if anything for performance but as far as being eye-catching they’re hard to beat. This 1989 Chevrolet S-10 Baja is posted on Craigslist in beautiful and historic Buffalo, New York. The Baja was made between 1989 and 1991 and the seller is asking $8,500 or best offer for this rare number.

Speaking of numbers, the seller mentions that this is 1 of 1,086 examples made. I come up with numbers close to 8-10 times that amount of them being produced but maybe one of you will know how to track down the actual figures. Our own Jeff Lavery showed us a beauty of a 1991 Baja a year ago here. The Baja was a bit more than a graphics package as I eluded to earlier. According to this Chevy press release the Baja, or I guess technically, BAJA, package consisted of “off-road suspension, underbody shields and tow hooks, off-road P235/75R15 tires and heavy-duty components, with a sport upfit package of black front and rear brush guards, fog and off-road lamps, black light support, blackout body treatment, and Baja red bowtie identification.” This 4×4 truck appears to have the optional off-road aluminum wheels. There would also have been an optional endgate net and pickup box mounted spare tire carrier.

Those unusual pipe/tube bumpers are cool and this truck looks like it’s really in nice condition. It couldn’t have gone through too many Buffalo, NY winters with only 41,000 miles on it. Hopefully, it hasn’t been driven in the salty, snowy winter at all to keep rust at bay. There is no mention of the body or rust condition in the listing. Unfortunately, this truck has had a 2.5-inch suspension lift put on a few months ago. That isn’t a deal breaker but for those of us who like things in original-spec that would come off under my watch. I’m not a big bro-truck guy. Not that there’s anything wrong with a jacked-up pickup, mind you, I just prefer the stock look. The Baja came only in Apple Red, Midnight Black, and Frost White as seen here.

The red interior almost makes me weep it’s so beautiful. I’m a sucker for red interiors and this one looks great. How about that dash! It’s like a 1980s video game, fantastic! And, here’s the 5-speed shifter and Insta-Trac 4×4 control. This interior is a thing of beauty and the 5-speed ensures that this truck has the smaller 2.8L V6 instead of the bigger 4.3L. I’ll always take less power and a manual shifter any day of the week. This truck appears to have a sun shield with lights over the windshield which has to be an aftermarket item. I’m on the fence about that. I love the look of it but it’s not factory spec and for such a rare truck this one begs to be left in original spec condition, in my opinion. Price and value notwithstanding, you wouldn’t modify a Bugatti Type 57SC, I have the same feeling about any rare vehicle, even a Chevy S-10. Of course, to each his/her own.

There are no engine photos, as is too often par for the course on CL listings, but I would have to think that it’s as clean as the rest of this truck is. Maybe the seller would send additional photos to anyone who is seriously interested. They list it as a 6-cylinder and since it has a 5-speed – the 4.3L 160-hp V6 was only available with an automatic – so it has to be the 2.8L V6 which would have had 125 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque. They did include a photo of the inside of the bed, of course, seen above. I don’t know if the tonneau cover would be original but it’s a handy feature. I always worry about drilling into the box to install those snaps, though. Have any of you seen a Chevy S-10 Baja?

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  1. CanuckCarGuy

    I recall seeing BAJAs back in the day, but this S-10 body style is a rare breed now in my part of the world…let alone one fitted up with BAJA trim. I’m with you on the lift Scotty, I’d prefer the stock height – especially in a regular cab, as the lift throws the proportions off.

  2. Jimmy

    I’m a Ford truck guy but I really like this Chevy even with the lift kit installed, I owned a 89 Dodge Dakota with a similar off road package in black and it was a beauty, should have kept that one.

  3. Mike

    We sold him that truck less than a year ago, what a small world.

  4. Miguel

    We had these on the lot when I was there.

    Nothing special especially with that crap 2.8L engine.

    This is another one where I don’t see any value at all let alone $8500.00

    • Michael A Groves

      And your name is what? I bet you drive a Prius right? You wish they made a Prius truck too?

      • Superdessucke

        Don’t give Toyota any ideas please!

      • Miguel

        Groves, Who are you talking to?

    • Todd Priest

      I think it’d be great to run around in for winters in Michigan. Low miles, great looking, and reasonably priced.

  5. 80s Time Traveler

    Great time for Chevy trucks , the new body style 1500,s had come out in 88 , and the stepsides were all the rage , i remember the Baja trucks on the lot while there with a buddy picking out a blacked out sport edition , they also had the ss454 trucks , I always liked those bajas but don’t recall ever seeing one again , great find

  6. 2cool2say

    Should have been called “Baja ha-ha”

  7. kelly g

    sweet truck but 8.5 G’s….im out

  8. Michael R. Rutherford

    We have a 1985 Chevy S10 Tahoe 4×4 with 50,000 Miles. Original everything and I believe the tires are still original! Never seen salt! I love these 80s Chevys! But we are about to put it up for sale come spring 2019! It’s black on black,2.8 v6 5speed ..I’m curious on what price I should ask……it’s mint but all covered up and used as a shelf!! Sad….just don’t have time to drive it…

  9. TC

    2.8L is a deal breaker for me. The 4.3L was a beast

  10. John Member

    Had an ‘82 S-10 with a 2.8 and 5-speed. Great truck, put 116,000 miles on it before some clown totaled it during a snowstorm. 2.8 did well by me.


    I had an extended cab 4X4 short box with a 2.8 a little under powered but always ran really well very dependable. only a hand full of times that I wished it had more power.

  12. Claus Graf

    “I’ll always take less power and a manual shifter any day of the week.”

    Me too.

  13. Matt Hurst Member

    I love the graphics on these. My neighbor had one (recently) and I still regret not trying to buy it off him.

  14. BuickGuy

    My friend had a black 89 Baja in high school. No balls, but looked awesome. He got T-boned and it was in the shop for months. The day he picked it up from the shop his girlfriend took out 3 parked cars with it after hitting black ice. Never saw that or any other BAJA again…

  15. Rustytech

    I had an 86 4×4 with long bed ( not a Baja ) 2.8l with 5 speed. A burner it was not, but It did it’s job and was always dependable. I like this, but not $8500 worth. Obviously it’s not NY truck!

  16. WLK

    I own factory 89,4.3 Baja edition,Brand new it was Red,now it’s almost pink.Truck isn’t very pretty but it’s a Beast.Truck never had a back bumper of any kind when I drove it off the dealers lot.Has skid plates from front brush guard to the back end of transmisión. You can actually change spark plugs by just reaching over top the tires. The “Chevrolet”banner is on the top of windshield,just sharing to help identify an original.

  17. Donald Rice

    No s-10 89 or newer came with the 2.8 if it was 4 Wd it had the 4.3

  18. Royce Lengele

    I had a S10 Baja extended cab 4×4 4.3L it had a 5 spd manual all the graphics
    brush guards halagen lights up top fogs on the front bumper skid plates shift on the fly 4wd. it had it all, and i traded it off for another S10. kick my butt to this day
    wishing i had it back. What a dumb butt!!!!…..RL

  19. ManicMechanic

    The BAJA trucks all had the 4.3…it was a requirement of the BAJA package. And yes, you could get a 5-speed with the 4.3, I have owned two…a 91 Sonoma 2wd with a 4.3/5-speed and a 92 S-Jimmy 2wd with the same drivetrain. Also, to the one up higher that claimed no 2.8 after 89 is also mistaken. I had a 93 S10 2wd with a 2.8/5-speed.

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