Ready To Carry It All: 1965 GMC Suburban

Whether you’re looking for a good winter warrior or a sweet off-roader, this two-door Suburban Carryall could be the vehicle for you! With a NAPCO 4×4 system, this rig should be able to go just about anywhere. It’s looking a bit rough around the edges but has a striking look to it as is. While you could easily drive it as is this is one that deserves some restoration work. If you’ve been looking for a cool 4×4, you can find one here on eBay in Fort Harrison, Montana with a current bid of just $631 and no reserve!

I know how many of you feel about the “p” word, so I won’t suggest that this one has patina, but it does have a tough and rugged look to it as is. It, unfortunately, has rust in the all the usual places but it looks like someone has already attempted to fix some of it. The quality of the work is unknown but doesn’t appear to be of the highest standard. For an off-roader it’s likely adequate, but if you want this thing looking it’s best, it’s definitely going to require some bodywork.

Power comes from the original 305 V6. While it won’t win any races, these V6s are known to be durable, torquey and should get the job done well enough. It’s paired with a 4-speed manual and a 3.54 rear end. Everything, including the NAPCO 4 wheel drive system, is said to work. The seller admits the engine could use a good tuneup and there are a few oil leaks that should be addressed if you don’t want your driveway covered in oil spots.

I can live with some small oil leaks and a little surface rust, but the interior is one area that needs to be a comfortable driver. The dash and door panels look like they would clean up, but I would want to install new seat upholstery, new floor mats and replace all the rubber bits. Most of the interior is interchangeable with the light-duty GMC truck line, so it shouldn’t be too difficult or expensive to clean this one up.

While I wouldn’t want to daily drive this Carryall, it sure would be fun to have for trips to the mountain, to fight snow-covered roads and even for those runs to the home improvement store! It’s going to need work, but it looks like you could put it to use as you restore it. Get the interior redone, tune-up the engine, start working on properly repairing any rust and before long you’d have a sweet 4×4 that will stand out from the crowds of modern SUV that dominate the roads these days.

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  1. Jeff

    This one’s going on my watch list. Very cool truck.

  2. Dean

    Yellowstone Park Co. had several of these, in BS yellow, of course…..I like it :)..I think it came to Fort Harrison by way of…Sweetgrass

  3. Warren

    Best thing about this is the 3.54 rear end ratio. Highway and engine durability friendly.

  4. Gaspumpchas

    sweet truck. would leave as is , Great story too!! siting at 1449. rsSure seems honest. Good luck to the new owner. was thru this area in august, and arid is the word!! Trucks like this all over the place.


  5. Dan

    Sweet ole gal…..

  6. sluggo

    This one is so beautiful it makes me cry! I already have a 65 GMC pickup version and this would make a great companion to it.
    Im normally a paint and polish kind of guy as I do my own paint & metal work, but this one Id preserve the finish on it.
    My 65 PU had a 3 on the tree and Inline 6 and I swapped it over to a 350 V8 and a T-350 with B&M shift kit and improvements. We called it the old grey mare.. Getting some updates in the spring, But Id see if I could live with the stock V6 and keep it (Mostly as is) But Id be inclined to update the brakes.
    Id be tempted with a removable roof rack and some updated lighting and charging system, But this is the ultimate hill billy rig up in the hills I live in on the edge of the Mt Hood National forest.
    This will be a bargain at twice the price! If I had the cash, Id be packing my bags for a roadtrip. Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington is amazing this time of year. Montana here we come. (Anyone want to spot me some cash?? Take your pick for collateral.. Harleys? Ducatis? Vintage Triumphs? Several prewar rat rod coupes?)

  7. Peter S.R. Member

    Not NAPCO (?)
    GM was offering factory 4×4 by the time this Suburban was manufactured…

    • AZD

      I think that’s correct. 1959 would have been the last year for NAPCO conversions. In 1960 the new IFS on two wheel drive models made any conversion much more complicated so factory four wheel drive was offered.

  8. Mountainwoodie

    Quien es mas macho?

  9. WRSJR

    My dad had a ’63 model. Four speed, 4:11 rear end two-wheel drive. What a workhorse. We hauled, towed, camped. I spent a many late night riding in the back seat.

  10. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    A nice Wisconsin winter rig for here in rural Wisconsin. Gunracks and all. Is that a fan, blower motor to the left of the carb in that blue canister? No need for me to change it much, I would relocate the fuel filter first though. Up to $5,850.01 with 5 days to go.

  11. 4 barrel

    The 305 was a beast and a real gas burning engine.

  12. Alexander

    The price has either gone up, or BF has led the charge into the $6k range now. Still a bargain if it stays there and goes no further.

  13. LAB3

    Some decades ago I came across a similar Suburban used as a school bus in rural South Dakota, it had the same sliding side windows and two rows of bench seats. Always did like it although I’m not sure what I’d do with it today. True, it’s bound to be a great winter rig but with all the salt used here in Michigan that used but not abused look would turn pretty ugly in short order.

  14. Tricky

    Finally an honest ad that is more than a dozen mis-spelled words with bad grammar and no syntax!! Good luck to the new owner!

    • chad Member

      sounds like me.
      That l o n g body & still only 4dor !

  15. Steve

    Simply a great truck. Wish I could but it.

  16. Steven Wilson

    Love the old GMC I’d even go to Montana and drive it home. I just saw a 66 Chevy at home depot in Howell NJ getting the fever.

  17. canadainmarkseh Member

    I hate to be the guy to say it, Wait a second no i don’t, cumins diesel / 5 speed stick shift. Full restoration of everything else including paint. There I’ve said it.

    • Poppapork

      All the “drive it the way it is” crowd needs a reality check if they think they would enjoy driving this thing the way it is.

      I would hunt down a rolled over diesel pickup and move this body on a new frame and driveline.

  18. sluggo

    Upvote to Canadainmarkseh, I like your thinking, especially as some of the newer drive trains get decent mileage/fuel. Last year a friend had a tree fall in a winter storm and collapsed most of the cab on a very nice truck with low mileage, the buy back from insurance after payout was quite low. So tempting to match up this kind of old iron with a modern rig. AA lot of nice donor material out there

  19. Butchb

    Had an employee who restored one of these. It had about 3″ of spring travel before it hit the bump stops. So rough off road it almost bounced his head into the cab roof and had to driven at a crawl. One 4WD trip for him and he sold it.
    Upvote sluggo & CanadaM.


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