Rust-Free 454 V8: 1989 GMC Suburban R2500

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GM gave its Suburban buyers four doors for the first time with their seventh-generation vehicles, beginning in 1973. They had been two-door panel trucks or three-door models, with just one door on the driver’s side. The seller has this 3/4-ton rear-wheel-drive 1989 GMC Suburban R2500 posted here on craigslist in Clovis, California, just northeast of Fresno. The seller is asking $9,000 or best offer, here is the original listing, and thanks to T.J. for sending in this tip!

The seventh-generation Chevrolet and GMC trucks were the most confusingly-named vehicles of the era, in my opinion. The company referred to them as the “Rounded-Line” models, while making them almost totally square. Even most owners referred to them as “Square Body” trucks, which made more sense to me. The seventh-gen Suburban was made from the model year 1973 to 1991. I believe this is an SLE model, but the photos are so (#$%#!) small and can’t be enlarged without being pixelated.

Here’s where I’d normally show a rear-3/4 photo but the seller has only included two exterior photos, sadly. This Suburban looks great from those two photos, though, and they say that it has no rust, which is even better. Just to confuse things a little more with the seventh-gen rounded-line/square-body trucks, between 1987 and 1991, GM renamed the C/K trucks (C= two-wheel-drive and K = four-wheel-drive) to R for two-wheel-drive Suburbans and V for four-wheel-drive models. So this one, being a 3/4-ton rear-wheel-drive version, is known as an R2500.

With a bench seat in the front, this Suburban has room for nine passengers. The rearmost seat looks like it has a little more wear than the front seat or the middle-row seat, but it sure would be handy to have a nine-passenger vehicle. If you were wondering about the dash pad in the previous photo, it looks good underneath.

As if the rest of this Suburban didn’t look clean enough for you, check out this engine! Nice work on detailing that, seller! This is Chevy’s big-block OHV V8 with throttle-body fuel injection, which would have been factory-rated at 230 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque when new.  The seller says it has new AC, and everything works great. Hagerty is at $11,400 for a #3 good condition example so this seems like a good deal. Thoughts?

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  1. Big_FunMember

    Maybe no rear pictures, because this has the tailgate instead of the cargo doors. Sure, no blind spot in the middle, but many like the at-the-rear-bumper loading.
    Front bench seat is also seldom seen in this generation Sub. Rear A/C is nice for the third row. Should be a full size spare tire behind that third row – driver’s side. You can just see it in picture #10.
    I remember the ‘rear heat’ in these was approximately half the size of a breadbox(!). All black, with a quick disconnect for more cargo. Think space heater…

    Like 2
  2. Dave

    Wheels are from a 2000’s model

    Like 1
  3. Rbig18

    Ash trays in rear armrests. Figured those would have been long gone by 89.

    Like 0
  4. Dr Ron

    Clean and nice Burby.
    Square body GM trucks and SUVs that are removed from arid environments like ClovisFresno will rust so badly in locations that simply have high humidity that you can hear them rust.
    I know, I’ve owned two that were transplants from Arizona to Northern Mississippi.
    I hope that this Suburban gets a nice dry home…

    Like 2
  5. Greg GustafsonMember

    With fuel at $5 per with a vehicle that gets 6-8mpg…I’ll pass.

    Like 3
    • $ where mouth is

      You must live in CA ?..
      this Burb gets 10-15, how do i know ?, i own two, and mine are ‘K’ so this Burb gets better MPGs.
      Why youd take the time to make inaccurate negative comments on a vehicle you seemingly dont need nor appreciate is on you,
      ‘heres your sign’ ;)
      These were built to haul a family and their trailer, and they do it exceptionally well..
      One cannot buy a 2500 big block Burb anymore, so this clean, fully loaded truck is a other great find;
      Thank you Barn Finds !

      Like 11
  6. Jack Quantrill

    Had a ‘89, 1500. The 350 engine was fine, but the rear end on this model, and the trans, couldn’t handle towing a 4,000 lb trailer. Both went out. Otherwise, it was a good wagon.

    Like 2
  7. RalphP

    This was the era when all trucks/suburban types were losing their “work” image and becoming more luxurious and upgraded suspension. Much prefer these corduroy seats over the velour that was popular with the sedans. This would make a fine weekend driver/trailer hauler for the lucky buyer.

    Like 1
  8. Bill West

    This is a value. Fuel economy is never a consideration when one purchases a unit like this. The 350’s in these were too small an engine when loaded to max GVWR and delivered only about 6 mpg, I speak from experience. GLWTS!

    Like 3
  9. R.Lee

    You buy this for comfort and power.

    Like 1
  10. Frank M

    I like the truck and would love to have it. Is it me, or does the wear on the lower front door kick panels and grab handles makes it look like it has more than just 89,000 miles? The wear doesn’t match up with the rest of the rig.

    Like 1

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