The Royal Treatment! 1979 GMC Royal Sierra

Hawaii Blue looks good on this 1979 GMC Royal Sierra. With nary enough miles on a virgin crate motor to mandate its first oil change, this tidy-looking 1979 GMC Royal Sierra could grant its new owner many years of service or weekend cruising. Listed here on craigslist in Phoenix, Arizona, this well-optioned truck could be yours for $5,900. Thanks to reader Levi A. for spotting this shiny long-bed.

The Royal Sierra package offered discounted upgrades, though none unique save the badges. Still, with only about 500 Royal Sierras built, the badges themselves represent a conversation-starter.

When these pickup trucks dominated the vehicular landscape of the ’70s and ’80s, few, in my experience, provided their owners with the luxury of power locks and windows. However, nothing’s too good for the new owner of the Royal Sierra!

The 350 cid crate motor probably makes as much horsepower as the original, and perhaps more. Overspray suggests this GMC received a less-than-regal paint job at some point. The Royal Treatment includes power brakes and steering, and air-conditioning or course. Nearly everyone on the planet during these trucks’ hey-day must have a story about one. What’s yours?

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  1. Howard A

    Hmm, never heard of “Royal Sierra”, I thought Sierra Grande was as nice as it got. Apparently, GM made a bunch of these “specialty” trucks,( Amarillo GT, the GMC “Mule”, which was a Warlock knockoff, the “Rollin’ Rebel”, and more) but were nothing more than add on trim. Nice truck, although, short box is where it’s at today on these older trucks and don’t say it isn’t, every new 4 door truck sold today, is a short box.
    Seems like a good time to post my GMC find ( finally figured out the camera) It’s a ’77 High Sierra, short box, 350, 4 speed with topper, was a 1 owner, has a little rust on the right fender, but I paid $1,400 through a friend, so the deals are still there.

    • Jeff Smith

      Every new 4 door truck has a tiny bed on it, because if it didn’t, people would never get them into the parking spaces at the Wal-Mart.

  2. 86 Vette Convertible

    There’s some alignment issues on the trim between the door and the trim behind the doors, don’t know if it was due to accident damage or not. Truck looks good overall though.
    Biggest issue around here was rust, most have rust damage on the fenders and cab and once started it’s pretty much impossible to stop,

  3. Fred W

    Anyone else think these will be selling for late 60’s C-10 prices before long? The crate motor makes this one quite desirable.

  4. Jimmy

    From a Ford truck guy this Chevy looks nice. Price doesn’t seem to be out of line either for it’s condition.

    • Miguel Member

      GMC, not Chevy.

  5. Phil

    Rear bumper looks twisted on passenger side also

    • nrg8

      Box and frame look tweeked too

  6. Duane

    Drivers tend to back into things with the passenger side rear bumper and fender. You can’t see too well out that side and a lot of people can’t use mirrors very well. These square bodied trucks from 1973-1987 are going up in value steadily. This would be a good investment at $5000.00.

    • Miguel Member

      Technically 1991 was the last year for the square body.

      • W9BAG Member

        But on a non-technical bent, 1987 was the last year for the square body.

  7. geomechs geomechs Member

    Can’t say I ever heard of this one before. For ’79 I’d expect so see Sierra Classic, or High Sierra. There was a major change in 1975, where you had a Custom, then the Sierra Grande (which I have) which offered you a color-keyed floormat; the High Sierra which offered carget and the Sierra Classic which offered everything short of an ATR. This feature must have been a limited special, something like the Explorer packages you could get on Fords.

    • Doug Andrews

      Royal Sierra was a special year end promotional thing. Starting at the same trim level as a Scottsdale/Sierra Grande (Z62), but usually with more options since they were discounted at this point. Equivalent to the Chevy Bonanza.

  8. Ken Member

    Hawaii Blue. Detroit Lions color.

    Just sayin’. :)

  9. David

    The rims have to go , and I see bodywork In its future

  10. YooperMike

    Long bed ? No thanks.

  11. Lozano

    I just bought this Royal Sierra. I got it for $3,000. It needed a transmission (wouldn’t get out of first gear), I rebuilt the transmission and added a shift kit. I have taken it for drives but it needs a lot more work. When I am looking for parts online and they don’t have Royal Sierra as an option on the vehicle model drop-down box, which option is most comparable to mine? High Sierra, Sierra Classic, or Sierra Grande?

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