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Older square-body SUVs are hotter’n a three-dollar pistol these days. Vintage Land Rover Defenders, Ford Broncos, G-Wagens, Jeeps, Blazers, and other such big square trucks have skyrocketed in price. People are losing their minds for these once-cheap trucks. Many people are trying to find the next model before it blows up. The GMC Jimmy is a cheap square-body SUV that hasn’t been taken by collectors yet. 

What is a GMC Jimmy?

The GMC Jimmy debuted in 1970 as an upmarket version of the iconic Chevrolet K5 Blazer. The Jimmy came in 2WD and 4WD versions, most commonly powered by a 5.0-liter V8 making 206 hp. However, the Jimmy also had a straight-six as an option. The idea behind the Jimmy was to have a full-size SUV with plenty of interior room but with a short-bed pickup architecture. GMC gave the Jimmy a full-removable hardtop from 1970-1975. Starting in ‘76, the Jimmy got a half-cab design with a fixed hardtop over the front seats and a removable hardtop over the back seats. 

GMC Jimmy production ran until 1991, when the GMC Yukon replaced it. This was a hard loss for SUV lovers at the time. However, because the Jimmy was made for so long, plenty of them have remained fairly affordable, with a few exceptions. 

Are there any cheap square-body vintage SUVs left? 

Like any model these days, a clean, low-mileage example of a Jimmy can certainly fetch big bucks. However, your average Jimmy is pretty affordable because of how common they were. The K5 Blazer has most collector’s attention, while the Jimmy remains fairly under the radar. This is good news for Jimmy lovers because the Jimmy is just a nicer K5. It is the same truck, just cheaper. says the average GMC Jimmy sale price at auction over the past five years is $41,753. Now, I know that is not all that cheap, but keep in mind, this is the average price sold at auction. If you think about it, that’s not bad. If you scour Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, you will certainly find much cheaper examples. It is one of the few square-body vintage 4x4s that are still within reason. In fact, a quick nationwide search on Car Gurus will turn up a few pricier restored, low-mileage used Jimmy models for sale over $30,000. But, there are still a few listings that come in under $10 grand.

Should a Jimmy be your next vintage SUV project? 

1989 GMC Jimmy brochure
1989 GMC Jimmy | GM

I grew up in middle Alabama. Everyone I knew had some kind of big 4×4. However, one of my best friends had a 1988 GMC Jimmy. We loved that truck. We’d pull the roof off in the summertime and mash around the woods like fools. Short of replacing a snapped throttle cable with picture-hanging wire and the occasional wack on the solenoid, the Jimmy faithfully carried us all over creation. 

A big, boxy 4×4 SUV with a shitty stereo and a Flowmaster exhaust is a special thing. If you miss that feeling and don’t want to spend $50k to have it, then let me humbly recommend looking for a GMC Jimmy. It has all the earmarks of a classic American SUV without the fuss. If you take it off-road and pinstripe it up like a mobster’s suit, who cares? It’s a Jimmy. If you bump into something on the farm, who cares? It’s a Jimmy. That said, eventually, you will come to a time with that Jimmy where anything that happens to it feels like it’s happening to you. It’s a loveable truck that crawls its way into your heart like a giant dog that is too big to sit in your lap, but it really wants to, and you eventually let it. Once you do, you settle in, and you suddenly don’t mind the giant SUV sitting in your lap…wait.