Rare Rides: Is This 1990 GMC Spectre a Bold Collectible or Junk?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides is this 1990 gmc spectre a bold collectible or junk

Decals, stripes, special paint, lettering, low production figures. These things are [s]important and relevant in a modern world[/s] sort of kitschy, but very enjoyable. Last week’s Nissan Hardbody Rare Ride had all those in spades, and this week’s truck turns it up to 11 (kind of). It’s definitely rare, but the appeal and pedigree are questionable.

Prepare your skepticism and critical thinking keyboards.

What you’re seeing here is a 1990 GMC Spectre. Now, this truck was listed on Craigslist (post removed), eBay (listing ended), and presently sits on Classic Cars for Sale. Each of these listings has/had somewhat different detail, and a varying number of photos. I’ve pulled the photos here from the completed eBay listing, as they were the best quality and most numerous.

“It’s as if a pair of Zubaz pants somehow sprouted a V8.” – Chris Tonn

According to the various materials provided, the GMC Spectre was created so GMC would have a special, sporty truck to offer under its brand when the Chevy 454 SS went to market in 1990.

To this end, GMC decided to make a limited run of the Sierra with an L98 Corvette engine under the hood. According to one of the articles, this L98 would ” … single-handedly demote the 454 SS to ‘The Pickup from Heck.'” Wish I could come up with turns of phrase like that.

The special paint, bodywork, and engine are complemented by a stunning interior straight from the Geo Tracker House of Style, and the package was carefully crafted by Chattanooga Custom Center, which must be somewhere in Tennessee. But it’s unclear from the information provided whether the limited run ever took place, or if it stayed at just a couple of show examples.

This Spectre has seen better days, which is sort of where the questions begin. According to the AutoCheck on the eBay listing, the car was first titled in 2004. In 2006, it had about 8,000 miles, shooting up to over 123,000 in 2011. Then in 2016, it went back down to 24,000. There’s a big fat odometer discrepancy here.

Notice the (awesome) purple wheels shown in magazines are also missing. The radio is busted, the back window doesn’t roll down, and there is faded and damaged paint.

CarFax indicates it has been serviced at a Kia dealer, though the seller insists it’s a concept and a museum piece. The truck reached $5,600 at the conclusion of the eBay sale, obviously not meeting the reserve — so there may still be time to scoop a Spectre!

How rare do you think this Spectre is? Is it a concept, or just a limited-production item? Is it awesome, or a fanny pack piece of easily forgotten chintz?

We need the answers only you can provide.

[Photos via eBay]

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2 of 50 comments
  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Apr 05, 2017

    This thing is TMU and godawful. I'd love to meet the bidder @ 5,6 as I could probably sell him anything. In my view, the most thing thing would be worth is whatever L98 powered pickups go for in that age period. I see no additional premium for being purple and weird.

  • Mechimike Mechimike on Apr 12, 2017

    If you look at the graphics in the magazine, and compare them tot he truck in the listing, they don't match up. It's not even close. That extraordinarily questionable provenance coupled with the wrong wheels, questionable mileage, etc. puts this squarely in crackpipe territory.

  • Akear I just realized 80% of these EV vehicles producers are going to be liquidated within the next five years. It is not possible to survive by selling only 3000 vehicles a year. This reminds me of the dot.com bust of the late 90s and early 2000s. Those who don't learn from history repeat it.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic I drove a rental Renegade a few years back. Felt the engine (TIgerShark) was ready was ready to pop out from under the hood. Very crude!! Sole purpose was CAFE offsets. Also drove a V6 Cherokee which was very nice and currently out of production. Should be able to scoop up one at a fair deal.🚗🚗🚗
  • Inside Looking Out This is actually the answer to the question I asked not that long ago.
  • Inside Looking Out Regarding "narrow windows" - the trend is that windows will eventually be replaced by big OLED screens displaying some exotic place or may even other planet.
  • Robert I have had 4th gen 1996 model for many years and enjoy driving as much now as when I first purchased it - has 190 hp variant with just the right amount of power for most all driving situations!