By on December 8, 2017

Image: 1975 GMC SIERRA CLASSIC 1500 GENTLEMAN JIMYesterday, Steph Willems reported on a dealer in the northern province of Minnesota that’s offering a dreamy Seventies stripe package for newer Chevrolet Silverado pickups. The package includes the mandatory stripes, vintage tailgate lettering, and “Cheyenne Super 10” badging. The internet is most pleased with the offering.

I was mostly underwhelmed, and felt the need to share with you a real dream pickup from the Seventies. He’s a special luxury Sierra, but you can call him Gentleman Jim.

Image: 1975 GMC Gentleman JimLong before the Denali name implied some extra trim and a $25,000 price increase over plebeian models, GMC had luxury limited edition dreams for the Sierra. Here we see Gentleman Jim himself, negotiating a transaction with a lady of the evening.

Image: 1975 GMC SIERRA CLASSIC 1500 GENTLEMAN JIMAvailable only in the black and gold color scheme you see here, Gentleman Jim featured many additional exterior and interior features over standard Sierras.

Image: 1975 GMC SIERRA CLASSIC 1500 GENTLEMAN JIMA color-keyed grille matched the rest of the exterior, along with upper and lower body moldings.

Image: 1975 GMC SIERRA CLASSIC 1500 GENTLEMAN JIMThe interior was nearly dripping with luxury. This truck was the first with factory bucket seats (in tweed and saddle vinyl because it’s 1975), and the center console and door panels match the seats.

Image: 1975 GMC SIERRA CLASSIC 1500 GENTLEMAN JIMSaid panels contained additional sound deadening, making for a quiet ride to the western-themed restaurant downtown or wherever. The storage pouches (another unique feature) were of the same material as the seats. Comfort and luxury, could one ask for more? Of course they could.

Image: 1975 GMC SIERRA CLASSIC 1500 GENTLEMAN JIMWoodgrain abounds in the interior, so passengers are aware this isn’t your average farmer’s conveyance.

Image: 1975 GMC SIERRA CLASSIC 1500 GENTLEMAN JIMFull gauges were standard in the Gentleman Jim, as well as air conditioning. All Jims had automatic transmissions, power brakes, and a tilt steering wheel.

Image: 1975 GMC SIERRA CLASSIC 1500 GENTLEMAN JIMThe dealer had his hand in the luxury options box as well, and could offer rug protectors, chrome tie-down rails, splash guards, CiBIE fog lamps, a tonneau cover, and chromed locking lug nuts. Most of those additional extras are present here.

Image: 1975 GMC SIERRA CLASSIC 1500 GENTLEMAN JIMOffered on a “very limited” basis, I was unable to find exact production figures; one website stated there were under 1,000.

Image: 1975 GMC SIERRA CLASSIC 1500 GENTLEMAN JIMThis one sold not long ago at Streetside Classics, the dealership with comprehensive photography. It was asking $31,995, but what’s a pristine O.G. luxury truck worth to you?

Image: 1975 GMC SIERRA CLASSIC 1500 GENTLEMAN JIM

Who knows? Maybe we’ll have some more black and gold soon.

[Images: Dealer, General Motors]

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76 Comments on “Rare Rides: The Real Dream of the ’70s – a 1975 GMC Sierra Gentleman Jim...”


  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    This body style was essentially unchanged from 1973-1987. These things were so prolific during the 70’s and 80’s. They were everywhere. Seems like every coach I ever had (baseball, basketball, track) had one of these trucks. I still like them.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Now THAT is a nice-looking truck. Use those styling cues on a modern truck, including the two-tone paint and trimwork, would be a massive improvement over their current look.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      The body style of the current Chevy and GM pickup does not lend itself well to two tone paint.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Look at the photo above. That body doesn’t lend itself so well to two-toned paint either. They used the chromed trim to outline the second-color area.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Really?
          The lines of the body on the older trucks went well with two tone. That is no different than the lines on the current F150 and Ram that goes well with the current two tone. It follows the body shape.
          We now use tape stripping as opposed to chrome for a transition.
          The current Chevy does not have that sort of body length break in the body panels. All you have to do is look at the pictures of that new truck posted a few days ago.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            That doesn’t prevent you from creating that break… yes, even with vinyl striping. How do I know? My own truck uses vinyl striping to break the shoulder line, albeit following a full-length crease.

            Nothing is impossible, merely difficult. In this case, a little visual art could help make the trucks look more exciting without significantly affecting their aerodynamics.

          • 0 avatar
            Flipper35

            I liked the strips on the truck from “The Fall Guy”.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Yeah, maybe they could actually sell a few, since they’re having such a hard time selling full-size American trucks now.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeremiah Mckenna

        I hope you are being sarcastic since the F150, Chevrolet Silverado and Ram are the best selling vehicles on the market, and have been for a few years now. In fact, the numbers as of October 2017 are as follows: F150 734,610, Silverado 471,747, and Ram 419,102.

        In fact, those three are the best selling vehicles on the market, with a huge lead.

        Source: http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2017/11/october-2017-ytd-u-s-vehicle-sales-rankings-top-302-best-selling-vehicles-in-america-every-vehicle-ranked/

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    “This truck was the first with factory bucket seats”–not quite. The 1965 Ranger package for the F-Series had bucket seats from the Mustang, a center console from the Falcon Sprint, and a cover over the in-cab fuel tank.

    https://i0.wp.com/www.curbsideclassic.com/wp-content/uploads/2013
    /01/Ford-f100-Ranger-1965-int-l.jpg

    And before that, the 1964 Dodge Custom Sports Special also had buckets from the Dart GT, a console from the ’63 Polara 500, and hand-cut carpet. But those were much, much rarer.

    http://motorbase.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/pictures.ubh/2007/03/24
    /fs_1964_Dodge_Custom_Sport_Special_Pickup_with_426_Street_Wedge_
    Engine_Bucket_Seats_2nd_Floor__WPC_Museum__N.jpg

    • 0 avatar

      I got that fact from a website about the truck – I wonder if it meant “factory” in the sense that these seats were designed specifically for this truck, rather than taken from sedans.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        That would make sense. Also, as I was about to append my previous comment:

        In both cases, the package proved unpopular, and buckets/consoles went away almost entirely until the extended cab models of the ’70s.

        Chevy was actually ahead of their time when they introduced the CST trim to the C/K line in 1967. Later models would have a console (taken from some car or another), but the inaugural models had a flip-down center seat, something that wouldn’t become the norm for another 25 years or so.

  • avatar
    A Scientist

    Ok yeah, as far as names go:

    Gentleman Jim>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Denali

    Also, I want this truck in the worst possible way.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    Handsome fella, that Gentlemen Jim. Love the full gauges and the other luxury touches.

    I must say I preferred the later versions of this bodystyle with the square headlamps. I’d take a GMC Jimmy (K5) if it were my choice.

    • 0 avatar
      Middle-Aged Miata Man

      This is the only third-gen C/K I’ve ever seen with a tachometer next to the speedo, rather than an oversized fuel gauge (er, “gage” because GM.)

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Yeah, not too many out there. The previous bodystyle with a tach is even more unicorn-ish. I’ve seen exactly one in the flesh. I drove the truck and the tach didn’t work. Waaa wa waaaaaa (sad trombone)

    • 0 avatar
      Heino

      Named after country singer Jim Reeves?

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      A Blazer/Jimmy variant of this Gentleman Jim would be sublime.

      Going a truck/SUV route during this era of new emissions tech that really started to strangle engine performance might be the right idea. Isn’t the reason the Dodge “Lil red Express” was their best performing vehicle (acceleration-wise) due to the trucks not having to follow emissions regs at the time?

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    Unless you mean that this is the first GMC with bucket seats you are wrong, Ford, Dodge and IHC offered them in their pickups in the 60’s. I believe the first was Dodge’s Dude package, but Ford quickly added it as an option and IHC added them with the new trucks in 69.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      GM offered buckets in the pickups at least as far back as the mid-60s, though hardly anyone ordered them.

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      You’ve got the right idea, but the Dodge “Dude” was 1970-71.
      http://www.dodgedude.com/history.php

      The Dodge “Custom Sports Special” was from 1964-67, followed by the “Adventurer” in 1968-71.
      http://www.sweptline.com/hist/css.html

  • avatar
    ajla

    Cool truck, but I’d prefer one of these:

    73-87.com/Special_Editions/factory_trucks/Big10/big454_01.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      Jeremiah Mckenna

      As would I, considering the article said it was second in speed of American Made vehicles, only to the Corvette, as well as the fastest 1000 mile (Baja 1000) off road race for a STOCK 2wd truck, only suffering a blown tire. All that and it still managed to get 14 mpg.

      I would love to have one of those as well as the 90-93 Silverado 454 SS, which was a formidable truck in it’s day.

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    Love that 5000 RPM tach there. This way they didn’t have to tell you that the engine would explode at 5002 RPMs. :)

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Wow, you weren’t kidding yesterday…

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    It was asking $31,995, but what’s a pristine O.G. luxury truck worth to you?

    Uh I love it but I’d be a lot happier at $15,000. Then I’d actually want to drive it.

  • avatar
    TR4

    Nice to see it has an RPM/100 tach instead of today’s RPM/1000 which is dumbed down to prevent drivers from mistaking it for a speedometer.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      [Citation needed] on that. Not because I automatically disbelieve you, but because I’ve never heard that assertion before. On various tractors, the tachometer (when there was one) sometimes showed x100 and sometimes x1000 within the same model run and with no clear progression as to which is supposed to be the “dumber” one.

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    Great find, I love seeing these old classic vehicles.

  • avatar

    Truck is worth ten grand, tops. Sorry. I’m old enough to remember the driveability nightmares of most everything Detroit built between, oh, 1973-1987.

    Or pretty much the entire run of the squarebody GMs.

    With pickups it’s not as bad depending on the year; EPA standards were, for the most part, looser with pickups. But it’s still an acquired taste.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “Sorry. I’m old enough to remember the driveability nightmares of most everything Detroit built between, oh, 1973-1987.”

      I don’t think “driveability” matters too much in this case. It’s not like someone would daily commute in this in 2017.

      Something like this is bought for style, nostalgia, to take to car shows, and to cruise around to Culver’s on Sunday.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      It’s worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. And since this one did sell, probably for something a lot closer to $30K than $10K, their pricing is probably right. You only need one buyer with a used vehicle…

    • 0 avatar
      Jeremiah Mckenna

      Ten grand will get you a run of the mill truck of this era in great condition. However, this one was in pristine condition by any standards, if it were an original condition or a frame off restoration. Especially since there were only 1,000 made in this trim. I believe this one to be valued appropriately.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    I generally enjoy older vehicles and have a fondness for those from the early to mid 70’s.

    However, unlike probably 99% of those on this board, not for this vehicle. It is a ‘poseur’. Would not be used as a true truck. Would have been an absolute nightmare to drive in the winter in the snow belt. Is trying but not quite ‘brougham’ enough. In my opinion an El Camino or Ranchero would be more fitting for what Gentleman Jim is trying to pull off.

    Sorry, my apologies to all of those who disagree.

    I do however wish that door panel pouches would return to vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      At least one Gentleman Jim was used as a work truck:

      http://www.truckforum.org/attachments/gjimtruck2-jpg.6415/

      We don’t need pouches when we’ve got three to four door pockets on new trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Who the hell would want to drive this in salt-laced winter awfulness?!

      You’d have to hate the truck and wish it an early death.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “However, unlike probably 99% of those on this board, not for this vehicle. It is a ‘poseur’. Would not be used as a true truck.”

      —- How many pickup trucks today are being used as “a true truck”? Fully 50% of them never see anywhere near max load or max towing with their first owner, if any at all.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Let’s think back to when this truck was new.

        1) You most likely would not buy it to keep it in the garage in the winter.
        2) If you did purchase a pick-up back then it was probably either a) because you would use it as a truck or b) because most pick-ups were actually relatively inexpensive, as they were primarily utilitarian. The Gentleman Jim contravenes both of these points.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          This is a Cowboy Cadillac. Some dude in Texas or Oklahoma would have bought it as their daily driver. Waaay too fancy to put to work. Nobody in New England would ever be caught dead in such a tacky creation.

          My Grandfather was annoyed that he had to get carpeting in the second Suburban he bought. He wanted plain rubber mats like the first one. I feel the same way – if you can’t wash it out with a hose, it’s not a real truck.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        50%?? More like 95%.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Roughly 25% of new pickups are actually purchased as working trucks. Some of these are fleet vehicles for any number of service industries but some at least are used for heavy towing and hauling in pro/am sports, farming and ranching, along with no few used as light vehicle haulers ferrying new or owned vehicles to other regions or dealerships. Snowbirds tend to use them to carry the family’s second car to their winter/summer homes (I’ve also seen such snowbirds use the Auto Train out of Lorton, VA to carry their cars to Florida.)

          Another 25% tend to be part-time haulers and tows… vacation mules dragging the family camper once or twice a year or maybe a light- to mid-sized boat to the lake for fishing or recreation.

          The rest, however, don’t see a significant load until their second or in some cases their third owner… at which point they tend to be beat to pieces. A truck that might have been reasonably clean (maybe just a little minor rust) soon looks like it’s been dragged down the road more than doing the dragging. That TTAC article about the old Tacoma shows a hard-working pickup of the sort SOME here claim are only good for customizing. Heck, I see more customized full-sizers than I ever saw of customized compacts–and that’s after seeing a couple of low-rider custom S-10s in my area over the last two decades. Full sizers with chromed stacks (both diesel and gassers), jacked up to the clouds on tractor wheels and who knows what else is common around here. But mid-sized? Almost never custom and some few obviously being used as working trucks. Big trucks are toys, any more, with the ones doing “Real Work” always looking completely stock and almost always with the farm or business’ logo and phone number on the side.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeremiah Mckenna

      Why wouldn’t it be used as a so called “true truck?” What ever that means? I lived in Missouri as a young boy, in the 70’s to early 80’s whee there were nothing more than large family owned farms as far as one could see in any direction. I can guarantee that there were plenty of C/K trucks riding around this area that were just as nice as this truck was. Don’t let the 2wd fool you, a few bails of hay in the bed and a good set of snow tires will go a long way. Though a lot were 4wd, many a 2wd trucks were all around. Especially since you can haul and tow more in a 2wd compared to the 4wd, and if you know anything about farmers, they tend to haul and or tow a lot of stuff on a daily basis.

      As for the pouches, I have been in almost every truck made since the 70’s, and they all have some sort of “pouch” on the door, it is just that now they are molded into the door panel since it is a lot easier and you don’t have to worry about the elastic wearing out and hanging off the door.

  • avatar
    BigKoppa

    This is nice. I had a ’93 Chevy K1500 in this color scheme. ‘Beautiful’ may be too strong a word, but it looked real nice. In the 20 or so years that I drove it, I only saw one other with the same black/tan combination. We made eye contact, gave each other a head nod and went our merry ways.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Just need to get those ugly ass aftermarket bumper guards off of it.

    Oh, and now your task is to find us a Beau James. You can do it Corey!

    https://gearheads.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/beau.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      As far as I know, those are not aftermarket, or at least the aftermarket ones looked like the OEM ones. I’m pretty sure they were optional from the factory or at least dealer installed options.

  • avatar
    phila_DLJ

    A garage containing this and the “Black Gold” 10th Anniversary Datsun 280ZX would be perfection.

    http://bit.ly/2jx98gh

    • 0 avatar
      baconator

      I was just thinking the same thing. There’s a Black Gold edition 280ZX in the pictures from Radwood and it made me feel strange little-boy feelings of want.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Nothing says luxury like a bad whiplash injury and picking shards of the rear window out from the back of your scalp after a fender bender.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    The only thing I don’t like about it is the bedrails. Those things look tacked on as heck.

  • avatar
    John

    In the ’70s, it was the rare gentleman who drove a pickup. Pickups were for farmers and blue collar workers. I was there. Times have changed.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Agreed.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        Yeah I was there too..The GM employee parking lot would be 40-50 percent long box , regular cab trucks.

        With proper “Snow Treds” and some driving skill, winter wasn’t a problem. The bigger issue with winter, involved rust, lots of rust. The 73-76 models were especially prone to rust. I don’t believe they sold The Gentleman Jim model in Canada. This would be an extremely rare vehicle in Canada.

        I’d like to own that truck, because then I would be in possession a “one of”..I wouldn’t think of using it as a daily driver. Just do the show circuit, have some fun, and meet some people.

        $31K U.S.D ??? a little high IMHO . Flat bed it to the nearest Canada U.S Border, and I would go 25K U.S.D.

        • 0 avatar
          indi500fan

          Aaaah yes, rust. This generation of GMs was much more rust prone than the previous 67-72s which were very robust. They also spawned a mini-industry in low buck Taiwan sourced replacement fenders, rocker panels, door bottom sections, and bed repair kits.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      A well-known and nationally-awarded radio personality in my old home town through the ’80s often would state he wanted a pickup truck and intended to buy one once he retired. He did. It seems pickup trucks were pretty popular even back then… they just needed to feel like they had a reason to buy one, such as home landscaping, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      Whatnext

      There’s a high end condo complex in my area from the Seventies, and their bylaws specifically bar pickups from being parked on the property. They didn’t want people thinking tradesmen lived there!

  • avatar
    W210Driver

    I‘m digging the “Gentleman Jim” seats. 1970s kitsch. Love it.

  • avatar
    skor

    Ah, the 70s, I remember that decade so well. I was in grade school for most of the 70s, and started high school in 77. ‘Style’ and the ‘seventies’ were not exactly on speaking terms.

    Back in the 70s the gov managed to force the car makers to finally stop killing their customers and the planet. The car makers collectively puled, “BUT THE NEW REGS WILL DESTROY THE UTILITY VALUE OF SMALL TRUCKS’. So the gov relented and did not make small trucks subject to the same regs as passenger cars. The weasels running the car companies immediately took advantage and starting marketing these ‘Cowboy Cadillacs’ which was the beginning of our current unenviable auto reality of pickups, SUVs and CUVs clogging up the roads from coast to coast.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    Best dash ever put in a truck. Looks better in mid to late 80’s Silverado trim though.

  • avatar
    turbosasquatch

    How much more were these compared to the base truck back in the day? Is it the same percentage as a base truck nowadays compared to say a Denali or Platinum?

    • 0 avatar
      Jeremiah Mckenna

      I was wondering the same myself. But I don’t think that the upcharge was as much then as it is today, percentage wise that is, of course.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeremiah Mckenna

      According to KBB, ogiginal MSRP in ’75 for a SWB 1975 C1500 was $3,609 and adding that package and all the additional add on’s was more than likely in the $1,000 -$1,200 range. 33% increase. Even if it were a $1500 increase it would still only be a 41% increase

      Compare that to a modern GMC 2wd V-8 truck at 28,395 and a Denali starting at $53,780 with similar upgrades and accessories as the Gentleman Jim. 53% increase.

      We can see it isn’t extremely significant, but with inflation and cost of living, it was a decent price increase in the late 70’s, especially with ridiculously high interest rates back in those days. Although even in today’s standards, 50% is a large amount.

      That is to say an estimate as it is not easy for me to find the exact MSRP on the ’75 with the upgraded package at this moment in time. I’m sure someone else can get more accurate information.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    Clearly this truck was ahead of its time.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    JESus — a festival of bad taste.

  • avatar
    Jeremiah Mckenna

    I could see this in someones garage next to this 1975 Trans Am with similar paint schemes… https://img1.etsystatic.com/177/0/14665937/il_570xN.1207833913_dgxe.jpg

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Nobody mentions the strangled Malaise-era engine? It likely had the 350 V8, good for 150 HP. In California, only the pre-1975 vehicles are classic/antique, so it would still be subject to smog testing.

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