We see a lot of Chevy pickups, but relatively few GMCs, and as a result, this 1973 GMC 1500 High Sierra Grande 454 is a rather unusual find. A little more upscale than its Chevy siblings, this one includes a rare, thumping 454 big block V8, a solid list of comfort and convenience options, and a beautifully restored overall presentation that features only 121K actual miles since new, catapulting its status as a future collectable.
1973 was the first offering of the 3rd generation 'Rounded Line' pickups, and considered by many a fantastic year that combines the killer good looks left over from the 'Action Line' trucks before, and the 'Square Body' haulers that came next. Decked out in what is very likely all-original Catalina Blue paint, this low-slung, 'Fleetside', shortbed pickup really looks like a million bucks in person. We don't often see original paint that still shines up this nice, but when you consider the low mileage and account for the level of care this Texas truck has been exposed to since new, things start to make sense. Trucks rarely led easy lives and in 1973 not a lot of guys were buying vehicles like this as collectors' items, so finding one that wasn't worked hard is none too easy. Go over it carefully and there's no evidence that it was ever wrecked or rusty and the squared-off look of these trucks will remain popular for decades to come. It's not perfect, there are some signs of use as any reasonable individual should suspect after 50 years of life on the road, but it's a top driver-quality rig through-and-through, with off-the-charts curb appeal and a laser-straight body still set to factory specs. The regular cab/short bed combination is the one to own if you want to drive and enjoy your pickup, making for a more maneuverable package that feels just about the right size pulling into the Home Depot parking lot. That six-foot bed is in remarkably good condition overall, outfitted with a thick mat on the floorboard and protected with a vinyl tonneau cover over the top that keeps cargo out of the elements. This GMC was ordered with the 'Cheyenne Super' trim level (the highest level you could order in 1973), and that comes equipped with bright, two-tone molding that encircles the truck, bright chrome bumpers fore and aft, and a slick piece of tailgate trim out back. Other dress-up pieces include the chrome side mirrors, a deep-set grille that looks practically new, and block-letter 'GMC' and '454' badges that let everybody know what time it is before they tussle with this truck.
A matching, original Slate Blue interior is a nice combination of working-class functionality and luxury, offering a fresh cloth and vinyl seat cover that wears like iron, reasonably plush new carpets that make the GMC feel quieter and more luxurious inside, and Cheyenne Super aluminum and woodgrain trim that brightens things up and makes the cab feel considerably more upscale. Options include ice cold factory A/C, tilt wheel, seatbelts, and an upgraded Alpine AM/FM/CD/AUX stereo, plus a full array of bright factory gauges set inside that period-perfect, wood-trimmed bezel. A new dash-pad coverlay fits neatly over the original dashboard and sets the tone inside, there's a taut original headliner above, and with a column shifter, there's plenty of room for three-across seating in a pinch. The Cheyenne Super spec door panels at the flanks are also remarkably well-preserved, upgraded speakers were installed at the bottoms of the doors, and with that perfect blend of original and freshened components inside, this is one of those rare trucks where you can climb in and instantly feel like you've been driving it all your life.
Power comes from a super-rare, factory 454 V8 big block engine nestled under the hood. The engine bay is incredibly clean and offers original parts like the snorkeled air cleaner, a set of chrome valve covers, and Chevy Orange enamel on the block itself. An Edelbrock aluminum intake with a good old Rochester 4-barrel carburetor give it snappy throttle response and plenty of torque for doing 'trucky' things, and with fat long-tube headers feeding into an H-pipe dual exhuast with throaty Dynamax mufflers below, it sounds exactly like a big block should. The truck's originality is highlighted by the original jack and tire iron still living under the hood, along with the original A/C system that was converted to R134a refrigerant. A TH400 3-speed automatic transmission provides reliability and an unobtrusive demeanor and the original, heavy-duty 12-bolt rear end still hangs on factory leaf springs, so it doesn't mind doing a little hauling now and then, although with 3.07 gearing back there it can easily hit the highway as well. Factory Rally wheels look especially good on these low-slung trucks, with this pickup carrying big 275/60/15 BFGoodrich white-letter truck radials that finish the look perfectly.
We never seem to be able to keep these in stock anyway, but when coupled with the rarity of a factory big block, low original miles, and original provenance that includes the factory buildsheet, glovebox options sticker, and original owner's manual, there's simply no way this beauty lasts long. Call today!