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For many, the name GMC is synonymous with hard-working, utilitarian trucks. Until the early-1960s, the American automotive brand had an almost exclusively blue-collar clientele, catering to farmers, contractors, and freight haulers with a powerful line of big trucks that prioritized practicality and reliability over comfort and style.

The GMC brand debuted 1912 after General Motors consolidated several of its truck brands. In the early days, GMC pored its energy into heavy commercial trucks. Its first foray into the light-duty world came in the mid-1920s in the form of the Express Body, a truck resembling a pickup with a wooden cargo box.

Decades later, GMC's concept pickups would set design trends. The visionary 1999 Sierra Professional's interior mobile office inspired later models from different brands. The 2000 Terradyne concept was the first to carry a high-output, direct-injected Duramax diesel engine and Quadrasteer four-wheel steering system.

Collectors are increasingly drawn to GMC pickups from ‘70s and '80s and high-performance variations like the luxurious Denali, the Jimmy-based Typhoon, and the rare Syclone small-body pickup, of which less than 3,000 were produced in 1991.

Quick Facts

  • Although it's a popular myth that Max and Morris Grabowsky, brothers behind the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company, were the “G” in GMC, the name is actually an acronym for parent company General Motors Corporation
  • In 1936, GMC produced what experts consider to be its first modern pickup, the T-14, an all-steel, half-ton model that cost $566 at the time
  • In 2014 at RM Auctions, a beautifully restored 1952 GMC Suburban sold for $44,000

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