This Vista ’Burb is an ideal spring project

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In our minds, the Suburban is the most practical recipe in GM’s truck line-up. Sharing its wheelbase with the long-bed pickups but boasting a more compact footprint, the Suburban splits the gap between heavy-duty work truck and family hauler. With 1967–72 Chevrolet and GMC Suburbans becoming especially tough to find, today’s 1972 GMC C2500 Vista-roofed special is a stinking deal at $5100.

The seller vaguely mentions that the safari glass and raised roof marks this GMC as a 1-in-12 special converted by or for Edison, suggesting it could’ve been commissioned by the southern California power company. However, info on coachbuilders from this era of trucks is rare as hens’ teeth. These conversions are usually shrouded in mystery as they were often one-off jobs for individual clients and not produced en masse for dealership sales. Scanning through the build sheet, you can see the Suburban’s original color combo was dark olive green with a white roof, paired with an olive green interior, which suggests that the truck could’ve been completely resprayed and had its seats swapped during the conversion. 

This has our heads rattling with project ideas, including frame-swapping it onto a 4×4 chassis for a perfect camping/track support/work rig. Sure, those safari windows likely hemorrhage water and need new seals, but custom glass shops are on nearly every corner in the industrious So Cal region where this Suburban is located. 

1972 GMC C2500 Vista Roof Suburban VIN and Options Placard

Otherwise, it’s a well-optioned ’Burb with a tach, posi-trac, granny-gear four-speed manual, front and rear air conditioning, tilting steering column, and a front swaybar—yes, even those were optional. Being a three-quarter-ton C2500, it will have the payload capacity for whatever you can toss behind its barn doors, and these later trucks in the ’67–72 generation had disc brakes standard. From the photos, though, it’s hard to tell if this GMC had the fantastic trailing arm suspension 1960–72 GM trucks were known for; C2500s could be ordered with both, but GM tended to specify in the build sheet when a leaf setup was requested instead of the coil-sprung configuration. 

For basically five grand, what more could you ask for? In the last few years, Suburban values have caught up to—and surpassed—their more common pickup brethren. Even median values of the ever-popular ’67–72 Chevy short-bed trucks now lag behind those of contemporary Suburbans by 33 percent. Projects like this Vista ’Burb can still be found at good deals, but we’re seeing a trend for clean survivors and restorations to stack up tens of thousands of dollars at auction—and with their substantially lower production numbers, we’ll likely see more of this.

Check out the listing here, and if it’s gone by the time you lay eyes on this article, we’ve included a screenshot below.

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