A six-figure GMC Syclone and Typhoon might not be so ridiculous
Thirty years on from Car and Driver’s immortal GMC Syclone v. Ferrari 348 comparison test, it seems the wonderful-‘n’-whacky overboosted minitruck still kicks Maranello’s rosso rump. As long we’re keeping to the original parameters of that test, anyway; in 2022, GMC’s blocky, steroidal interpretation of a Buick Grand National ute still scoots down the quarter-mile and cracks 0-to-60 mph quicker than a Ferrari 348—all for a price that’s more Port Aransas than Portofino.
That bit about the price was a long-held truth right up until this week, when a 1991 Syclone and a ’93 Typhoon—the truck’s closed-cabin SUV sibling—claimed $113,000 and $180,000 respectively on Bring a Trailer. Compare this to the Hagerty Price Guide’s $116,000 value for a condition #1 (Concours) Ferrari 348 from the latter model year. Ferrari money for two early 1990s GMC trucks with delivery miles? In this market, you betcha.
Our gut instinct tells us both sales are likely outliers, and despite the redlined rise in collector car prices, we think this isn’t the new norm going forward. Still, there’s something happening here; back in September, BaT sold a 1400-mile Syclone for $78,750, a moonshot away from the HPG‘s $44,000 value for a truck in #1 (Concours) condition. Go further down the chain, and RM Sotheby’s nabbed $62,920 for a 2228-mile Syclone at its 2020 Auburn auction.
So, $113,000 for a 250-mile Syclone might not be as bananas as you think. Yes, it’s still an outrageous sum paid for a compact GMC truck, but it’s not quite as far out of line as that six-figure number might suggest. For now, recent sales of Syclones wearing medium-to-high miles remain in step with the HPG and usually don’t crest past the $40,000 mark. Even if the miles are on the lower end, keep an eye on the bidding room temperature; Mecum sold a 9600-mile example for $34,650 at last year’s Tulsa sale.
This record-setting Typhoon is a different story. Strong bidding on this 272-mile SUV settled at $111,000, before the sledgehammer $175,000 winning bid landed with two minutes left on the bid clock. As many of the sale comments note, this bombshell was immediately suspect. Aside from the obvious $64,000 bazooka-blast bid, the winning bidder was a freshly created account with no bidding, selling, or commenting activity whatsoever. At the moment, the sale remains marked as “Sold,” with no further comment or clarification from the BaT team. We’ll keep an eye on it.
Even reverting to the Typhoon’s second-highest bid of $111,000, these are both landmark sales for the Sy-Ty twins. Records for the models, but not the marque; as of this writing, the most expensive GMC sold at auction is the $2.5 million paid last March for the first production example of the 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup at Barrett-Jackson’s 2021 Scottsdale sale. Eliminate this outlier charity sale, and the hypothetical $116,000 winning bid for the Typhoon (including buyer’s fee) isn’t even the most expensive GMC on Bring a Trailer; during the same month that saw that GMC Hummer sale, a pristine restomod 1975 GMC Jimmy High Sierra tapped out at a $132,000 winning bid.