The 87 GMC Sierra Classic (Specs and Features)

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If you are looking for an older vintage truck that is reliable and long-lasting with excellent features, the 87 GMC Sierra Classic is a good place to start.

The old GMC Sierra models are often overlooked because of the various names they have been referred to in the past. Because the Sierra wasn’t the official name until 1988, the same is true for this 87 Sierra Classic.

The 87 GMC Sierra Classic is available in multiple trim levels with four primary engine designs that provide horsepower between 155 and 230. You could also expect an excellent towing capacity of up to 6,500 pounds and 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive.

The GMC Sierra Classic boasts a tough exterior and powerful engine. It’s also known for its reliability and the ability to withstand harsh weather conditions, and the 87 Sierra Classic is a perfect example of these capabilities. This guide looks in-depth at all the key specs and features that make this truck great.

The GMC Sierra Classic has been one of the most popular vehicles for decades, and we had the opportunity to run tests on this 87 model. Below we discuss all of our findings and research to help you find the next best classic truck.

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The 87 GMC Sierra Classic (Specs and Features)

The 1987 GMC Sierra Classic is a reliable old truck with long-term durability. The design includes a powerful engine and reliable durability. This truck is also included in the third generation release of this line of vehicles.

In 1987, GMC renamed the Sierra Classic from the C/K series to the R/V series. In fact, it wasn't until 1988 for the name of this truck to officially become the GMC Sierra Classic.

This GMC Sierra Classic is a vehicle that is known to be one of the most reliable vehicles on the market. It also has an excellent safety rating and was an innovative design during the late 1980s.

Despite the name differences, the truck remained the same, along with some impressive specs and features that we will discuss in detail below.


There is a lot to love about this truck, so we have highlighted all of the key features that make it worth it below.

Cargo And Seating Capacity

This 87 GMC Sierra Classic is available as a 2-door or 4-door model. This means you have either a 3-seater or 6-seater design, and all trim levels include excellent interior and cargo capacity.

The rear cargo box is 35.5 cu ft and handles up to 1,250 pounds of additional weight. This payload capacity ranges depending on the exact trim level, but this is the average you can expect from the 87 Sierra Classic.


The GMC Sierra is a perfect vehicle for those who are looking for an adventurous and reliable truck. This truck has all the features that one would need for a long journey, such as wide wheels, a durable frame, and excellent durability.

This truck is a good choice for those who want to get the most out of their truck. It has a versatile engine that provides plenty of power and torque while still being fuel efficient.

It also has a durable frame that can be customized to suit your needs. These trucks are known to have minimal mechanical issues and rank near the top each year in safety.

Sleek And Minimal Design

The 87 GMC Sierra Classic has a sleek and minimal design. This includes a 2-door or 4-door design with a short truck bed.

This truck is perfect for someone who needs to haul things around but doesn't need to carry large items. Its compact design makes driving easier for people with less experience handling larger trucks.

The design also offered a twin headlight or quad headlight finish. The facelift for this vehicle was an important one as it shifted under a new line and a new name.


This is considered one of the most lightweight Sierra Classic models in the long history of this truck model. The curb weight was around 4,500 pounds depending on the engine type, number of doors, and wheels.

Overall, this weight did not impact handling, towing, or performance because the truck performed with excellent precision.

Excellent Power And Fuel Economy

The 87 GMC Sierra Classic is an old but reliable truck that's been around for decades now and has been one of the most popular trucks in America for a long time because of its reliability, power, and fuel efficiency.

The average fuel efficiency was 14.0 miles per gallon. Between this, the 6,500 pounds of total towing capacity, and solid horsepower, you could expect plenty of performance from this truck.


The GMC Sierra Classic is a full-size pickup truck that has been in production for decades. It was redesigned in 1987 with a facelift to make a new impact.

Beyond just the features, understanding the truck's design and the key specs is critical to knowing just how well this truck might perform.


The thing worth noting about this vehicle is the consistency in the dimensions and body design. For example, the height never changed despite the many years of production and upgrades in features.

The wheelbase changed, though, and there were three different sizes available. Below is a chart showing the different dimensions to choose from.

Wheelbase Length Height
117.5 in (2,984 mm) 191.3 in (4,859 mm) 69.8 in (1,773 mm)
131.5 in (3,340 mm) 191.3 in (4,859 mm) 69.8 in (1,773 mm)
164.5 in (4,178 mm) 191.3 in (4,859 mm) 69.8 in (1,773 mm)


The GMC Sierra Classic base model features a 5.0 L V8 engine with 170 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, which is more than enough power to ease you through your daily commute or towing needs.

However, there are four primary options to choose from if you prefer more power or want an engine that is smoother for daily driving. The chart below lists all engine types, horsepower, and torque you can expect from each.

Engine Year Horsepower Torque
305 cu in (5.0 L) V8 Chevy Small-Block V8 1987 170 Horsepower 260 LB-FT
262 cu in (4.3 L) V6 Chevy V6 1987 155 Horsepower 230 LB-FT
350 cu in (5.7 L) V8 Chevy Small-Block V8 1987-1991 210 Horsepower 300 LB-FT
454 cu in (7.4 L) V8 Chevy Big-Block V8 1987-1991 230 Horsepower 385 LB-FT


This truck is unique and available in multiple transmission types. However, the most popular was the automatic transmission with overdrive for smooth shifting and front disc brakes for stopping power.

A four-speed manual transmission design is also available that includes the overdrive feature. The key difference with this transmission is the gear ratio.

The wide range of gears is suitable for any driving condition. This also helps create a high torque capacity for towing heavy loads with a low first gear for easy starts on steep hills.

Towing Capacity

The truck bed on the 87 Sierra Classic holds around 1,250 pounds, and you can tow an additional 5,000 pounds. However, the three trim levels have slightly different max capacities based on the body style and engine type.

The proper equipment can also increase the towing capacity closer to 8,000 pounds with the proper transmission, engine, and hitch combination.

This includes a Trailering Special package offered by GMC on different trucks. This package included a heavy-duty cooler for the engine and transmission and a durable hitch that provided better weight distribution.

Is The 87 GMC Sierra Classic Worth It?

The GMC Sierra Classic is a truck that is absolutely worth the price. It has been around for decades, boasting a tough exterior and powerful engine. It’s also known for its reliability and the ability to withstand harsh weather conditions.

It has a lot of great features that make it worth the purchase. One of those features is the V8 engine, which gives it enough power to tow even heavy loads. The seats are comfortable and have plenty of space for people to fit in them.

However, whether it is worth the price depends on what you are paying for it. There are options priced under $20,000 with minimal miles, and the body is in great condition. This truck is worth the purchase because a Sierra will last for over 200,000 miles.

However, paying over $40,000 for this truck would be a bit steep. Other trucks are worth buying at this price point compared to the 87 GMC Sierra Classic.

The GMC Sierra Classic is worth it if you are looking for a truck that is more on the rugged side but still has some of the luxury features that you would find in other models.

How Many Miles Does The 87 GMC Sierra Classic Last?

Many people are curious about how many miles the GMC Sierra Classic can last. The answer is that it depends on how you drive the truck and what type of terrain you use it for.

The 87 GMC Sierra Classic is one of the more durable classic trucks, and this model can last for up to 250,000 miles with proper care and regular maintenance.  It is a good choice for anyone who is looking for a reliable, affordable, and fun truck that can go anywhere.

The 87 GMC Sierra Classic also has many other options for people looking for something more affordable and fun. For example, the 87 GMC Sierra Classic has many safety features in the form of airbags, frontal airbags, side airbags, and side curtain airbags.

Overall, this truck is built for durability with a tough frame, heavy-duty tires, and a high-performing engine.

How Does 87 GMC Sierra Classic Compare To Other Models?

The GMC Sierra Classic is still one of the most popular trucks on the market today. It is perfect for anyone who needs a work truck or wants to have a bigger engine in their vehicle.

It has a powerful engine, a comfortable interior, and plenty of room for passengers and cargo. But is it the right choice for you?

In 1987, it was an emerging vehicle and widely considered one of the better options. However, it is also worth looking at some of the other top options during that year.

1987 Ford F-Series

The 1987 Ford F-Series was an eighth-generation model with a range of trim levels and truck sizes. Some of the sizes during this production run included the following.

  • F-150
  • F-250
  • F-250HD
  • F-350
  • F-Super Duty

The 1987 F-150 closely resembled this Sierra Classic model, including engine style, body size, and overall vehicle performance. The Super Duty model was brand new to the product line and served as an extremely large truck with high towing capacity levels.

Overall, the Ford Series outshined the Sierra and was the most popular truck model during the late 1980s, including 1987.

1987 Jeep Comanche (J10)

The Jeep Comanche is a vehicle manufactured by Jeep from 1987-1992. It was a two-door compact pickup truck with a front engine design and both rear-wheel and four-wheel drive options.

This is an extremely low-cost truck and serves as the ideal choice for the budget shopper. The engine also doesn’t provide much power with only I4 and I6 designs.

If you prefer a larger truck with a wider wheelbase and enhanced towing capacity, the 87 Sierra Classic is the superior vehicle.

Can You Still Buy The 87 GMC Sierra Classic?

There are many used options available for the 87 GMC Sierra Classic. You can find one from a private seller by looking in the right places, like AutoTrader or Hemmings.

It's best to filter your search based on vehicle condition and total miles. Using the right sources, you can even search based on price. Depending on these factors, the average cost ranges between $10,000 to $40,000.