Prior to the World War II, new GMC trucks were primarily commercially oriented. After the war, GMC started producing more consumer-oriented vehicles as well. Additionally, more effort was put into making the new GMC models more carlike in terms of their comfort and convenience features. Interestingly, the first V8 engines in new GMC trucks appeared in 1955—as did tubeless tires. The company did its first four-wheel drive vehicle with a two-speed transfer case in 1957.
In 1970, GMC introduced its first sport utility vehicle, reviving the “Jimmy” name for it from an earlier model. The new GMC SUVs, much like their Chevrolet Blazer counterparts, had a full convertible removable top — a signature element of the offering until 1975.
Then, in 1973, GMC became the first mainstream auto manufacturer to produce a motorhome. GMC built the motorhomes from the ground up, designing the front-wheel drive powertrains, chassis, bodies and interiors. However, they did provide empty shells to other motorhome manufacturers to outfit them more luxuriously if a customer desired. The six-wheeled vehicle remained in production until 1978.
For the most part, the new GMC models and the new Chevrolet trucks have been identical over the years, although the new GMC models were generally outfitted more luxuriously. Nevertheless, from the outside looking in, new GMC trucks and the corresponding new Chevrolet trucks looked just alike, aside from badging and model names.
That said, there were a couple of truly distinctive high performance models unique to the GMC brand in the early 1990s. For model years 1992 and 1993, GMC offered the new GMC Typhoon SUV models with two doors and a 4.3-liter turbocharged V6, in addition to a self-leveling air suspension system, and all-wheel drive.
The Typhoon’s pickup truck counterpart was known as the Syclone. Both were rated at 280 horsepower and 360 ft-lbs of torque. The Typhoon was clocked at 5.3 seconds from 0 to 60 and 14.1 seconds in the quarter mile. In 1991, an enthusiast’s car magazine lined a Syclone up against one of the new Ferrari 348 models for a quarter-mile drag race.
The Syclone won.
Today’s new GMC models include commercial vehicles, pickup trucks, crossovers, full-size SUVs, full-size vans, and even a range of hybrid models. To ensure added showroon traffic for both Buick and GMC, new GMC models are offered in dealerships that are typically paired with Buick’s to give those showrooms a truck presence and to give GMC models a car presence.