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GMC Caballero
Production 1978-1987
Class Intermediate
Body Style 2-Door Pickup Truck
Weight 3400-3700 lbs
Transmission 3-Speed Manual, RWD
4-Speed Manual, RWD
3-Speed Automatic, RWD
4-Speed Automatic, RWD
Engine 3.3L (200 cid) V6 (1978-1980)
3.8L (229 cid) V6 (1980-1984)
3.8L (231 cid) V6 (1978-1979)
4.3L (262 cid) V6 (1985-1987)
4.4L (267 cid) V8 (1979-1982)
5.0L (305 cid) V8 (1978-1987)
5.7L (350 cid) V8 (1978-1980)
5.7L (350 cid) Diesel V8 (1980-1985)
Power 105-170 hp
Similar Chevrolet El Camino
Platform A (1978-1981)
G (1982-1987)

The GMC Caballero was GMC's version of the Chevrolet El Camino car/truck hybrid. It was called Sprint from 1971-77, and renamed Caballero (spanish for "Gentleman") when the line was redesigned along with the rest of GM's A-body line in 1978. The Caballeros shared its mechanicals with the Chevy Malibu sedan, but had a 9-inch longer wheelbase. Other than different nameplates it was difficult to distinguish a Caballero from an El Camino at more than 10 paces distance. It was largely for this reason that the Caballero never sold near the volume the El Camino did (many never even knew a GMC version existed), but its rarity counts as a plus to many El Camino fans and collectors.

  • 1978 - Redesigned with an all new body and new name. Base engine is a 3.3L 200 cid V6 engine with 3-speed manual transmission. 4-speed manual and 3-speed automatics are optional. Optional engines are the 3.8L 231 cid V6, 5.0L 305 and 5.7L 350 V8s. Most engines are ordered with the 3-speed automatics. Stripe-and-decal Diablo package (similar to El Camino's Conquista package) debuts this year also.
  • 1979 - Slightly altered grille is the only visual change this year. A 4.4L 267 cid V8 was a new drivetrain addition, all others remained the same as 1978.
  • 1980 - Another revised grille this year. The wretched 5.7L 350 cid Oldsmobile Diesel engine makes its debut this year, available only with 3-speed automatic. The Buick-built 231 cid V6 is replaced with a Chevy-built 229 cid V6.
  • 1981 - Another new grille, this one with horizontal bars versus the vertical bars of last year. All engines except the diesel gain GM's lockup torque converter. Slightly restyled dashboard, eliminating the horizontal "strip style" speedometer. The 3.3L 200 cid V6 and 5.7L 350 gas V8 are both discontinued this year, leaving the 229 cid V6, 267 and 305 cid V8 and the diesel 350 cid V8. The 4-speed automatic becomes available on the 305 V8. The Diablo package discontinued after this year.
  • 1982 - Restyled nose this year with quad headlamps and eggcrate grille - the look that would last until its demise in 1987. No more manual transmissions were available.
  • 1983 - The slow-selling 4.4L 267 cid V8 is dropped this year, leaving the 229 V6, 305 V8 and the diesel 350 V8. The Choo-Choo conversion SS package that became available on the El Camino this year (mimicing the Monte Carlo SS) with the high-output L69 180 horse 305 V8 is (regrettably) never offered on the Caballero.
  • 1984 - Virtual rerun of 1983.
  • 1985 - The 229 cid V6 is dropped in favor of a fuel-injected 145 hp 4.3L 262 V6, basically a 350 V8 with 2 cylinders lopped off (and distinguished by a small FUEL INJECTION nameplate on the tailgate). The 150 horse 305 cid V8 remains, but the unloved diesel is finally dumped this year.
  • 1986 - Slightly restyled dashboard with revised gauge graphics... that's about it.
  • 1987 - End of the line... a whopping 1,882 sold, making one a rare find indeed if so desired.

See Also

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General Motors Co.

Buick | Cadillac | Chevrolet | GMC | Holden | Opel | Vauxhall | Daewoo | Saab


Acadia · Envoy · Yukon · Yukon XL · Canyon · Sierra · Savana · Terrain


Syclone · S-15 Jimmy · Sonoma · Typhoon · GMC Vandura


Denali XT Hybrid Concept · Granite Concept · Terradyne Concept · Terracross Concept · Sierra All Terrain HD Concept

Max Grabowsky · Rapid Motor Vehicle Company · Reliance Motor Car Company

General Motors Corporate website A subsidiary of General Motors

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Type 1980s 1990s 2000s
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Crossover Acadia
SUV S-15 Jimmy Jimmy
Typhoon Envoy Envoy
K5 Jimmy Yukon Yukon Yukon
Suburban Suburban Yukon XL Yukon XL
Pickup S-15 Sonoma Sonoma
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C/K C/K Sierra Sierra
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G-Series Savana