1952 GMC Suburban Carryall / Specs, Photos, Styling, Model History

This great looking and restored 1952 GMC Suburban Carryall is a real classic. GMC’s first Suburban came out in 1937 and these early vehicles were named Suburban Carryall’s. One of the longest-running models in the history of automobiles has been GM’s truck-based Suburban all-purpose vehicle, which has been in continuous production since 1937. The original idea for the Suburban was to offer buyers a truck based heavy duty wagon. Prior to that the automakers were building car based wagons.

Today the Suburban is an automotive model icon.


gmc carryall
1952 GMC Suburban Carryall










GMC Created By General Motors

The history of GMC starts in 1909 shortly after William Durant formed the General Motors Corporation as a holding company for his recently purchased Buick brand. From this point on GM grew by purchasing several other companies. General Motors and its head, William Durant, purchased the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company.This company had been formed seven years earlier by Max and Morris Grabowsky and had prior owners before GM took it over. Rapid Motor Vehicle Company was acquired by a company that built the Pontiac automobile in 1907 and 1908. In 1909, the company would be bought again along with Pontiac, this time by General Motors. In addition, General Motors purchased the Reliance Motor Car Company, which was started in Detroit, Michigan in 1902.

These two companies, Rapid Motor Vehicle Company and Reliance Motor Car Company, would serve as the home for GM truck production. The General Motors Truck Company was then formed as a sales company for Rapid and Reliance Trucks. Three years later the brand name of GMC would emerge.

Chevrolet first introduced the Suburban in 1935. Two years later in 1937 GMC came out with a Suburban model.

1952 GMC Suburban Styling

The 1952 GMC Suburban Carryall was a part of the new Advance Design models from General Motors. This was the first significant redesign of the Chevrolet and GMC truck line since before 1942 and the beginning of the war. The Chevrolet and GMC versions were similar in appearance in the early 1950’s.  A  GMC version like the one featured here has a slightly different front grille. Both the GMC and Chevy Suburbans of 1952 had a rear door somewhat similar to a panel van.

The GMC model had a pickup type front end with a station wagon type body mounted on a pickup truck chassis. An interesting side note is that there were more automakers than General Motors who used the name “Suburban”. What these automakers were building was a windowed station wagon type body on a commercial frame. It was finally in 1988 that GM was given an exclusive trademark since all other automakers had dropped the name. It’s interesting to note that the Suburban name is one of the longest running nameplates in automotive history.and is continuing strong to this very day.

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1952 GMC Suburban Carryall Specifications

Engine on the 52 GMC Suburban is a 216 cubic inch Thriftmaster Stovebolt  inline six producing 95 HP.

Transmission is a three speed manual.

Brakes are four wheel hydraulic drums.

Related Auto Museum Online articles are found on the links below..

1972 Chevrolet Suburban 

1949 GMC Suburban

1952 gmc suburban carryall









Our reference material and an excellent book is…..GMC : The First 100 Years by author John Gunnell. Another excellent book includes…..The Deal Maker : How William C. Durant Made General Motors by author Axel Madsen.

1952 GMC Suburban Collector Popularity and Current Prices

While General Motors had two of it’s divisions producing the Suburban model, the GMC Suburban is much more rarer than its Chevrolet counterpart.

The Suburban is a very historically important vehicle for General Motors, both it’s Chevrolet and GMC versions, and is not really an overwhelmingly expensive classic vehicle. Like any classic, models come in all kinds of conditions and mileage. A GMC Suburban Carryall from the early 1950’s, in excellent and usually restored condition, might be listed in the $50,000-$60,000 range. While the 1952 GMC Suburban is somewhat rare today, asking prices are not in the $80,000 to $100,000 plus like you may see with certain restored Camaro’s, GTO’s and similar muscle cars.

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(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)