The Rare 1985 GMC Caballero / Photos, All Model Details

Our featured classic is a 1985 GMC Caballero. This model was GMC’s answer to Chevrolet El Camino. These popular vehicles are considered car/truck hybrids. The Spanish word “Cabellero” means “Gentleman” in English. GMC truck dealers sold the Caballero as a car based pickup alternative to the small to medium sized GMC pickup truck.

1985 gmc caballero specs
1985 GMC Caballero

GMC Cabbalero Models

The three trim options offered during Caballero production all used Spanish names. These were  the Diablo, Laredo, and Amarillo packages. The 1985 offerings included the Base, Amarillo and Diablo packages. The Caballero came standard with power brakes, an AM/FM radio, and power steering.

GMC’s Caballero and the Chevrolet El Camino

GMC began producing a truck/car utility vehicle in 1971 named the “Sprint”. They produced the Sprint from 1971 through 1977 at which time they changed the vehicle’s name to the Caballero beginning with the 1978 model year. From that time the Caballero was produced through 1987.

gmc caballero specs

The GMC Caballero and the Chevrolet El Camino looked so similar that it was difficult to tell one from the the other without looking at their nameplates. The Caballero never sold at the volume that the El Camino achieved and there were many people unaware that GMC produced a vehicle similar to the El Camino. What is even more surprising is how long it took for GMC to bring out a car/truck hybrid after the El Camino was introduced in 1959.

The relative unawareness of the model by many and it’s late arrival certainly was a big factor in Caballero’s lower sales numbers. For collectors this is a positive since the GMC Caballero is rare compared to the Chevy El Camino. The Chevy El Camino had a much longer run than the GMC Caballero. The El Camino came out by Chevrolet in 1959 and as an answer to the Ford’s Ranchero that first generation lasted only two years. The El Camino came out again in 1964 with the Chevy Malibu body style.

Caballero’s Similarities With the El Camino

There were many mechanical and styling characteristics shared by the Caballero and El Camino. For most purposes it’s been said that parts from the El Camino can be used on the GMC Caballero.

For the 1985 model year the Caballero was built with a fuel-injected 262 cubic inch V-6 producing 145 hp  The 305 cubic inch V-8 continued but the diesel option disappeared.

The GMC Sprints used the fourth generation El Camino body style. The Cabellero body style is the same as the fifth generation El Camino.

1985 GMC Caballero Specifications

As mentioned above, the 1985 model year GMC Caballero was built with a fuel-injected 262 cubic inch V-6 producing 145 hp. This replaced the 305 cubic inch V-8 and the diesel option was dropped.

Available transmissions were three and four speed manuals and three and four speed automatics.

Brakes were power assisted ventilated disc brakes on the front and drum brakes on the rear.

Wheelbase was 117.0 inches.

New car price for the 1985 GMC Caballero averaged about $9,450.

For the 1985 model year there was just slightly more than 3,000 GMC Caballero’s produced.

Related Auto Museum Online articles with photos, specs are found on the links below..

1957 GMC Half Ton

1949 GMC Five Window Pickup

Reference material for this article includes.. GMC Light Duty Trucks: An Enthusiasts Reference by James K. Wagner.. El Camino By Chevrolet by Mike Mueller.

85 gmc caballero

The GMC Caballero Collector Car

The GMC Caballero in general is a rare car today. The 1985 Caballero is even rarer with just a bit over 3,000 examples produced.

Current sales and asking prices for this relative rare vehicle appear quite reasonable in a range from about $12,000-$28,000. Overall condition, originality, engine and degree of restoration if any will determine price.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)