Courtesy of Barrett-Jackson
  • Supercharged LS3 engine
  • Roadster Shop chassis
  • AccuAir ENDO CVT suspension
  • RideTech adjustable shocks
  • Solid billet grille
  • Billet turbine wheels
  • Baer 14-inch brakes
  • Tremec 6-speed manual transmission
  • Detroit Trutrac differential
  • Syndicate Series digital gauges and shortened steering column
  • Integrated chrome roll bar, custom aged rawhide leather interior

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1976 GMC Sierra Grande Custom Pickup
Years Produced:1973–87
Number Produced:155,000 (1976 GMC, all variants, approximately)
Original List Price:$3,863 (base)
SCM Valuation:$14,300 (all 1973–87 GM trucks)
Tune Up Cost:$200
Chassis Number Location:Plate on dash
Engine Number Location:Pad ahead of passenger’s cylinder head (SBC)
Alternatives:1973–87 Chevrolet C10 custom, 1973–79 Ford F-150 custom, 1972–80 Dodge D-series custom
Investment Grade:B

This truck, Lot 1431, sold for $165,000, including buyer’s premium, at Barrett-Jackson’s massive Scottsdale sale on January 18, 2020.

If you ever doubted the importance of social media in the collector-car market, here’s your supercharged, striped, slammed wake-up call.

There’s a lot to unpack with the $165k sale of Syndicate Series 02 — a custom shortbed GMC done up like one of the 1975 Indy Pace Trucks. But before we get there, let’s take a look at where this truck came from.

The Syndicate

Joe Yezzi is the man behind Squarebody Syndicate — a business devoted to Chevrolet and GMC trucks built from 1973 to ’87, although with a heavy bias toward the first-year rigs. His dad drove a ’73 when he was a kid, and the memories of that truck are the primary drivers of his passion for this body style.

Social media has catapulted his brand into the mainstream. It’s rare to find any squarebody GM truck picture on Instagram that isn’t tagged with a Syndicate reference — there are 83,600 of them as of this writing — and his stickers, hats and shirts, again carefully chosen and made in short batches, spread the gospel even further among connected young truck people.

And then there are the trucks, done with an exacting attention to detail that grows sharper with each passing build. Some of Yezzi’s builds have been stock trucks simply modified for stance. Others have been more in-depth, such as his first SEMA build from 2015. SS02 is the sharpest to date, with customized high-level components and finishes throughout.


In 1975, GMC produced a short run of Indy Haulers — special red, white and blue longbed pickups built to celebrate the Indianapolis 500. Five hundred replicas were planned for 1976 production. None were built, leaving the three 1975 trucks — which participated in the race festivities — as the only examples.

Yezzi acquired one of the three as a potential project, but elected to document and preserve it rather than build it. Instead, he decided to build a shortbed tribute, which is where this truck — SS02 — came from.

It rides on a Roadster Shop Syndicate Series spec chassis with air suspension, has supercharged LS power, a 6-speed manual transmission, big brakes, billet wheels, exacting Mar-K replacement trim, and a custom one-off billet grille. All the badges are custom pieces, and the interior has modern gauges and a shorter-than-stock steering column, both of which are available from Squarebody Syndicate’s Web store.

The result was a drivable, reliable custom truck that has had its share of the spotlight — online, in truck-specific publications, and even in miniature thanks to a run of 1:64th-scale models made by M2 Machines and sold at Walmart.

Getting likes

Ultimately, this $165k sale price wasn’t much of a surprise. It’s a new record price for a squarebody GM truck at auction, but this was undoubtedly expensive to build. I would be surprised if much money was made here, after all the receipts are counted. If that sounds familiar, it should. It’s the same thing we see with most high-end custom car builds at auction. It’s generally cheapest to buy something already done.

Almost right away, photos and videos of SS02 on the block sprang up on Instagram, while Facebook groups started to bicker about what the price meant for other squares.

One popular squarebody LS-swap page admin posted, “Everybody is talking about this truck. Yes, it sold for $165k. How’s that affect the value of our trucks? It doesn’t. Your truck and all those on FB marketplace have about as much in common with this truck as a hang glider does an F22 Raptor. Stop trying to relate to this thing.”

That admin has a point. Just because SS02 sold for relatively big money doesn’t mean other squarebodies are instantly worth more. But there’s something missing in that hot take, too, and that’s the value add that SS02’s exposure brought to these trucks, both at Barrett-Jackson and before.

Social media is where these trends are expanding. This truck is just one example of many in this corner of the car world — but as we saw in both consignments and pricing at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2020, custom trucks continue to be a growing segment.

For the next-gen buyer who looks to the Web for a connection to the car world, SS02 is an icon. To build something that looks similar — while not nearly as expensive or as detailed — is not hard to do. There are millions of squarebody trucks out there. Yezzi, and others, have made these trucks cool through builds like SS02, which drives interest and ultimately values as well.

As a trendsetter for an emerging market, SS02 was well sold at a record price. But for the end user who wants a cool truck to drive — and something that will be instantly recognizable by a new class of connected car person — I’d call it well bought, too.

(Introductory description courtesy of Barrett-Jackson.)

Comments are closed.