HomeFeatured VehiclesPick Of The Day: 1993 GMC Typhoon

Pick Of The Day: 1993 GMC Typhoon

The world's first sporting SUV


A truism in the collector car hobby is that sometimes special vehicles that did not sell well when new can in a few decades become collectible.

A good case for this is our Pick of the Day this 1993 GMC Typhoon for sale on ClassicCars.com.

The Typhoon was in many ways the world’s first performance SUV. The fact that the vehicle came from, of all places, GMC is nothing short of remarkable. Think of GMC as being ahead of the curve.

The Typhoon was built for GM by a company called Production Automotive Services, Inc. (PAS), a specialty vehicle manufacturer. In addition to the Typhoon, PAS also built the 1989 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am, the 1992 GMC Sonoma GT, and the GMC Syclone.

What PAS did was take a standard GMC S10 Jimmy and hot rod it. These modifications included taking the standard GM 4.3L LB4 190HP V6 engine and swapping in different pistons, main caps, head gaskets, intake manifolds, fuel system, exhaust manifolds, a Mitsubishi TD06-17C/8 turbo with 14PSI of boost, and the 48mm twin bore throttle body from the 5.7L GM small-block V8. This gave the V6 280hp and 350 ft-lbs of torque. The AWD Typhoon sends power to the wheels through a 4L60 4-speed automatic transmission and a Borg Warner 4472 transfer case splitting torque with 35% to the front wheels and 65% to the rears. In addition, the Typhoon had upgraded brakes, a limited-slip rear differential a sport suspension with an air ride self-leveling rear.

All of these modifications gave the Typhoon a 0-60 time of 5.3 seconds and a 14.1 second ¼ mile time, quite fast for the era and landmark for a 1990s era SUV.

When the Typhoon was introduced many in the automotive world felt it defied logic. The advertising compared the Typhoon to a Porsche 911 with copy stating, “If you have settled ideas of luxury, safety and performance, a Typhoon will blow them away.” The base price for the Typhoon at $29,970 placed it into a price point that many journalists and consumers considered crazy. Due to the Typhoon basically creating a new category, remember there had never been a performance SUV and the entire SUV market itself was fairly new, combined with the high price tag made sales slow. It also did not help that the Typhoon lacked traditional truck utility, including zero towing capacity. 

Sadly, as a result between 1992 and 1993 only 4,697 examples of the Typhoon were built.

The 1993 Typhoon listed here is described as painted in black with a black leather interior and 79,000 miles. They add that while walking around this car you should notice the classic gloss black paint with gold badging, the painted silver 16″ alloy wheels wrapped in radial tires, roof racks, rear spoiler, and tinted windows. 

They close stating that this GMC Typhoon gives a mix of performance with comfort. Features include air conditioning, AM/FM radio, cruise control, leather seats, power brakes, power locks, power steering, power windows, seat belts, and tilt steering column.

Over the past few years people have finally woken up to just how cool an SUV Typhoon is, and prices have been rising. The asking price for this nice example is a market correct $30,000. Just think, how cool it would be to drive one to a RADwood event? 

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Andy Reid
Andy Reid
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.


  1. Hey Andy- an ex military friend bought one of these new after his USAF discharge in ’93, in Indianapolis, IN. Gotta say, it was a rippin’ cool lil not-truck, but he didn’t want to tow anything anyway. I drove it once, at 8/10s, and having a standard 305/5spd T/A at the time was quite impressed. Had I room and the money, at $30k I wouldn’t dicker. Thanks for the good memories!


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