Rare 1992 GMC Typhoon Sold at Barrett-Jackson Auction Has Us Drooling
Original and Unmodified Has Never Sounded Better
Nerd. Alert. Of all the pristine classics, collectors, and simply gorgeous vehicles that went to auction during Barrett-Jackson's 12th Annual Las Vegas Auction at the Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort on October 3-5, 2019, the one that captivated our curiosity the most probably comes as a surprise.
No, it wasn't the 1950 GMC "Chuck Wagon" (Lot 30.1, available), or the 1959 Chevrolet 3200 (Lot #95, $49,500), or the 1956 Ford F-100 (Lot #456, $73,700), or the 1953 Dodge Power Wagon (Lot #663, $71,500), or the 2013 Ford Shelby Raptor Baja 700 (Lot #653, $60,500), or the 1965 Volkswagen pickup (Lot #687.1, $45,100), or the 2018 Ram ProMaster 3500 (Lot #794.1, $68,200), or even the 1997 Land Rover Defender 90 (#Lot 797, $49,500), or the you get the picture that the list could go on and on. (Does anyone else dream of having enough disposable cash to be a bidder at one of these auctions?)
Anyway, the apple of our eye actually resided in Lot #345.1 and came in the form of a 1992 GMC Typhoon previously owned by actor Bill Bixby. This pristine beauty sold for a whopping $60,500 (which happens to be the exact guess of yours truly, for the record). That's about double what it cost new, which means the Typhoon was pretty valuable even in 1992. Actor, director, producer, and gameshow panelist Bill Bixby (January 22, 1934-November 21, 1993), known for his roles in My Favorite Martian, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, The Magician, and The Incredible Hulk, bought the Typhoon new at Thorson GMC Truck-Buick Motor Company in Pasadena, California. In 2009, his family sold it to a private collector. Other notable Typhoon owners have included Clint Eastwood, John F. Kennedy Jr., Bob Seger, and Tyler Hoover.
This particular 1992 Typhoon is characterized by several features that make our hearts race: original, unmodified, 16,664 miles, no paintwork, original documentation, original keys, and a clean history. These buzz words are important because GMC Typhoons are rare. Finding one is special; finding one like this is extraordinary. Based on the 1991 GMC Jimmy, the Typhoon was produced for GMC by Production Automotive Services from 1991 to 1993 in low volume—4,697 total, to be exact. There were 6 pre-production Typhoons in 1991, 2,497 produced in 1992, and 2,200 for 1993 model years. The black exterior and black interior combo on this Typhoon was actually the most common, with 1,262 of this color combination sold in 1992.
The 3,822-pound GMC Typhoon is considered a high-performance SUV due to its beefed-up, turbocharged 4.3L V-6 that produces 280 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque (in contrast to the standard Jimmy at 190 hp). It can reportedly accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds and recorded a 14.1-second quarter mile time at 95 mph. It hides other underhood tweaks including a water/air intercooler, revised intake and exhaust manifolds, revised fuel system, and a throttle body from a 5.7L GM. The engine is mated to a 4L60 4-speed automatic transmission and a BorgWarner 4472 transfer case. The all-wheel-drive Typhoon also has heftier brakes, a limited slip rear differential, sportier suspension, and, apparently, rear air suspension. It's surely a"sleeper" and a unicorn.
This has been the story of one 1992 GMC Typhoon, its fate secured for at least the immediate future. As for the other 4,696 Typhoons? We can only hope they are nestled neatly in garages, or better yet, that some na ve owner would perchance sell his (to us) for $6,000 instead of $60,000.
*Photos courtesy of Barrett-Jackson