Wake up, 1988 Sierra… It’s time to be a star (again)!

Words by Garry Sowerby


After sitting in a vehicle storage facility in New Brunswick for seven years, I had our 1988 GMC Sierra 3500 flat-decked to MacDonald Buick GMC Cadillac in Moncton for new batteries and a safety inspection.



Yesterday, I drove the Sierra home to Halifax for a film shoot.

A national network is making a half-hour documentary on the life and times of the venerable pickup truck, from knocking a German Prince and a Range Rover out of the record books for the Pan American Challenge, to smuggling 5,000 children’s books to Moscow schools and libraries, to establishing fuel economy records in the UK and Scandinavia.



After 7 years in storage, I imagined all sorts of horrors happening under the hood

During the first half of yesterday’s drive, I was pretty nerved up. All senses were on high alert.



What’s that smell? What about that rattle? I was fixated on the pressure and temperature gauges, analyzing the drone of its 6.2L  Diesel engine, imagining gummed up injectors from that seven-year-old diesel fuel.



But there were no problems at all and my mood soon lifted.



The truck triggered memories of the 23-day record-breaking drive

Being in the cockpit of the 36-year-old beast brought back recollections of the 23-day trek from the bottom to the top of the Americas back in 1987. Travel writer, Tim Cahill, and I drove almost non-stop, heading north from Tierra del Fuego, Argentina to the Arctic Ocean.



We dodged bandits and border bureaucrats, even giant birds, and fuelled ourselves on Farmers milkshakes and instant coffee mixed with soda water.

So, Ol’ Sierra, you are once again free to roam. But first, it’s show time… Time to make you a movie star next week!

Stay tuned for more news on the 1988 GMC Sierra’s TV adventure and be sure to wave if you see the trailblazing time machine on the roads of Atlantic Canada this summer.

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One Response

  1. Garry, cant believe you have a blog.
    I read Road Fever in 2010 if I recall correctly. Been a fan of that trip ever since, and Im having a blast seeing full color pictures of the Sierra!

    Greetings from Argentina!

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