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GMC Desert Fox: celebrating 40 years in the Middle East

GMC’s much loved Desert Fox special edition truck is celebrating its fortieth birthday this year, and to mark this anniversary a classic example appeared as one of the stars at this year’s Dubai International Motor Show. Bringing a significant dose of nostalgia to the event, the Desert Fox Jimmy model that made a special appearance on the GMC stand is particularly unique, having spent its entire working life in Saudi Arabia since first hitting the road in 1979.

Trucks have long been the ‘workhorse’ of the global and regional automotive industry, with special edition models often holding a particularly designed for a life of heavy duty work on farms, on the roads or in the desert. A small percentage of these trucks, the ‘special editions’ are designed as standout models with distinctive style, performance or both.

Arguably one of the best-looking GMC special editions ever, the Desert Fox was designed in desert colors of Medium Buckskin, Russet, Dark Red, Light Mahogany and Deep Regal Blue – with Buckskin or red interior. This unique design was only available on two models: the Desert Fox Jimmy and Desert Fox Sierra. Both very capable of traversing some of the toughest desert terrain.

The Desert Fox started life in 1977, with a second edition in 1979, as a Jimmy or as a Sierra. They were available with a range of features, courtesy of a special equipment package, including:

  • Special five-band striping on the sides and hood;

  • Buckskin-painted wheels equipped with bright metal trim rings;

  • Color-coordinated Buckskin-colored brush guard and front-end guard equipped with chrome tow hooks and dual high-intensity off-road lights;

  • Special Desert Fox insignia on the front quarter panels;

  • Set of four side-mounted tie downs;

  • Buckskin colored roof racks;

  • Painted roof color-coordinated with Buckskin paint scheme;

  • Large grip, leather-wrapped custom sports steering wheel.

  • Recovery Winch

  • Rear Tire & Water Carrier ​

​If drivers required on-board entertainment, the Desert Fox Jimmy and Desert Fox Sierra featured what were then high quality audio systems, with four-speaker and two-speaker systems respectively. The AM/FM stereo radios and AM/FM stereos with two-speaker, 40-channel CB transceivers fitted neatly into the instrument panel.

The Desert Fox Jimmy and Sierra models with their special interior trims, and special equipment, delivered built-in excitement to capture the fancy of off-roaders. Not content with providing customers with an eye-catching aesthetic, GMC created vehicles that were tough too – from top to bottom, front to rear, they were respected for being real performers on- or off-road.

The Desert Fox on display at the Dubai International Motor Show was a 1979 Desert Fox Jimmy, inherited by a Saudi national, whose father owned and maintained the vehicle from the vehicle’s launch date in the Kingdom. Fully integrated into Saudi culture, the classic car has witnessed four decades in the region and brought an element of GMC nostalgia to the event.

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