In the long, storied history of bizarre special edition vehicles, I really think that the GMC Jimmy Diamond Edition belongs near the top of the list. It’s certainly bizarre, it’s definitely strange and it has some features that I presume were never before included on a special edition vehicle — and hopefully, never will be again.
Let’s start with the basics: Back in the 1990s, the GMC Jimmy was GMC’s version of the Chevy Blazer. When the Blazer went larger and became the Trailblazer, the GMC version was renamed the Envoy — but before that, it was the Jimmy. By today’s standards, it’s a compact SUV, though it was more of a midsize model back then — smaller than the Ford Explorer, but still family-sized.
By the end of the 1990s, the Jimmy (and its Chevy Blazer twin) was clearly outclassed: The SUV trend came on strong and hit fast, and the Jimmy and Blazer hailed from the 1995 model year — too old to compete with newer rivals like the Subaru Forester (1998), the latest Jeep Grand Cherokee (1999), Toyota Highlander (2001) and many others. And so, they resorted to special editions — and specifically the Diamond Edition.
The Diamond Edition debuted in 2000, just before the Jimmy was redesigned after the 2001 model year, and it was highly distinctive. The exterior, for instance, featured a strange front push bar — even though the Jimmy wasn’t really muscular enough to be pushing things out of the way, and the Diamond Edition was solely cosmetic, with no additional muscle added. There were also side steps, despite the fact that the Diamond Edition was a fairly normal-sized SUV — and then there was the best exterior addition: some silver trim at the base of the doors. I have no idea why this is here, except that maybe they got a good deal from their silver-trim-on-the-doors supplier.
But the real surprise came inside.
Inside every single Jimmy Diamond Edition was an interior that had been completely filled with diamond-pattern leather — on the overstuffed seats both in back and in front, and all over the door panels. Diamond leather was everywhere. Stranger still was the design in the headrests: three diamonds, imprinted in all four headrests, with no other explanation. And just in case you weren’t sure you were riding in a Diamond Edition, the door panels — the bits that weren’t covered in diamonds — were also emblazoned with the words "DIAMOND EDITION."
Not surprisingly, the Diamond Edition didn’t exactly perk up sales — and there isn’t a single one for sale on Autotrader anywhere in the country today. This, to me, is a huge shame — because acres of interior diamond pattern should really be preserved, if only so future automakers know what they shouldn’t do. Find a GMC Jimmy for sale
Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.