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Remember When GMC Made an SUV to Carry Grandfather Clocks?

Allow me to introduce you to General Motors in the early 2000s, where no idea was too preposterous, no thought too absurd and no concept too crazy to put into production. This is the General Motors that gave us the Pontiac Aztek, the Chevy SSR convertible pickup truck and the Chevy TrailBlazer that was called a Saab.

It’s also the General Motors that gave us an SUV designed to carry grandfather clocks.

Actually, I’m being unfair to General Motors. It wasn’t just grandfather clocks the 2004 GMC Envoy XUV could carry. It could also transport trees. And, I suppose, giraffes. See the 2004 GMC Envoy XUV models for sale near you

Here’s the situation. In the early 2000s, General Motors rolled out a new SUV that was replicated with an almost unending number of brands: first as the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, the GMC Envoy and the Oldsmobile Bravada, and then as the Isuzu Ascender, the Buick Rainier and the Saab 9-7X. Yes, that’s right, there was once an Oldsmobile that was also a Saab. These were dark days.

In an effort to stretch out this platform for even more profit, General Motors decided to boldly go where no automaker had gone before. Namely, the grandfather clock-toting market. The resulting SUV was called the GMC Envoy XUV, and it had an SUV body with a retractable roof over the cargo area in case you needed to carry tall items, plus fold-down rear seats and a removable partition, allowing you to bring the elements into the interior. I’m serious! Virtually every press photo of this car showed it transporting a large item no person would ever carry anywhere, unless they were bringing a family heirloom to Antiques Roadshow.

Unsurprisingly, the Envoy XUV was canceled after two years, and eventually, the Envoy was replaced with the Acadia. However, if you look closely, you can still see the occasional Envoy XUV on the road, cargo area cover open, waiting for an eager grandfather clock to jump inside. Find a 2004 GMC Envoy XUV for sale

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Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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19 COMMENTS

  1. ” and a removable partition,” Wrong!  It is called a midgate and you retract the glass first, flip the seats forward, and drop the midgate and that gives you enough room to slide 4×8 sheets of plywood, drywall, etc into the back WITHOUT having overhang out of the tailgate.
    This truck is not for off road but i do have the 5.3l engine and it tows 5k pounds without an issue. Even over Hogback mountain if anyone knows that route.
    Love this rig and plan on making it a garage queen soon.  It does have it’s issues but I do my own repairs which makes it affordable. 
    The concept is great and GM should re-introduce the concept in another model.  I get a kick out of the reaction of people when I retract the roof with the tail gate lying flat and go though cars washes (cleaning out the back of whatever)
    The buying public was not prepared to accept the utility of this vehicle at the time of release but thinking the utility options it brings would today
  2. The GMC Envoy XUV is the greatest SUV. I’ve owned mind since 2004 and keep hoping and praying that GMC will re-release it. It’s our most practical car which is why we don’t replace it. I can’t count the numbers of times we’ve been in a store, and when we get back out to the car, there’s a note on it from someone asking us to call them if we decide to sell it. I haul 25 two-cubic foot bags of mulch and hose it out, I’ve hauled tall things or just lots of things, including a 4-piece patio set (loveseat, 2 chairs & coffee table) and a treadmill which allows us to avoid the delivery fee. Please, please GMC re-release this SUV, otherwise, we’re holding on to this one forever!

  3. Among the interesting bits on the XUV:

    1. A dedicated tenting unit, just like they had introduced on the Aztek. This was possible because of the roof, and the fact that the tailgate flipped down like on a pickup truck. None of the “regular” GMT360/370 trucks had that.
    2. The tailgate flipped down, and could also be swung sideways, as it had hinges on the passenger side. I presume this was to make it convenient since flipping it down required to roll the window down. Same idea found on the Ridgeline.
    Now that I own an 04 TrailBlazer and an 05 LWB, and have been fortunate to experience the myriad of electrical gremlins that come with mid-2000s GM trucks, I’m questioning the long term durability of the XUV as far as roof retraction motors, rear window motors, etc.
    I will admit, the LWB trucks are deceivingly large (they’re actually 10 inches longer than a Tahoe of the same era) AND 6 inches longer than the GMT900 Tahoe AND 4 inches longer than the current Tahoe. The XUV lacks the 3rd row seating, but the space remains. I don’t know if any other midsize truck is that large, and the towing specs aren’t bad either.
  4. There’s a guy in my neighborhood that still has one of these, same silver color too. What does he do with the car you ask? Well, he repairs clocks… no, seriously, he runs a business out of his home repairing clocks. I’ve seen more than one grandfather clock sticking out of his XUV before.

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