Rare Factory Camper: 1977 Chevrolet Blazer Chalet

We’ve seen a few of these home-on-wheels Chevrolet Blazer Chalets come up for grabs in so-so condition, and they always generate a fair amount of interest. I’ve been waiting for one that’s in seemingly mint condition, and finally, we have a contender. As expected, the bidding on this low-mileage example is strong, reaching almost $17K with the reserve unmet. These trucks capture an era of automotive culture that is coming back to life, between the interest in overlanding and classics from the late 70s through the middle 90s. Find this super clean Chalet here on eBay and located in Minneapolis.

When we do see these Chalets show up, there’s often some issue with them: the camper shell is filthy / tired, the body has rust, or the original graphics are faded away from years of open-road use and sitting in wide open spaces. Thankfully, this Chalet hasn’t been exposed to such carelessness and although its condition may indicate it hasn’t spent much time adventuring, the next owner can certainly take the baton and run with it. The Chalet’s camper shell still shines like new, and the graphics look mint. Photos show that the pop-up tent is working as intended as well. The seller notes it was professionally stripped and repainted two years ago.

The interior is in outstanding condition, and reflects the 25,970 miles on the clock. That is hugely low mileage for a truck built for roaming. It may be surprising that it was still repainted despite this odometer reading, but the seller does point out that the hood and factory stripes were sun-faded – so perhaps it did spend some time in national parks or wild open spaces. Or, perhaps, it was purchased for those reasons but instead spent more time parked in a driveway as plans for escaping to the great outdoors never materialized. The seller notes all upholstery is in good shape, and that he had the iconic “BLAZER CHALET” stickers recreated but have not yet been applied.

The sleeping/living spaces look quite tidy, and the stove, refrigerator, and furnace all still work. The seller details lots of recent maintenance, including the addition of air bags in the rear to provide more stability in handling and better steering quality. The 400 V8 is numbers matching and is paired to an automatic transmission; the lock-outs have been upgraded to manual hubs which engage without issue. The seller is confident you can get in and drive it anywhere, and the condition on display would certainly seem to indicate that this Chalet is ready to roam or simply preserve.

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Comments

  1. geomechs geomechs Member

    These things keep showing up from time to time. I have to admit that this is one of the best I’ve seen. If it was an ordinary Blazer I might take a little more interest in it. The 400 engine was kind of a mixed blessing. They worked fairly well although they tended to use more oil than the run-of-the-mill 350. Probably the siamesed cylinders. My ’79 rolled the odometer around three times before I took it off the road to perform a major restoration; it always went through a quart of oil every 1000 miles. Interesting too, I never considered that as burning oil but I had many customers who thought they should use NONE.

    I always pale when I see someone convert a full-time 4×4 into part-time. If you don’t keep that front axle turning (transfer case locked in) you have no way of getting the oil up to the top of the case where all your gears are. The chain brings it to the top. I had a customer who deep-fried his transfer case because of that. Others converted theirs over. One was starting to make some noise before he wised up. He still had trouble getting it from High to Low Range and back again so there was some damage done…

    Like 5
    • Greg Schardein

      I had a hard shifting 203 back in the day, and it was just a matter of removing the shifter assembly, disassembling, cleaning, and lubricating it, and putting it back together. I could shift it with one finger after that.

      Like 2
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        There were some shifter problems that were easily corrected. My ’79 never gave me a problem but there were some that caused a lot of grief…

  2. Russell C

    Forgive me for being the downer on the rig’s condition, but big dollar sales collector value interest should be for a rig worthy of the label “factory correct showroom new appearance.” This one shines up nice, and the repaint looks great, but the back door decal is M.I.A. and the stripes on the camper were not painted factory-correct. The interior might look great, but it is utterly factory-incorrect from the cab seats to the camper area carpeting / dinette cloth and cabinetry. The one photo of the furnace grille has other tell-tale faults: wrong color veneer on the cabinets, wrong wood cabinet doors. By comparison, folks lay out big dollars for Yenko Camaros that are restored dead nuts accurate. Would savvy buyers do the same for a version with myriad restoration faults?

    Like 3
    • bull

      The stripes were not “Painted Factory Correct” as you suggest.

      That’s because they were vinyl stickers!

      Also the Chalets in this color has a paint and trim code not available on any other Blazer. Unique only on the Chalet.

      Like 3
      • Russell C

        What I meant by the stripes was that the restoration was not done correctly, design-wise. Close, but the discerning eye can spot the differences in the forward-most spear angle of the stripes on the camper sides. For a proper collector dead-nuts accurate restoration, they would have to be entirely reproduced in vinyl.

  3. Rich Truesdell

    Five years ago I wrote about one of these for Truck Trend.

    You can read about it here.

    http://www.trucktrend.com/features/1508-1976-gmc-jimmy-casa-grande/

    Very interesting take on an in-bed camper

    Like 2
  4. angliagt angliagt Member

    It seems that every one of these is for sale.
    Horrible to drive? Unstable?

    Like 1
    • Russell C

      I owned Chalet #1747 for 4 years, they are fine to drive, so long as a person realizes they are a ’70s 4×4 with an additional 800 or so pounds in the back. It’s a buyer’s market for savvy, fully informed buyers, but a few dealer/flippers think it is a seller’s market because a very small handful of guys with way more money than sense or time for deep internet searches have paid more than twice what their rigs are worth. It’s an extremely tiny niche market to cater to, and more dealer/flippers are learning this the hard way.

      Like 1
      • Ho BLake

        Certainly the case for this!! $$$

        Like 1
  5. Louis C

    these aren’t rare!!!! isee them all the time on barnfinds!!!!!

    Like 3
  6. Ho Blake

    This turned up on my Vintage Trailer group for sale page a month or so back. It did not look the same! He has done some serious cosmetic work. There was rust in the wheel well and along the back bottom. But, ‘vintage trailers’ are all the rage so someone is paying BIG bucks for this… not me!!

    Like 1
  7. Bhowe Member

    400 wasn’t the best small block, IMO. Terrible road angle meant high revs were not its forte. Not that it would matter in this unit.

    Like 1
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I’ll agree that the SBC 400 left something to be desired. But the only failures we had at our dealership were in 4×4 trucks. The ones in the vans and the Chevy cars gave no trouble at all. I had people look sideways at me when they found out that the 400 in my ’79 GMC was original and that it had over 300K miles on it. On the other side, we had a lot of 400s in vans make it to 300K…

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