Rare Seventies Fun Machine: 1977 Chevrolet Blazer Chalet

Americans have always loved trucks and the outdoors.  What if I said both of those things were once available in the same package?  If you are looking for a project vehicle that can also serve as your home away from home, then have a look at this rare and very sought after 1977 Chevrolet Blazer Chalet for sale on eBay in Redding, California.  Does the current bid of $6,600 leave enough room in your budget to refurbish this masterpiece of space utilization on wheels?  Would you use it as a camper, or would you keep it safe as an investment?  Thanks go to Mike M. for this fiberglass topped find!

Believe it or not, people actually left the house and did things outside in their spare time before social media and huge televisions with thousands of channels trapped us in our houses.  One of the pastimes that really took off was the use of recreational vehicles.  All manner of RVs have been produced and sold in the United States, but production really took off after World War II.  The need for housing combined with excess manufacturing capacity in the aircraft and aluminum businesses made such playthings a permanent part of American life.

The colossus that was General Motors noticed all of this, but their entry into this market was largely delayed until the seventies.  GM jumped into the market in a big way from 1972 through 1978 with their front wheel drive ffiberglass motorhomes.  Using a Toronado drivetrain, these well thought out RVs are still highly coveted today.  One was even used as the basis for an urban assault vehicle by the US Army.  Code named the EM-50, this armored RV even saw combat in a European border incident covered up by the Army, the State Department, and the CIA.

While the GMC RVs are still rather well known, GM’s partnership with RV manufacturer Chinook Mobilodge is almost a mystery today.  The collaboration used both Chevrolet Blazers and GMC Jimmys as a basis for a vehicle that looks at first glance like a slide in camper.  The difference is that the fiberglass camper shell took advantage of the removeable top feature of these two SUVs so that users could move freely between the front seats and the living space.  A pop up top allowed for even more space.  Users up to 6’5″ tall could stand upright in the back.  Amazingly, two beds (with an option for two more), a refrigerator or icebox, a sink, a stove, and a small dinette table all fit in that small space.  No toilet though.

Capitalizing on the parent vehicle’s off road utility, these were sold as the perfect way to help the owner “get away from it all.”  Rising fuel prices, the single purpose nature of the design thanks to the camper being permenantly affixed, and the eventual loss of an open top option for the Blazer/Jimmy all worked to end the collaboration after two short years.  Around 1,800 of these unique camper conversions were produced and few are believed to have survived until present day.

The Chalet you see here is number 1,584 and is a 1977 model.  While details are relatively scarce in the ad, we are told that the seller has owned the vehicle for 10 years.  It is listed as having 75,000 miles on the odometer and has a 400 cubic inch V-8 under the hood.  According to the owner, the truck runs and drives great and has the desirable options of power steering, cruise control, and air conditioning.

While details are scarce and pictures are few, there seems to be a lot of potential there for someone willing to undertake an unconventional restoration.  The interior picture reveals that a lot of the original material is still intact and could be refurbished.  There is a subculture of collectors that covet these camper conversions, and restored examples bring good money when they occasionally hit the marketplace.  Many were converted back into conventional Blazers and few survivors remain.  This one looks like a good starting point for an interesting restoration.

Have you ever seen one of these Blazer Chalets?  Would you use and enjoy it if it were yours, or just show it?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments.



  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    This one has some rough edges but bought for a realistic price could still be fun. Most of the folks I ran into with one of these had portapots in them. We did on our VW campers and still do on our van. Find any decent or available rest rooms in the gas stations lately?

    Like 5
  2. Howard A ( since 2014) Member

    I forget when the last one was posted, so this story may be a repeat for some, but the old man bought salvaged vehicles to repair, mostly Pintos, but he did get a Chalet like this once that was rolled.( There were actually 2 that were rolled at that auction) Apparently, very common, they really could use duals on the back. The camper part was too damaged, and upon removal, he found out, a regular Blazer top didn’t fit. They cut the top support on these to fit the camper, so he couldn’t even sell it as a Blazer. Not many wanted an open Blazer in Wisconsin. Okay, 16 bids, some interest, I think as fuel climbs, jumped .40/gallon yesterday FIVE BUCKS/gal for diesel. You wonder why I quit trucking, and people will eventually trade their ultimate behemoths for something more practical, and this is it. With the skyrocketing prices of the squarebody ( cough) and campers in general, makes this a freakin’ deal.

    Like 4
  3. Bud Lee

    This is an affordable home in this day and age.

    Like 4
  4. Ray moore

    I remember seeing one of these in a showroom .. Stock burger Chevy of Newtown Pa. They were Kool…

    Like 0
  5. Mike

    Hey Russell C (BF’s Chalet expert), what do you think of this offering?

    Like 3
    • Russell C

      First saw this #1584 is a Siskiyou County Craigslist 10 years ago and the buyer back then turns out to be the seller now. It’s a good start for restoration, and it appears the original paint might be good enough to have just the oxidized layer polished out, thus saving the major cost of acres of repaint. If the objective is to take it to totally reliable daily driver condition, camping, it might not take a whole lot to get it there. If the new owner wants it to get back to the most valuable “factory showroom new” appearance, the first thing that will have to go is the incorrectly repainted stripes. Pessimist that I am, considering the giant jump in bidding toward the end, is that we’ll see this one flipped within a few weeks, spit-shine polished beyond belief, with the back door decal repainted incorrectly to match the stripes. I’d also wager it’ll be listed by a classic car dealership, at double or more than yesterday’s winning bid amount, where the seller will be oblivious that Chalet #1221 in much better restoration shape took over a year before it could be unloaded at a $40 grand price. The owner here from 10 years back lucked out on his $5 grand investment. Yesterday’s auction winner …. not so much.

      Like 2
  6. Bo Evatt

    Yeah I’m interested in the truck thank you

    Like 0
  7. Joe Padavano

    Already sold at $24K

    Like 0
  8. T. Mann Member

    Jan 29, 2023 , 11:03PM
    Winning bid:
    US $24,300.00

    Like 5
  9. Terrry

    What’s amazing is the fender wells nor the rockers are rusted out. It was a big problem on these rigs. Also, GM was dabbling into full sized RV’s in those days.

    Like 1
    • Chad C. Clayton

      Two adadyears ago I was amazed to see one visible from the street in a junkyard in Jackson NJ. I can only hope it was rescued by someone that recognized what it was. Now I wish I had….. I may take a ride back now!

      Like 1
      • Russell C

        Got a location of which junkyard it is? Longshot, but sometimes the Google Streetmobile drive-bys are able to snag a view of these, where they might be seen in an older archive drive-by view. Even just that kind of minimal photo evidence is something I can add to my mega-spreadsheet list of all of these out there.

        Like 0
    • BCB42

      Are you referring to the EM-50?
      Not sure that’s been completely declassified…

      Like 0

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