Sound Investment: 1977 Chevrolet K5 Blazer Chalet

It’s rare that there is a good deal anymore in the collector car space, but this desirable 1977 Chevrolet Blazer K5 Chalet may just be one of them. This is the rare dealer-offered camper conversion that integrated a color-coded camper shell with awesome period graphics onto a four-wheel-drive short-bed body. Today, these have been climbing up in value nicely, with collectors paying very real money for good examples that aren’t rusty. Unfortunately, many of the projects we see are rusty or have been neglected for so long the camper shell is a virtual swamp and the truck is missing many original parts. That doesn’t appear to be a problem here, where the Chevy is offered here on KSL in Idaho for $11,000.

First of all, whether this is a Chalet or not, the truck itself appears to be in excellent condition. The interior looks to be in the kind of shape you could get in and start using immediately and not be concerned about needing a biohazard suit. The carpets are clean and the matching camel bucket seats are in excellent shape. Credit the dry Idaho climate for keeping the truck in such nice shape, even if the sun has had its way with the dash pad. It looks quite original too, with no evidence of the truck having been partially disassembled and left for the next guy to figure out – although, the seller does note he will not have time to finish it, so there may be some loose ends.

The body really looks like it’s in excellent shape, and the same goes for the camper shell. When it comes to these trucks, collectors like to find ones with original paint or carefully done resprays that incorporate the original decal stripes like you see here. The period-correct aftermarket wheels look sharp on this Chevy, and I wouldn’t change them out for anything other than OEM wheels. The body lines look correct, too, with no evidence of bodywork, at least from this side of the monitor. The tires are said to be new and the seller notes that the carburetor on the 400ci engine is also a new component.

The bulk of the restoration work will occur inside the camper shell itself, with the seller noting it needs total restoration. This photo makes me curious as to whether the seller began breaking it down for a complete gut, or if time and age have caused it to fall into disrepair. The former scenario seems more believable, as I’d want to put my own mark on a place I’d be eating and sleeping in for weeks at a time. Regardless, this is the one area where you do want to see the seller attempt to do some of the heavy lifting for you, so I don’t see it being an obstacle to a sale. This is a great price for one of these rare trucks, and the condition looks good enough that you could leave the exterior cosmetics alone and just focus on making the insides as nice as can be for your home away from home.

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Comments

  1. CCFisher

    Another one? Aren’t these supposed to be rare?

    Like 9
    • AndyinMA

      My thoughts exactly – did everyone keep them squirreled away somewhere and now they are all coming out?

      Like 6
      • Russell C

        The publicity of a very small handful of these in moderately good condition auctioning at Mecum auctions for fairly big dollars in the last 5-6 years is largely responsible for many in much worse condition coming out of the woodwork. The thing that put exponentially more dollar signs in owners’ eyes was the March 2021 “Bring A Trailer” online auction of Chalet #0429 (supposedly a pristine unrestored 1-owner rig) for $125 grand. It was an entirely unique rig for being in the unrestored condition it was in, which doesn’t automatically massively raise the values of far worse condition rigs. On top of that, I consider the two remaining bidders of that one to be vastly rich but uninformed anomalies to dismiss, since essentially all the other bidders dropped out after the $47,500 point.

        Like 2
  2. Russell C

    Those are not original decal stripes on the camper unit. This one is Chalet #1460, it was for sale last year at the same KSL ad for $1000 less, and the seller in Shoshone Idaho has been attempting to sell it since June 2020. It’s been for sale by more than one owner in the desert southwest dating back to at least 2013, ranging in asking prices from $3500 to as high as $28,000, all in the basically unchanging condition. The camper interior, to the best I can tell, was intact until at least February 2019, during one of its multiple listings in Sun City AZ from October 2015 to March 2019.

    How do I know? I’m the former owner of Chalet #1747, and am the current caretaker of the VERY old blazerchalet.com website, who also maintains a mega-spreadsheet list of 580-ish of these which I can individually ID so far, for the fun but otherwise impossible goal of tracking and documenting every one of these ever produced.

    Like 29
  3. Sam Shive

    Dam, they all show up at the same time.

    Like 1
  4. angliagt angliagt Member

    I agree – LOTS of them seem to be for sale all
    the time.Are they horrible to drive/live with?Does
    the camper drag it down?
    Could anybody who’s owned one chime in?

    Like 1
    • Russell C

      As a decades-long driver of small cars and occasional driver of full size pickups and a six year driver of a commercial airport shuttle van, I can say driving my former Chalet #1747 wasn’t all that bad. Altogether, the camper unit was an extra 800-ish pounds added to whatever a Blazer is, so it didn’t feel light by any means, but I’d dispute with others that it felt top-heavy at all. Compare it to a large van or a U-Haul truck, I’d say. They aren’t sports cars or modern SUVs with independent suspensions, and shouldn’t be treated as such. It did jump with the 400 engine in it, but to be funny about it, one could almost feel it getting lighter from draining the gas tank to move it quick. I never got to drive it on any vacations cross country, but I’d assume it wouldn’t like cross winds all that much. Compared to my little car daily drivers or my dad’s pickups, it was somewhat unnerving to have all that open space behind my right shoulder. The one upgrade mine needed was more braking power. I never gave much thought in my little cars about stop signs, but in that Chalet, when I saw one up ahead, I made adequate plans on how to stop for it, which was also a bit unnerving at times.

      Like 2
      • Jay McCarthy

        My ElectraGlide doesn’t like crosswinds either 😂

        Like 2
  5. Troy

    6 hours from me might be worth checking out just to get the blazer I would have to loose that camper monstrosity on the back

    Like 2
    • Russell C

      Chalets have more resale value when the original camper unit remains with the truck. Might be more advisable to keep an eye out for a standard Blazer or Jimmy, which might be in equal or better condition, while also saving you the sheer bother of removing and disposing of the camper unit and locating a standard cap & tailgate.

      • Troy

        Don’t much care about resale value if I’m planning to keep it. And any truck canopy shop can build a fiberglass or aluminum top for it

  6. Marko

    The abundance of random tie down straps, is leaving me scratching my head………

    Like 1
    • Russell C

      Not a good sign. Original Chalets had 5 interior tie-down straps to keep the spring-loaded roof from popping up while going down the road. Go over one big bump at 20+ mpg with it not tied down and it springs up with the distinct possibility of blowing completely off the rig. If the current owner wiped out those interior straps by accident, then what he has going on now will hold down the roof.

  7. Billy boy

    I used to have a Chevy Colorado with a cap and had some tow chains in the back. Went to get some pool supplies and was getting a funny look from guy who loading about the chains. Just told him “”their for fat chicks thst want to ride”. Got a chuckle.

  8. HC

    That’s a fair price for such a clean Blazer. Just got done refreshing a friend’s 85 C10 that I got 2 yrs ago, otherwise I’d be all over this one. Would definitely lose the camper shell really quick. Good find guys

  9. T. Mann Member

    Never heard of KSL ?

    Like 1

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