Saturday, February 17, 2018

1976 GMC Jimmy and Chevy Blazer Chalet, Gone Campin' - 70's Style, and Truquetructruk.tumblr will no doubt steal this to without giving a source credit. Jackass

The GMC Jimmy Casa Grande was a collaboration between GM and Chinook Mobilodge, a manufacturer of self-contained motorhomes and campers, being best known for their Toyota-based camper conversions.

The base Chalet/Casa Grande packed everything one needed to tame the great outdoors, including the kitchen sink. There were sleeping accommodations for two, seating for four, a dinette table, a stainless steel sink, a potable water carrying capacity of five gallons, a two-burner lpg stove with a stainless-steel top and an icebox. Upgrading to "Option Package Two" gained buyers a refrigerator that operated on lpg or on electrical power via an auxiliary battery and an AC/DC converter. Option Package Three increased sleeping capacity to four with the addition of a pair of overhead bunks of questionable space and comfort.


  1. FYI, the interior shots from the TruckTrend article are of Casa Grande #0706 built in 8/76. It is not currently painted in factory original style or colors. The rig you show in the Youtube video -- to the best of my ability to offer an educated guess -- is the orphaned Casa Grande camper unit #0855 installed on a non factory original-matching GMC Jimmy. When I first saw #0855 advertised in a Crosslake, MN 2009 Craigslist ad, the Jimmy was very rusty, but in a subsequent 2014 Minneapolis MN Craigslist ad where the whole rig was seen in fabulous condition, it was stated as being a "super rare rust free Arizona truck." Maybe that is technically true, but to accomplish this, a rust-free AZ Jimmy would have to have been swapped in for the rusted factory original combination.

    We designate these complete rigs (matching truck and camper out of the factory) and the orphaned camper units (those '70s era trucks tend to rust beyond salvaging) by the serial numbers on the plates seen near the back door - see my former #1747 at this photo link: . I'm the current caretaker/administrator of the very old website, and I'm one of the moderators at the somewhat primitive Yahoo Autos Groups (but free to join) forum for owners and enthusiasts of these rigs:

    1. Wow, you've got a total lock on that info! How in the heck did you come across my post on it, were you a reader here already? And I finally posted in your specialty?

    2. It's a hobby, keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. Got the tip about your post from the email alerts I get from Google, where I set up a daily alerts thing for these rigs probably back in 2005 when I first started looking for one. Mostly generates random Craigslist ads, links to photo gatherer sites of sorta related GM/4x4 pics that I assume are virus spreaders or clickbait for advertisement generators, and I occasionally get results for a few blog posts like yours. Been long aware of "justacarguy", but no offense, the site setup really bogs down my massively obsolete iMac, just like major-name news sites do, so I'm not a daily reader (takes 2 or 3 minutes to load your pages; send piles of cash to me to remedy that problem!). But in my various vehicle image searches for unusual topics, your blog does come up, which draws me in. Ironic, since one of the model builders at Gregg Hutching's Model Cars Mag forum painted himself into a corner last week, as you saw, by suggesting it was a mandate to read your blog. I understand what he meant, I just wouldn't have put it quite that way. Look for me over there under the same user name, with my 911 Turbo woody wagon avatar. Speaking of models, it's rattling around in my mind to build a factory replica stock model of a Casa Grande, but the first hurdle is to figure out which of the 3 Blazer/Jimmy kits is the best starting point.

      BTW, that's also me mentioned toward the end of your Hemmings article link, 3rd & 2nd-to-last paragraph - my count of rigs/orphaned camper units I could individually distinguish via photographs or old sales ad text was around 160, but that's since increased to approximately 500. I "find" (meaning tipped about in many cases) around 40 new ones each year. Where they end up after I spot 'em is anyone's guess. The joke I have is that keeping firm track of sellers and owners of these is like herding cats.