We recently took a look at a 1977 Chevy Blazer Chalet Camper that hit the collector market and sold for $29,000. This rare, utterly awesome utility vehicle was essentially a pickup truck with a complete camper unit perched on the rear bed. And now, it’s time to explore the Chalet Camper’s corporate cousin – the GMC Jimmy Casa Grande.
The quick and dirty on this thing is all right there in the name – Casa Grande. For those who aren’t up on the Spanish language, that means Big House. Like the Chalet Camper, the GMC Jimmy Casa Grande combined the muscle and practicality of a pickup truck with the comfort and convenience of an RV camper. The result is nothing less than the ultimate vehicle to get away from it all.
Like it’s Bow Tie-badged equivalent, the GMC Jimmy Casa Grande was a collaborative effort between GM and RV-maker Chinook Mobilodge, Inc. The rear camper is composed of a fiberglass-reinforced body on top of a steel frame, which was then mounted on top of the bed of the Jimmy.
The top of the camper portion expands upwards, providing even more headroom inside. Additionally, there’s no wall between the body and cab, which means the driver can move straight from the hot seat into the rear of the camper without actually getting out of the vehicle.
While the GMC Jimmy Casa Grande was offered with a number of optional extras, the base model was still very nicely equipped, and included sleeping accommodations for two adults, seating for four – thanks to the convertible seat bunks, as well as a sink drain, a five-gallon water tank with an electric pump, a two-burner stove, plus an “icebox” and spice rack. However, for those customers requiring something a bit more plush, the Casa Grande could also be specified with options like a heater, a three-way refrigerator, power hookups, and additional sleeping capacity.
On the mechanical side, the GMC Jimmy Casa Grande cradled GM’s standard V8 engine, with either selectable or full-time four-wheel-drive to help put the power to the trail. A three-speed manual, four-speed manual, or four-speed automatic transmission handled the cog swaps.
GM produced the GMC Jimmy Casa Grande for just two years, from 1976 to 1977. Between the Casa Grande and Chevrolet Blazer Chalet Camper, roughly 1,800 units were produced. Understandably, these things weren’t cheap either, tagged with an MSRP of nearly $9,500 without any options. Taking inflation into account, that’s roughly $42,000 by today’s standards.
Offering surprising rarity and a romantic, adventuring attitude, we think this thing truly has it all. But if you’re looking for even more, then subscribe to GM Authority for additional GMC news and around-the-clock GM news coverage.