If you follow our Facebook updates or have talked to me at all in the last 36 hours, you know that I bought a 1978 Chevrolet Blazer with 56,000 miles. It’s not quite as nice as it shows in the pictures, but I’m really, really happy with it. What I’ve learned, though, is that I’m almost as happy digging through the piles of records that came with it. It’s like an archaeological dig.
The build sheet was in the glovebox, showing how oddly ordered this truck was. It’s pretty low-option, with plain hubcaps and a four-speed, but it’s got the optional rear rollbar that typically only came with soft-top trucks.
I also located the Installment Note that looked like it was folded up once and never looked at again. The original loan was for $7,000 and the interest rate in 1978 was a staggering 14%. On that loan over four years, you’d pay over $2,100 in interest. That was probably enough in 1978 to buy a small island.
Also in the glovebox was this handy printed note absolving Chevrolet for any responsibility because its paint couldn’t hold up to the rigors of raindrops.
“Paint spotting as a result of the fallout is not related to a defect in paint materials or workmanship,” says the notice. It’s interesting because there are places inside this truck that have never seen the light of day, where you can see red primer straight through the paint. They must’ve hired especially intoxicated UAW members to paint these things with a single can of Krylon.
This booklet full of coupons is good for cash if you send your friends on over to Peter Hallisey Chevrolet in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Interestingly, that’s where my dad splashed out for a brand new 1976 Camaro — AM radio, six-cylinder, automatic, black gut, no air. Peter must’ve really needed the business after “Diamond” Fitzy bought that one.
My favorite relic so far is the “How to Plow Snow” guidebook from the helpful folks at Fisher Engineering in Rockland, Maine, which built some of the most rock-solid, Yankee-by-God snowplows on earth. Fisher’s trip-edge system allowed plowers of snow to not lose an entire load of snow when the plow hit an obstruction and the whole plow blade flopped forward like competitive plows.
They were hyphen crazy over at Fisher Engineering circa 1978, saying “good-bye” to snowblowers and suggesting that you can plow your driveway better because you know where your “rock-wall” and your wife’s “rose-bushes” are. It’s full of great illustrations.
What are your favorite found items in cars you’ve purchased?