Is This the Freshest ’80 Jimmy on the Planet….
Time capsules are rarely as exciting as they are cracked up to be. Most are typically forgotten or the burial locations have been erased by modern excavation. But the few that are ever actually unearthed, are most likely less than newsworthy.
This 1980 Jimmy, under the watchful eye of its current caretakers at Chesrown Chevrolet/Buick/GMC in our hometown of Delaware, Ohio, is 100% newsworthy and is one of the best time capsules we’ve ever had the privilege of experiencing.
10,170.8 miles. Seriously. I’ve put 10,000 miles on my daily driver in the past 2 months. To say this Jimmy looks brand new is a gross understatement. It smells new, it feels new. In fact, it looks, smells, and feels exactly like 1980. And I’m old enough to remember.
More often than not, when folks lock away their pride and joy to save it for later days, they do just that. They lock it away in a dirty barn, or a cinder block garage and forget about it. Lack of climate control can take its toll on an old truck. They tend to rust from the bottom up. Frames rot. Gas tanks disintegrate. Fuel lines turn to dust. In addition, trucks that aren’t regularly fired up and driven tend to experience even more severe problems. Locked up engines. Seized brakes. Rodents like to nest in intake manifolds and mufflers and chew on wires. The list is endless and can lead to the vehicles ultimate demise.
Fortunately, that is not the case with this amazing find. Although it’s presence would suggest that it was sealed in a vault filled with period-correct Reagan-era air, we know better. It was, in fact, very well kept for many years by the original owner in Rixeyville, Virginia, who regularly started, drove, and performed maintenance with every intention of keeping this sport ute in fantastic condition.
Time does take its toll on perishable items, and this truck was no exception to the facts of life. The original leaf springs had begun to sag. One more so than the other three, which left one front corner lower than the rest, so new springs were installed. In the spirit of “day-2” style modding, a 4” lift was added to give a more modern appearance. New Nitto Terra Grappler tires and vintage look white spoke steel wheels were also added for a safety measure after one of the original tires blew out while on display. All of the original items have been preserved in their otherwise perfect state.
Everything about this Jimmy is breathtaking. The paint looks brand new, with all of its orange peel and factory glow intact. If you ever need a benchmark to judge a restoration against, this is the one. The interior is a fresh as can be. Soft carpet, buttery vinyl on the seating surfaces, and a center console clean enough to eat from. The steering wheel has an authentic feel that no reproduction could ever match. At the risk of sounding crazy, it has a bit of a magical feel in a very nostalgic sense.
I love a little bit of magic, and if it’s not evident from all of my gushing, I love this Jimmy and the simpler times it represents. Take in the photos and try to picture your 1980 self driving down to the beach with your surfboard hanging out of the back window. Dream on.