Written by Eric Becker
There are some cars that just lend themselves perfectly to customization. The Mustang, Corvette and, of course, the famed ’32 Deuce Coupe are all perfect examples of cars that captivate imaginations and allow builders to pursue their dreams. But as time has passed, an entirely new generation of vehicles has entered the fray: Sport Utility Vehicles. The lumbering presence and go-anywhere appeal of these slab-sided beasts has spurred a renaissance in the collector car hobby. Built for use on the farm or battlefield, these iconic utilitarian classics have leant their steel to builders ready to execute their vision for the ultimate “off-road-ster.” And few, if any, have taken that vision to heart as well as the builder of the astounding 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer offered with No Reserve at the 2021 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction.
This beautiful example reimagines Chevrolet’s premiere off-roader, going above and beyond the norm with impeccable details and stunning craftsmanship. The build began with a corrosion-free body that was completely sandblasted down to the bare steel. The concours-level nut-and-bolt restoration went to painstaking levels to make sure all the metal and bodywork was perfect before being sprayed with a fresh coat of paint. The Blazer was finished in in PPG Toyota Quicksand and Mercedes-Benz Cirrus White two-tone paint, creating an utterly unique and gorgeous finish whether on-road or off. The factory ’69 front grille was retained and features a truck-style chrome side trim as well as hand-laid pinstriped molding accenting the engine and interior.
Speaking of engine, under the hood sits a 6.0-liter GM LS2 V8 engine backed by a 4L80E automatic transmission and equipped with an advanced adapter to support a full billet aluminum ATLAS transfer case. The gorgeous 4×4 K5 inhales cool air via a custom air intake and exhales through a fully polished 3-inch TIG-welded stainless-steel exhaust complete with MagnaFlow mufflers. The engine bay is kept beautifully tidy, offering a unique color pallet of pastel and solid colors. The pale blue paint of the engine block and vintage Chevrolet valve covers are juxtaposed brilliantly thanks to the black-painted Holley EFI high-rise intake manifold
Other mechanical highlights include ceramic-coated Headman headers, ICT black pulley front drive, Dirty Dingo ECU mount, and a DeWitts aluminum radiator complete with all-stainless-steel lines and hoses. Keeping the powerful LS engine fed is a 24-gallon aluminum-body fuel cell with a custom-fabricated cradle.
Underneath, the chassis has been completely reworked with all holes welded closed, in addition to TIG-welded custom-fabricated crossmembers, suspension hangers and shackles. For suspension, the mighty Chevy uses FOX 2.0 shocks and rides on a set of 17-inch KMC beadlock wheels wrapped in 37-inch BFGoodrich KM3 rubber and bolted to 8-lug Dana axles. Stopping power is provided by 4-wheel Wilwood disc brakes that come backed by CPP Hydroboost. The body, chassis and engine are all tied together with a professionally installed American Autowire harness.
While stunning to look at and undoubtedly a brilliant performer, inside is where this Blazer truly shines. The stunning interior work was performed by the Tempe, Arizona-based Ceballos Customs. The beautifully embroidered Carrara Tan leather is wonderfully offset by with inserts from Dixxon Flannel – another Tempe, Arizona-based company. Both the front bucket seats and rear bench seat feature light blue stitching and use Snowden Custom Seats foam. Perhaps best of all, this K5 comes with a Dixxon Flannel shirt to match the seat inserts!
Additionally, the interior features color-matched Classic Instruments gauges, half-wrapped billet steering wheel and brand-new Vintage Air climate control system. The interior is further accentuated by a Chocolate suede-lined shift boot, glove box and inner part of the center console. A RetroSound head unit is installed in the dash plays through two Pioneer 5.5-inch and two 6×9 speakers, as well as one 12-inch subwoofer inside custom-made speaker panels. And the cabin is insulated with Dynamat sound-deadening to keep unwanted road noise from interfering with your favorite tunes.
Draped across the TIG-welded color-matched roll cage is a fiberglass top that has been completely redone. Refinished in the factory satin, the top has been gel-coated and retextured as well as upgraded with rear gas shocks, precision weatherstripping and brand-new glass.
A Blazer this hot could only come from the Valley of the Sun, and one lucky bidder will be able to pilot this sublime “off-road-ster” to the Grand Canyon and beyond after the hammer falls at the March edition of the 2021 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction.