With the introduction of the K5 Blazer in 1969, Chevrolet gave us one of the most iconic 4X4 vehicles ever conceived. Following in the footsteps of the Jeep CJ, Ford Bronco, and International Scout, the Blazer had a fully removable top to go with its off-road prowess. What it brought that the others lacked was size and power. Unlike its competitors, whose designs mimicked that of the smaller Jeep, Chevy based their new creation off the C-line of pickup trucks. This meant the blazer came equipped with a longer wheelbase, more interior room, and the option of the iconic Chevy 350 engine. While the first generation of Blazers are the most sought after by collectors (one sold in 2017 at Barret Jackson Palm Beach for $220,000), the “square body” styling that ran from 1973 to 1992 is making its mark as of late. Some of these vehicles are starting to run into the mid $30,000 range for a nicely restored model.
The reason we picked up this 1988 model was more about nostalgia than dollar bills. The vehicle that started Nate down the path of off-road vehicle customization was, in fact, a 1982 K5 Blazer. It was his first real vehicle, after a short stint with an inherited Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera, and as soon as it was in the driveway, the work began. A purple color scheme was planned (remember, this was the 90’s) followed by a crushed velvet interior (again, 90’s), a humungous stereo with two 15” Cerwin Vega subwoofers, and a lift with mudder tires. Sadly, Nate’s aspirations fell victim to his pocketbook and several required repairs took precedence. First, the 350 V8 threw a rod out the bottom of the pan, requiring a new engine. Then, the rocker panels and wheel arches started showing their age and succumbed to corrosion. As is the case with many first projects, eventually the tally got too high for a young teenager and the truck was sold to live out its days in western South Dakota. So, when the opportunity arose to pick up another square body K5 at Mortie’s, the temptation was just too great.
The idea for this one is to bring it back to its former glory, with a few upgrades to give it a modern twist. Of course, big power is on the bill, along with added elevation making room for meatier tires, but aside from that, the sky is the limit. If all goes right, you’ll start seeing progress made to this K5 Blazer come late 2020. Make sure to like our Facebook, Instagram and YouTube channel for any updates to this and all other builds happening at Mortie’s Speed.