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A K5 Built to Cruise: This Lowered, 2WD, LS3-Powered '72 Blazer Breaks the Norms

Like its Ford counterpart, the Bronco, Chevrolet's Blazer is one of the most beloved SUVs in American 4x4 history.

Lowered K5 Blazer Rear View

And though the current iteration of the Blazer is a car-based CUV rather than a rough & ready 4x4, the dominant image most people have of the Blazer is one of classic '70s and '80s K5 models outfitted for all-terrain adventuring.

A Lower, Sleeker Blazer

But did you know not all K5 Blazers are 4x4s? When Matt Deloscobos began searching for a vintage Blazer a few years ago, he was specifically looking for one of the rare 2WD models.

1972 Blazer Custom Front View

You see, Matt is a street truck guy with a taste for vintage Chevys. He initially owned a mildly restored C10 pickup, and after becoming a father, he wanted a slightly more practical truck he could take the family cruising in.

1972 Blazer Custom Driver View

He loved the look of the early Blazer, but his vision of the perfect K5 sat low and clean rather than lifted and covered in mud.

And with one glance at the finished version of Matt’s ’72 Blazer, it’s safe to say that vision has been made into reality.

1972 Blazer Custom on Street

The build took about two years to complete, starting with Matt making a late-night drive from Southern California up to San Jose to pick up this rarity as soon as the for-sale ad popped up on his feed.

1972 Blazer Tailgate

Chevrolet made just 3,357 2WD Blazers in 1972, and Matt describes the condition of the truck when he got it as a “20-footer,” meaning it presented well from a distance, but closer inspection revealed work to be done.

1972 Blazer Instrument Panel

Initially, he thought a simple repaint might do, but after discovering a little more rust than he was expecting, the body came off the frame, and that’s when the build truly got ambitious.

1972 Blazer Driver View

The Two-Year Journey

Being the rare 2WD model, Matt initially planned to keep the original frame, but he soon realized to fit his goals for stance and handling, he’d better off going with a modern setup.

1972 Chevy Blazer Custom

So out went the old frame, and in its place, a brand new, mandrel bent frame from Scott’s Hotrods — one with coilover suspension up front and a four-link setup in the rear.

1972 Blazer Custom Rear 3/4 View

The powerplant was an easy choice: 6.2L LS3 V8. And not just any LS3, but the GM “Connect & Cruise” crate setup that comes bundled with a 4L70E overdrive automatic transmission.

LS3 Crate Motor in 1972 Blazer

Matt’s motor is the “hot cam” version, which has an output of 525 horsepower — enough to make the lighter, shorter wheelbase Blazer move with muscle car thrust.

1972 Blazer with LS3 Engine

He's also made a few of his own additions to the engine, including a Holley Sniper intake manifold and a set of Holley's retro-style valve covers. 

LS3 Retro Valve Covers

Out back, a Moser nine-inch rear end with 3.70 gears puts the LS3's power to the ground, and a one-off three-inch exhaust system gives the Blazer the perfect rumble.

1972 Blazer Custom Front View

While the chassis and running gear have been thoroughly modernized, the body of the Blazer is all old-school, factory steel.

C10 experts will notice that Matt backdated the front end to 1967, again using all original steel, and then he had the body painted in wonderfully vintage two-tone that uses Toyota Calvary Blue as its primary color.

1972 Blazer Front-End

The Right Stance

As mentioned a moment ago, an aggressive, low stance was was one of Matt’s key wishes for the project, and a significant part of that stance is the wheel and tire combo.

1972 Blazer Custom on Beach

Rather than an off-the-shelf part, a custom-built set of Hot Rods by Boyd HRX3 forged two-piece wheels blend a vintage look with contemporary presence.

1972 Blazer with Boyds Wheels and Nitto NT555 G2 Tires

The wheels measure 20”x9 in the front and 20”x10 in the rear with polished barrels and charcoal-finished center sections.

1972 Blazer with Nitto NT555 G2 Tires

Nitto NT555 G2 tires play a big role in bringing the Blazer’s stance and handling capability into the modern era, with 255/35R20s up front and meaty 285/35R20s in the rear.

1972 Blazer on Nitto NT555 G2 Tires

Though the Blazer has the quality of a show truck, it’s very much a driver — and the NT555 G2s help make the most of modern chassis and suspension — and keen eyes will notice the big 14-inch Wildwood discs that complete the package.

1972 Blazer on Nitto NT555 G2

Details Are Everything

The result of all Matt’s effort is a truck that immediately catches your eye, but it gets even better when you take a closer look.

1972 Blazer Tailgate

That’s when you notice things like the distressed brown leather interior finish, the Highlander blue plaid upholstery inserts or the way the steering wheel's spokes match the centers of the Boyd’s wheels.

1972 Blazer Custom Interior

You’ll also see things like the vintage-look stereo and gauges, which disguise 21st-century tech and convenience. And there’s so much more we are leaving out.

1972 Chevy Blazer Custom Interior

Unlike a lot of builds we showcase, Matt says the Blazer is more or less complete. There are a couple small details he’d like to address, but overall the focus has been on driving, showing and enjoying the truck.

1972 Chevy Blazer Custom Driving Near Beach

Following its debut at this year’s Grand National Roadster Show, he’s taken the Blazer to events all over SoCal, and a trip to the SEMA Show is in the works for this fall.

1972 Blazer Custom Front View

Matt’s build might represent a path less traveled for this iconic classic SUV, but that, along with a fantastic sense of style and strong attention to detail, make this one of the most impressive vintage Chevy builds we’ve seen in a while.

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