When it came time to choose a trail rig, Brent Rederick, Amber West, and son Justin knew they wanted a vehicle that could carry their camping gear to remote places and tackle tough terrain with confidence. They found the '72 Blazer in a classifieds ad about four years ago, and the evolution began.
The vintage Chevy was decently equipped at the time with beefed-up 1/2-ton axles and a set of Swampers. But over the past few years the family that wheels together started wrenching together, and the Blazer turned out to be a more formidable weekend rig.
Stuff that broke was replaced with bigger parts to the point where the Blazer could tackle substantial Southwest trails, albeit not without making some sheetmetal contact. Wheeling harder demanded bigger hardware. A Dana 60 was fitted up front and a 14-bolt in the rear, and they're now driven via an NP203/205 transfer case combo.
Under the hood lurks a healthy small-block 350 with Holley Commander 950 fuel injection and computer-controlled HEI ignition. However, the bay will soon yield space to a high-performance 383 to deliver a bit more torque to push the Blazer and its unique backcountry trailer up the hills. The trailer is purpose-built and used for extended camping trips.
The Blazer is very much a part of the family. It consumes a lot of their time between modifying it and playing in it. Brent told us the whole family turns the wrenches, drives it, and breaks it. Looks like they have plenty of fun doing so!
1972 Chevy K5 Blazer
Engine: Chevy 350 V8
Transmission: 700R4 (reverse manual valve body)
Transfer case: NP203/205, ORD Doubler
Front Axle: Dana 60, 5.38 gears, ARB locker, 35-spline Yukon axles
Rear Axle: Full-floating 14-bolt, 5.38 gears, Detroit Locker, Sky Mfg. disc brake conversion
Springs & Such:
Front: 52-inch Blazer rear packs, Johnny Joint shackle hangers with panhard, Rancho 9000 shocks.
Rear: 4-inch Superlift springs, ORD shackle flip, Bilstein shocks
Tires & Wheels: 38.5x14.5-15LT TSL-SX Swampers, 15x10 steel wheels with DIY4X rock rings
Steering: Saginaw steering box, Sky High Steer crossover steering, PSC 2-inch hydro-assist ram, PSC modified pump with remote reservoir
Other Stuff: Warn 9.5ti winch, Auto Meter gauges, custom rollcage, bumpers, boxed frame, transfer case crossmember, trail trailer