Progression of the Family Truckster
Nostalgia is a powerful motivator. John Schnatter of Papa John’s Pizza recently paid $250,000 for the Camaro he had sold in 1983 to start his pizza business. Fortunately for Joel Rasmus, his parents had the good taste to buy a K5 Blazer instead of a car, yet nostalgia still holds the same motivation. Joel’s folks bought this Chevy K5 Blazer in 1978, the year he was born. It was relatively stock when Joel bounced around in the back with his brother Ben on family adventures, but all of that changed in 2008 after Joel took ownership of the Blazer.
Living in Reno, Nevada, provides Joel with close proximity to both challenging trails and skilled fabricators. Before he could conquer the former, he paid a visit to the latter, namely Steve Springborn at Shaffer’s Off Road. Adding a durable drivetrain and supple suspension was a no-brainer, but a large amount of time and effort was also devoted to the body to allow Joel’s fullsize K5 to travel where Jeeps and buggies tread.
“There are over a thousand hours of fabrication time in the Blazer,” he noted. “To call this a labor of love would be an understatement.”
Joel and his wife Gena recently had their first child, so another generation will have the opportunity to be introduced to the great outdoors in the back of the family Blazer. Making the experience even better is the fact that Joel doesn’t own a tow rig. He doesn’t just drive on the trail, but on the street as well.
This one-owner Blazer has been in the Rasmus family for over 30 years
1979 Chevrolet K5 Blazer
Engine: 5.7L V-8
Transmission: TH350 3-speed automatic
Transfer case: Advance Adapters 4-speed Atlas II
Front Axle: Dana 60, ARB Air Locker, Yukon 4340 axleshafts and Super Joints, 5.13 gears
Rear Axle: Dana 70HD, Detroit Locker, 5.13 gears
Springs & Such: Fox coilovers and air bumps with custom link suspension
Tires & Wheels: 42x15-17LT Pit Bull Rockers on 17x9 Walker Evans beadlocks
Steering: PSC hydraulic assist
Other Stuff: 116-inch wheelbase, custom bumpers, Smittybilt winch, Rigid Industries LED light bar, pinched nose, dovetailed, boat-sides, Poly Performance Baja Basket