1972 Chevy Blazer With a Few Tricks

Slight of Hand

Verne SimonsPhotographer, Writer

Usually we find features for Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road on the trail. Why? We like spending time on the trail, and we also like sharing info on rigs that are built to use off-road. Still, sometimes we find vehicles in places that we don’t really expect to find them.

This clean and seemingly mildly built yellow 1972 K5 Chevy Blazer popped up on our radar on Facebook of all places. We’ve known the owner and builder, Ryan Kennelly, for several years. He has been posting images of the Blazer since he bought it. You see, Ryan is a project manager by trade and has spent many years dabbling with lots of projects, mainly for his employer, Pro Comp Suspension.

Ryan apparently decided he needed a project, and he has always been a fan of this generation of Chevy trucks. The plan is and has been to build a rig with period-correct looks but with modern features. That plan sounds familiar to us, and it’s more than just a great idea.

After a long while of looking for a 1967-1972 short-bed pickup, Ryan found the Blazer near, Gardnerville, Nevada. Although the truck was a bit rougher around the edges (and the floors and rocker panels) than Ryan had envisioned, he took the one-owner Blazer home with him to serve as the canvas for his ideas. He hit the bull’s eye with the project, creating a retro-cool rig with more than just a few modern tricks up its sleeves—or in its wheelwells.

After seeing the Blazer come together on the internet we were finally able to meet up with Ryan again and get our first in-person look at this truck at the 2018 Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari near the Salton Sea in Southern California (covered in Aug. 2018 and here: bit.ly/2Hs0lKz). To learn all of the truck’s secrets, and some of Ryan’s, check out the photos and captions below.

Tech Specs
1972 Chevrolet Blazer
>Drivetrain
Engine: Chevy 350 stroked to 383 with flattop pistons, Edelbrock heads, Roller cam, and so on.
Transmission: GM 4L60E
Transfer Case: Twin-sticked NP205
Front Axle: Factory Dana 44 with 3.73:1 gears and an ARB Air Locker, G2 locking hubs
Rear Axle: Factory GM 12-bolt with 3.73:1 gears and an ARB Air Locker
>Suspension
Springs & Such: Hodgepodge of springs from Pro Comp and 4Wheel Parts with leaves added and removed to yield about 2 inches of lift over stock, and Pro Comp shocks
Tires & Wheels: 33x10.5R15 BFGoodrich KM2s on 15x8 Wheelsmith wheels
Steering: Crossover steering conversion
Other: Period-correct Pro Comp driving lights, custom tow points piercing factory bumpers, hidden Smittybilt XRC 10 winch, custom 40-gallon tank, modified factory tire carrier, color-matched bedliner sprayed interior, Vintage Air A/C, soft top from Softtopper

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