The Ringbrothers 1970 Chevrolet K5 Blazer, though superbly modernized, still possesses a working-class soul. Beneath its upgraded skin and hardware, the restomod’s old-school character is reminiscent of common car-enthusiast memories, perhaps recalling the determination of the kind of everyman who worked relentlessly in the driveway to keep a ragged pickup truck running. Those same people today would probably lose their marbles if this $250,000 Chevy K5 Blazer in radiant Growler Green pulled into the drive.
Ringbrothers worked on this project to support the nonprofit Team Rubicon, an organization focused on mobilizing veterans who help with natural disaster response. The $250,000 Chevy K5 Blazer is the first of its kind for Ringbrothers: This truck is not a commissioned build ordered by a client. Instead, one lucky individual will win the custom pickup in a sweepstakes that is open for entry now and runs through September 16. Before a winner was selected, we spent an evening driving the Ringbrothers Chevy K5 Blazer along California’s Pacific Coast Highway.
Compared to other impressive creations from Wisconsin-based Ringbrothers—like its AMC Javelin and the UNKL Mustang Mach 1—the Chevy K5 Blazer restoration appears more subdued. Ringbrothers straightened the body panels, added a carbon-fiber hood with billet inserts, and enlarged the wheelwells to accommodate 18×12-inch HRE wheels sporting 33-inch General Tire Grabber X3 all-terrain rubber. In addition to the aesthetically proper BASF Glasurit 55 Line paint job, the stock hardtop is swapped for a custom rollover bar and bikini soft top.
The satin bronze HRE wheels complement the sublime green paint, which shifts tone depending on how sunlight falls onto the truck’s surfaces. Chrome lettering and badges, sequential taillights, a custom machined gas cap, and Warn 4WD lockouts are among the modest features that highlight the exterior.
If the impeccable bodywork impresses, the interior leatherwork will astonish you; it defines “no stone left unturned.” Ringbrothers updated all the switchgear and hardware, including the steering-wheel stalks, door handles, bezels, window cranks, and glove box door. Other upgrades include Dakota Digital gauges, Ididit steering column, Kenwood head unit, Kicker speakers and amplifier, and Dynamat Xtreme noise dampening.
Upholstery Unlimited added its magic touch throughout. Outfitted with Camo Caramel soft leather that mimics Sahara Desert sand, the seats, dashboard, door panels, center console, and steering wheel feel great when you slide your fingers across them. The high-quality leather extends to the side panels, rollover bar, subwoofer, and tailgate with breathtakingly meticulous embroidery. You understandably might want to take a shower and put on disposable shoe covers before you climb inside, lest you leave the slightest trace of your occupancy upon the beautiful surfaces. And considering the gorgeous soft-top conversion, the Ringbrothers 1970 Chevy K5 Blazer should only partake in overnight parking inside a garage’s confines with a car cover in place.
Powertrain and Suspension
Below the aggressively styled cowl-induction hood, a Wegner 6.2-liter LS3 V-8, rated at 430 hp and 425 lb-ft of torque, rests 4.0 inches behind a newly built firewall. While a rear-wheel-drive system comes standard, part-time four-wheel drive and low range are also available. A Bowler Tru-Street three-speed automatic gearbox directs power to the rear wheels, and Baer disc brakes with six-piston calipers at each corner provide stopping power. Suspension tuning includes QA1 shocks and anti-roll bars, which improve the K5 Blazer’s body control.
Messy Hair; Don’t Care
Climbing into the cabin requires you pull yourself up using a sturdy part of the K5 Blazer’s body due to the absence of step bars. Shutting the door yields a loud thunk that provides an obvious impression of solid build quality. The entire experience feels like freedom the moment you turn the ignition and point the pickup lazily onto the road. Tease the accelerator pedal, and the Flowmaster Super 44 Series exhaust snaps back at you with throaty growls.
On narrow canyon roads with twisty curves, you find yourself turning the steering wheel to no avail. The resistance from the beefy 33-inch tires results at first in the K5 surprising you with its tendency to push over into the opposite lane. But abject fear turns into joyous exhilaration once you figure out how to steer the Blazer properly. You learn quickly, however, it does not want you to drive it like a maniac; you could, though, and it generally exhibits good road manners.
The laissez faire steering demands a lot of driver input to maintain the husky Blazer in a straight line, forcing you to concentrate harder than usual. Merciless wind infiltrating the cabin is part of the open-air experience, and it awakens your senses and soothes you on a warm afternoon’s drive down the California coastline. Despite the modifications and modern upgrades, it’s reasonable to say Ringbrothers restored this 1970 Chevy K5 Blazer to near perfection while respecting its heritage.
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