Remember when the biggest concern in your day was figuring out where to hang out with your friends on a Friday or Saturday night? Looking to get that feeling of fun and carelessness back? Yeah us too! While your first ride may have been different, for us it was the first generation, Chevy Blazer. It was the epitome of cool. With the ability to go both on and off road, and having that back cap on or off, the good times never stopped. Call it nostalgia or call it an eye for a good build but when we came across this 1972 K5 Blazer built by Mark Sopko and Motor City K5 there was no stopping us from getting the details.
Classic Bow Tie 1972 Chevrolet K5 Blazer
This ride features a complete frame off rotisserie restoration with all of these meticulous details completed by Motor City K5. Savvy readers will remember the name as we last saw Motor City’s work at the 2019 Detroit Autorama. This particular build boasts a first-place finish in the 4×4 SUV class from Autorama, and speaks to the quality of builds from Motor City K5. Mark stated that “everyone that had a hand in this project from the paint shop to the body guys were all excited to come see it. You could tell they appreciated it as much as I did. That really meant a lot to me.”
Where Do We Start
Mark built the truck off of a rolling chassis that he had purchased, and a client from Colorado snapped it up. Whenever Motor City K5 starts a project the first question is always about the intentions for use by the client. This truck was being built for a husband and wife. The general plan was to keep it around town and not really take any big trips with it. They wanted it to be a nice driving truck that was reliable and comfortable. With this in mind, Mark and Motor City K5 went about the task of creating a ride that would have some of the modern conveniences while maintaining the beauty and integrity of the original vehicle.
The clients chose the exterior and interior colors, and they could not fit more seamlessly. Mark also noted that, “They really let me have the freedom to make decisions. Ultimately, this allowed me to make it as good as it could be. When you work with a client that is really cool like that I think it helps them get the very best product possible. It really was awesome.”
A Modern Power Plant Powers The 1972 K5 Blazer
Under the hood the modern 5.3-liter LS LM7 motor is outfitted with a Pacific Fab cross member and Accel ceramic plug wires. A Body EFI aluminum fuel tank with an Aeromotive Stealth 340 fuel pump was installed. Russell braided hoses & fittings make sure the go-juice gets to where it needs to be. Cooling duties are handled via a Superior aluminum LS conversion radiator with dual electric fans. An Airaid intake tube, Speed Engineering stainless headers, Mountain Machine 2.5-inch stainless exhaust, and Magnaflow stainless mufflers take care of breathing and exhaust.
A venerable 4L60E automatic transmission smoothly operates with a Lokar shift linkage and sends the power downrange to an NP241C transfer case. The transfer case sports a JB Custom Fabrication single stick flush mount cable shifter as well as a 1-inch Zone drop bracket. From there the torque heads to a High Angle slip yoke eliminator and into a 1350 CV joint. The always-reliable GM 12 Bolt rear axle’s pumpkin is stuffed with a Yukon 4.56 ring & pinion and a Yukon DuraGrip limited-slip differential.
The front of the big Blazer features a classic Dana 44 front axle. Once again a Yukon 4.56 ring & pinion got the nod. Classic Warn Premium lockouts make sure the front axle shafts know when it is time to go to work. This Blazer bow-tie has Offroad Design crossover steering and a BDS dual stabilizer kit. Fox steering stabilizers round out the front driveline.
This 1972 K5 Blazer Goes Fast And Stops Fast
Braking duties are handled by a Hydratech hydroboost brake booster assembly. The build has Inline Tube stainless steel brake lines and a stainless proportioning valve. Wilwood calipers reside on both the front and rear to make sure that the Blazer doesn’t quite make it to the crash site.
The 6-inch Deaver Springs long-travel leaf packs are held in place with Offroad Design u-bolts, retaining plates, and a front shackle kit. A one-inch billet aluminum body lift provides some extra clearance. Energy Suspension polyurethane bushings and bump stops, PRP limiting straps, and Fox 2.0 shocks finish out the suspensions elements.
For a good mix of off-road performance and pleasant road manners, this Blazer is equipped with 35×12.50×17 BF Goodrich ATKO2 Tires. They are in turn wrapped around 17×9 American Racing VNA69 Ansen Sprint wheels. These wheels have just the right amount of flash to complement the rest of the truck’s exterior. They also look very period correct on this classic blazer!
A 1972 K5 Blazer That Has Bling
Speaking of the exterior one of the first things we noticed on this particular bow tie was the color. The paint is a custom blend from House of Kolor named Pavo Purple and Metalume Medium, and is covered with a clear coat sprayed by Auto body by Mark. He is based in Brighton, Michigan, and he sure did a great job on this project. The Blazer has Raptor liner on both the inside and bottom of the body tub for durability and longevity. Other notable bits on the exterior include the Motor City K5 rear hatch assembly.
The use of quality components and attention to detail continues inside the big Blazer. A Dakota Digital RTX instrument cluster, American Autowire harness, Painless battery cables, and RnJ Customs LS harness. Along with Vintage Air A/C, and the custom vinyl and plaid seat upholstery immediately catch the eye. Sharp eyes will also catch the Auto Custom Carpet loop carpet. As well as Motor City K5 seat belt kit, Motor City K5 stainless hold down trim, and Motor City K5 vintage rollbar. A Retrosound head unit, JL audio 6.5-inch and 5.5-inch mids, 8-inch subwoofer, and a 5-channel amp keep the good tunes pumping out on the trail or highway.
From In Town To The Mountains
While the finished product speaks for itself, the project was not without challenges. Mark explained, “The original frame that we used for the build had a bad twist in it. I had to take the majority of the frame apart to square and straighten it. That was before the build even began!” The company does all of the custom metal fabrication work on its own. This independence is a huge benefit to its customers. Be sure to check out their website for all of your hard-to-find products.
Despite the original plan of only driving this rig around town the owners flew out to Michigan from Colorado and then drove the Blazer back home. No issues were reported during that trip. In fact, the experience was so positive that about a month later the family started taking trips into the mountains. Mark said, “That was never the original plan. But, I think that it is so cool that they thought that much of the truck. They are now living the dream and enjoying the vehicle’s full capabilities.”