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BLAZE OF GLORY

THE FINAL CHAPTER

by Terry Lysak

It’s been a little bit over a year since this journey began on these very pages of CK Truck Mag and as you very well know, a lot can happen in a year and David’s Blazer is no different. It’s been a long and winding road getting here but in the end I think you all will agree it was well worth the weight in Gold (or Ochre,to be exact).

For those of you that might’ve missed the first part of this series, let us pull the curtain back a little on how and why “Blaze of Glory” was started in the first place. In the autocross world, it’s always been a market filled with Camaros, Corvettes, Miatas, and similar platforms for years. It hasn’t been until recently that the truck market has blown up in popularity. Now, you see more and more trucks trying to swerve between the cones than hauling the cones.

Sure, building a C10 to autocross is now a proven platform and David Carroll of course could’ve gone that way, as well. However, what do you do when you have a wife and two kids and you also want to take that so-called cone killer out for ice cream after a long day of racing? Well, if you’re David, you build a Blazer so you can do both.

The result you see here on these very pages did not start out as this prim and proper turn key Blazer. Initially looking at this 1974 rattle can camo painted Cheyenne you would assume it already had seen its best days in its rearview mirror. However, David is no stranger to building vehicles and he isn’t afraid to put in the hard work to transform a vehicle that many would have not given a second chance in life.

The first plan of attack was to call fellow competitor and suspension guru Rob MacGregor to help get this Blazer closer to sea level. A Blazer on 35’s is good for a lot of things but autocrossing would not be one of them. The Blazer utilizes No Limit’s Wide Ride IFS up front and Fatbar 4-Link suspension kit in the rear. Viking coilovers and Wilwood disc brakes help complete the setup. Jongbloed Racing Wheels wrapped in Falken rubber complete the look.

Now that the suspension was taken care of it was time to address the powerplant needed to help get this old girl moving. When David acquired the Blazer, it could move under its own power which was all fine and dandy, but to do the things David envisioned this Blazer doing the stock powerplant wasn’t going to cut it. So, out came the tired stocker and in went a 2018 5.3 L83 Gen V LT.

In addition to the engine swap, the goal was always to add twin turbos to the setup. So, a set of Ebay special 56mm T3-style turbos were bolted on. The purpose being to gain inexpensive horsepower with adjustability depending on track conditions or length of the course. By adjusting the boost from 4-8 psi, it can make a huge change in the performance output of the 5.3 engine. As time and money allows, an upgrade in turbos will likely be in need but for now it does the job quite nicely. A new RXT Mcleod clutch is mated up nicely to the T56 transmission with a custom American flag driveshaft from South Bay Driveline to add some extra flare.

With the mechanicals taken care of, it was time to visually make the truck appealing to the eye. Although David does most of the work on his builds, taking on a project such as the body and paint was more than what he was used to. Luckily, friend Adam Sandoval would take on the task of transforming it from the backwoods hunting rig into this beautiful 2-tone Ochre and white combo. New sheetmetal was supplied by Auto Metal Direct and Classic Industries where needed.

Even though this truck would see more track days than your normal family cruiser, that doesn’t mean the interior would lack form and function. Custom covered PRP buggy seats with harnesses front and rear keep David and his family securely in place. Matching rear side panels and wheel well covers really pull the interior together. A custom roll bar by Ryan Agan of Agan Fabrication and powdercoated by Jerry Bridle gives the Blazer some added protection.

Up front, where all the business takes place, is the newly released Autometer LCD C10/Blazer OBDII Dash custom fit in the original location. A PRP alcantara wrapped steering wheel gives a nice custom touch. ARC audio speakers are controlled via bluetooth when the Blazer isn’t commissioned for track duty. New tan carpet and a chocolate brown dash pad help bring some newness inside the 48 year old cabin.

As David puts it, a vehicle is never fully finished. Especially one designed to go around makeshift road courses almost every weekend throughout the country. Nonetheless, since the SUV has been track ready, he has attended numerous events with much success. Is David a wheelman? Well, sure, but that doesn’t take away from its purpose and what it was designed and built to do. Take home some trophies and then take the whole family out for Ice Cream after.

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