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Blaze of Glory

by David Carroll

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In the pro-touring world, there is nothing currently hotter than the truck segment. With the addition of a truck class for the first time at the Ultimate Street Car Association “USCA”, commonly referred to from the racers as just “Optima”, and the 2nd annual Pro-Touring Truck Shootout in April at Wild Horse Pass Motorsport Park in Chandler, Arizona, this year will be like none before it for those out there who love to race their trucks or are in the process of building one right now. 

For myself, a long-time autocrosser, and no stranger to tackling uncommon builds like an LS-swapped 1975 280Z, as well as my most recent build, a 1973 Vega powered by a GM LTG 2.0L turbo four-cylinder, it was finally time to stick my toe into the pro-touring truck pool. Or to be specific –  a Chevy Blazer pool. A 1974 4WD Cheyenne to be exact. 

With a wife and two young boys, Id initially wanted something to take the family off-roading every now and then, and the Blazer seemed like the perfect choice. It wasn’t in mint condition as it sat, and it ran fine with no issues, so if the kids spilled a happy meal in the back seat – no harm, no foul. However, anyone that knows me, knows I like my vehicles to handle well and go fast. 

After talking with good friend and fellow truck racer and fabricator, Rob MacGregor, of No Limit Engineering fame, the seed was quickly planted to build an autocross Blazer instead of a four-wheeling overlanding rig. Unlike a C10, the Blazer has a significantly smaller wheelbase which I prefer for on-track competition. I like a more balanced power to weight ratio approach rather than just throwing cubic inches under the hood. 

Many would shy away from converting a factory four wheel drive vehicle into any sort of corner carving machine, but those that know me, know that’s probably why I wans to take on such a challenge. The plan is to install a DIY twin turbo setup onto a 5.3 L83 from a 2016/17 Silverado and mate it to a T56 from a Camaro. This setup should be good for 700 HP at the crank. The original body will be completely worked over and painted in it’s factory original Ochre and white skin. No Limit Engineering will handle the lefts and rights thrown at. 

The goal for this build is simple – to get as many top notch companies on board which will help me compete amongst my peers on the weekends, but also be subtle enough for the wife to hop into the driver’s seat and take the family to the beach when I’m not abusing it. Follow along as we document the build process of “Blaze of Glory” in each issue of CK Truck Mag. 

On a side note – With each and every build (as in life), sometimes things do not go as planned, and this build would be no different. On January 16th, 2021,I lost my 36 year old sister, JoAnna Elizabeth Carroll, to a brain hemorrhage. I’m not one for turning to the bottle or drugs, and I have decided to focus my loss into building one bad ass Blazer!

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Blaze of Glory is a multi-part installment featuring a ground-up ‘75 Blazer build by Northern Californian and autocrosser, David Carroll. We will be following his progress over the next few months as he puts together his idea of the ultimate on-track Blazer. Photographer and all-around good guy, Terry Lysak, will be photographing the progress and documenting everything along the way.

This month’s introduction gives us a glimpse of what David started his journey with – a dry K5 Blazer that had been enjoyed to the max by its previous owners.

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Blaze of Glory Project Sponsors
  • Falken Tire
  • Centerforce
  • Jongbloed Racing Wheels
  • Ron Davis Racing
  • AutoMeter
  • No Limit Engineering
  • Viking Shocks
  • Wilwood Brakes
  • Square One Vintage
  • Adan Sandoval Painting
  • Automotive Color and Paint (Hollister, CA)
  • Maita Motorsports
  • Marcus Fry Racing
  • K&N
  • Spectre Performance
  • Optima Batteries
  • DJ Safety
  • Ricks Tanks
  • South Bay Driveline
  • Magnaflow (Pending)
  • Miller Built USA
  • Holley Performance
  • Comp Cams

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