Alcohol can have some strange effects on people. Depending on the persons involved, it can either turn you into a numbskull or, in rare cases, a certified genius. Somehow two of those rare geniuses came together as friends and developed an idea over some beers one night – build a SEMA project! Now on the surface, you might question which category Larry Thompson and his buddy, Steve Garfield, actually belong to when you consider how crazy it sounds to build a SEMA truck out of the blue. But you have to admit that SEMA does have a way of motivating people to work long hours in a short amount of time!
After going their separate ways for the night and getting a few hours of sleep, both woke up to find that neither one of them actually had a truck to build. Talk about a buzzkill! Well, the dream was great while it lasted, right? The idea seemed to fade away over the next few months, until Steve called up Larry one day and told him to meet him in Chatsworth, CA. When Larry arrived, he found Steve leaning against a ‘72 Chevy Blazer, patting the hood and saying something about how “mint” it was. It turns out that Steve had bought the truck without consulting Larry first and just assumed that it would be fine. A few beers later, it was!
Now that the dream had been resurrected, Steve and Larry had some decisions to make. The first was that the truck would be slammed, and the second was that it would be a full-time roadster. Obviously neither one of those is the simplest job in the world, and the former was compounded by the fact that the Blazer was a four-wheel drive! Of course, there are ways of taking care of that problem on the cheap, but neither Larry nor Steve were planning on skimping any on this build. After all – SEMA! To that end, Roadster Shop was called up for one of its SPEC Series air ride chassis, which was outfitted with Airlift airbags, Fox shocks, a Ford 9-inch rear end, and 14-inch Wilwood brakes all around. That alone knocked a huge chunk out of the project since all of the underpinnings were pretty much done at that point.
On the roadster end of things, the guys enlisted the expertise of Custom Enterprises, which chopped the windshield two inches while laying it back 1.5 inches, then capping the doors and sheetmetal all the way back to the tailgate. And, of course, there are a ton of other body mods as well, such as the shaved handles and custom tailgate spoiler, not to mention the ‘67 front sheet metal swap.
After the many hours of bodywork were completed, the Blazer was super close to being painted white, but Steve happened to be visiting Custom Enterprises and saw a ‘40 Ford painted in a custom mixed black cherry candy color that completely mesmerized him. It didn’t take much to convince Larry that adopting the same color for their Blazer would yield a greater impact, so the new plan was put into effect, with a slight tweak by adding silver to the lower rocker area underneath the aluminum trim.
And although a fair share of SEMA vehicles get pushed into the show (hey, stuff happens), Larry and Steve wouldn’t be having any of that nonsense, so they called upon Ramon Gomez to install a boost-ready LS3 crate engine from GM Performance in front of a TCI-built 4L60E, then topped it off with a Magnuson TVS2300 supercharger, bringing the engine’s output to about 550 horsepower!
As with most builds, the interior was among the last things to come together, but as you can see it certainly wasn’t an afterthought. A clever use of cut-down Ford Aerostar seats and a bunch of custom fabrication went into the cabin area, which was built by Gabriel Ponce and features lots of diamond-stitched leather, a Tesla console section built into the custom center console, and even a wood floor section in the cargo area.
After finally buttoning everything up on the Blazer for the final time, Larry and Steve were… a little too far behind to secure a spot at SEMA after a job relocation and some other unfortunate setbacks. Yeah, kind of a bummer outcome on one hand, but on the other hand they persevered and got it done not too long after. More recently, Larry arranged to relocate the Blazer to his new home in the San Luis Obispo area, where he joined the Central Coast chapter of C/10 Club. With the stress of SEMA no longer a concern, Larry and Steve have been able to enjoy the most important part of owning a custom truck – friendship, community, and some more late-night brews to celebrate a job well done!
LARRY THOMPSON & STEVE GARFIELD • ‘72 BLAZER
- 2017 Chevrolet LS3 crate engine
- Magnuson TVS2300 supercharger
- Custom K&N air filter
- Stainless tube headers
- 3-inch custom stainless exhaust with Flowmaster mufflers
- Be Cool aluminum radiator with dual fans
- TCI 4L60E transmission
- TCI 11-inch torque converter
- TCI paddle shifter
- TCI EZ-TCU trans controller
- Custom aluminum driveshaft
- Roadster Shop SPEC air ride chassis
- Custom aluminum 15-gallon fuel cell
- Air Lift airbags front and rear
- AccuAir E-Level
- AccuAir ENDO-CVT compressor/valve/tank setup
- Fox shocks front and rear
- Wilwood 14-inch brakes front and rear
- Hydroboost brake booster
- 20x10 and 22x15 Kompression RLU-556 wheels
- 295/40R20 and 325/35R22 Pirelli P-Zero tires
- Roadstered body w/capped doors/bed sides
- Windshield chopped two inches & leaned back 1.5 inches
- 1967 C-10 front clip
- Custom metal spoiler
- Shaved door handles
- Front and rear bumpers narrowed two inches
- Custom mesh grille inserts
- Custom LED taillights
- Custom mixed R-M Carizzma black cherry candy/silver paint
- Custom aluminum dash panel
- Dakota Digital gauges
- CON2R Pomona steering wheel
- Modified Ford Aerostar seats
- Custom door panels and center console w/Tesla center section
- Leather upholstery
- Porsche light gray carpeting
- Vintage Air SureFit A/C system
- Alpine iLX-F411 head unit
- Alpine amplifiers
- Rockford Fosgate 5-inch and 8-inch speakers
- (2) Bazooka bass tubes
- Painless wiring harnesses