1971 K5 Blazer | BLAZIN

A Tale of Two Covers

Building a dream truck is a goal most enthusiasts only wish for. A few actually get to experience it, and even fewer have the opportunity to build more than just one. Dedication to a goal that can be easily set off course with bad luck or shady people is hard to maintain, and when you hear the story on the history of this truck, it’s clear that a few highly dedicated and motivated people had plenty of one-on-one time in the garage with this ’71 K5 Blazer. 

The Blazer started out as a beat-up truck in Northern California. Steve Ortega Jr. of Brentwood, California, picked up the primered and bagged but otherwise stock Blazer dirt cheap. After giving up on the goal, he sold the truck to Rich Schreiner, who then commissioned Bob Grant at Grant Customz in Oroville, California, to do some custom bodywork, including raking back the windshield, smoothing the pillars and welding up the rear combo skin. He also reworked and molded the complete frontend as one, which included a pancaked and slanted hood. If you notice, the bodyline travels around the entire truck seamlessly. A set of taillights from a ’65 Oldsmobile were molded in the rear, and the truck was body-dropped a total of 3 inches to sit flat on the ground.

Rich’s roadster had a strong California feel to it, with a solid, reliable drivetrain he could count on. Before his unfortunate passing, he was able to enjoy the first version of this amazing build, but it would be the last.

He also reworked and molded the complete frontend as one, which included a pancaked and slanted hood. If you notice, the bodyline travels around the entire truck seamlessly. 

After racking up multiple event awards and magazine covers, an accident caused the Blazer to head back to the shop in need of some heavy repair. Luckily, Rich positively impacted the lives of some prominent truck builders, including the next owner in line, Rick Brandt. Rick knew the passion that Rich poured into this ’71 Chevy K5 Blazer, and he knew it had to be repaid and updated to the end. So, he gave the green light to go all out and spare no expense, which is obvious with the final result.

Moving to the interior, a contoured access panel reveals a 15-gallon fuel cell and the rear suspension for easy maintenance and quick fill-ups. A handmade sheetmetal dash set off the one-of-a-kind interior that flowed directly into the custom-built door skins and interior panels. Dakota Digital gauges keep the driver aware of everything in the drive train, and a completely custom JL Audio system was installed by Provost Motorsports. Under the hood is a 572c.i. big-block pumping out around 620 hp. Dressing up the engine or a set of March Performance billet pulleys, air cleaner and polished upper radiator hose. A CPP master cylinder was also ordered in a polished finish along with some Hedman ceramic coated headers to send the exhaust fumes back through some 2 ½-inch pipes.

Once the truck was complete and released into the show scene for a second time, it first appeared at the launching of the Street Trucks Showoff Series event in Sacramento, California. The Blazer won “Best of Show” overall, winning $1,500 in cash and the cover of Street Trucks magazine. A great story for a great group of true truck enthusiasts—but wait! There’s more!

If you see it, get some photos and meet the owner because this is one of those iconic trucks that may only be on the show circuit for a limited time.

Now that the truck is complete and taking home the prize money, Rick has some other important projects he needs to attend to. So, what happens to award winning, show stopping, magazine cover trucks when the owner needs to move on?

In this case, Blazin’ was sold to a fellow C10 Club member named Kevin Wohl who is excited to own, maintain and show off this beautiful build. The truck will appear at many C10 events as well as national events all around the country, especially some North California events. If you see it, get some photos and meet the owner because this is one of those iconic trucks that may only be on the show circuit for a limited time. One truck with two Street Trucks covers is an accomplishment that not many others can brag about. Maybe it’ll take the title of the 2021 Street Trucks Truck of the Year? We will see!

 

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