Automobile

Ringbrothers 1970 Chevy K5 Blazer Review: When a $250K Truck Makes Sense

The Blazer’s original hardtop has also been tossed in favor of a custom roll bar and a bikini soft top so you can really embrace the convertible life without completely ignoring the fact that you might occasionally want a roof over your head. Leatherwork by Upholstery Unlimited adorns the seats, dash pad, center console, door panels, and other interior pieces, while Ringbrothers custom switchgear, door handles, window cranks, and steering wheel stalks ensure that all the frequently-used parts of the cabin look and feel appropriately high quality.

While it’s not the clean-sheet approach that the Ringbrothers have taken on some other builds, the wide array of subtle, thoughtful touches seen in everything from custom turn signal bezels to the animated sequences in the LED tail lights serve as reminders that someone definitely sweated the details here.

Behind the Wheel of a $250,000 Blazer

Modernization makes old trucks more capable, reliable, and approachable, but this K5 certainly isn’t tame by contemporary standards. Singing through a pair of Flowmaster Super 44 Series mufflers, the LS3 springs to life with authority before settling down into a nice, choppy burble at idle, and at cruising speed the exhaust provides plenty of aural character without venturing into obnoxious territory.

But even with more than double the horsepower on tap versus its stock specification, this isn’t a truck that begs to be driven urgently. The old-school transmission seems to play a big role in that, but the three-speed also fits with the easy-going vibe of a truck that’s practically purpose-built to be pointed down PCH on a sunny afternoon. Same goes for the brakes; sure, these six-piston stoppers are a massive improvement over the factory hardware, but the Blazer still seems happier making broad, unhurried gestures.

Besides, solid front axles and 33-inch tires have never been a recipe for on-road handling precision, and this K5 isn’t really looking to buck the trend. The fact that the steering tracks relatively straight with very little in the way of on-center slop exceeds expectations anyway, and reinforces the notion that ‘effortless cool’ is the only vibe that you need to concern yourself with here. While the aesthetic of high-buck muscle cars and winged exotics come with performance expectations that must be validated to onlookers, trucks like this one prove their worth by simply showing up and having a good time.

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