Chevrolet S10 Blazer - Ruthless

An Old-School Blazer with Attitude

Mike AlexanderOct 1, 2004
Photo 2/12
Chris Wilson of Tucson, Arizona, is no stranger to building custom vehicles. He rolls with the infamous Negative Camber crew and has built everything from street rods to street trucks, including a '28 Roadster, an '83 Ranger, and a '95 S-15.
Like any true custom enthusiasts, the last project wasn't even done before the itch to start a new one took hold. He'd been eye-balling square-body two-door S-Blazers for quite some time and decided one of these would be the next victim of his twisted imagination. He came across the perfect specimen in May 2002 and snatched it up for a paltry $2,200. This time around, he decided he would build a complete custom vehicle to showcase his talents and that of his own custom fabrication shop, Ruthless Customs.
As do most automotive enthusiasts, Chris began working out of his house with a few buddies, but rapidly outgrew the confines of the homestead. At that point, he decided he needed a shop, so Ruthless Customs was born out of necessity. Like any good custom shop, nothing speaks more about your talents and skills than does a rolling business card, and the newly acquired S-Blazer was it.
Chris initiated the buildup by mapping out a plan of attack. He knew that the Blazer would be a complete build, including a super-built motor and a pimped-out interior. Chris also knew that with the help of Travis Martin for the paint and bodywork, Ruthless Customs could build the entire Blazer in-house.
The crew started by tearing into the suspension. The guys installed a set of Belltech 2-inch drop spindles and 'bagged the Blazer all the way around using Firestone airbags. After they built the three-link setup for the rear and finished the rest of the suspension components, the crew at Ruthless powdercoated and chromed everything that could be unbolted. For rolling stock, Chris picked up a set of Eagle 18x8-inch rims to lay the truck out on, and then was ready to move onto the next step: the engine.
He knew that the engine would be the heart and soul of this beast and he wanted its bark to be as loud as its bite. Chris started with a 355ci small-block Chevy to replace the Blazer's tired 4.3L V-6. Since nothing says performance like twin Holley four-barrels sitting atop a huge polished tunnel ram intake sticking through the hood, Chris went old-school and bolted this combo onto the small-block. And while headers and dual exhausts would make the small-block bark, Chris also wanted a little extra performance music from under the hood, so the Chevy was fitted with a geardrive setup on the front of the engine. For looks, chrome and billet were used liberally throughout the engine compartment.
As Chris was building and detailing his engine down to the very last bolt with plenty of chrome and billet accessories, Travis Martin began to do the bodywork on the Blazer. He smoothed out the body seams and installed a roll pan to clean up the rear. Once the body was to their liking, Travis sprayed the truck with R&M's Hugger Orange for a bright, clean look.
With a chromed-out 420hp motor and a bright-orange exterior, the interior had to be just as amazing as the rest of the truck to keep with the super-clean theme. The crew at Ruthless stripped the inside down to bare metal and got to work. The guys threw the old dash out and swapped in a custom fiberglass version painted Hugger Orange to match the exterior. Dolphin gauges were mounted to monitor the engine's vitals and the air suspension pressures.
Photo 9/12   |   Chris' Blazer sports a set of Eagle 18x8-inch wheels wrapped in 225/40R18 low-pro rubber.
For a taste of Rat Fink nostalgia, Chris built a super-tall billet shifter topped with a skull that sits well above the dash. Next, they wrapped a pair of Saturn bucket seats with leopard print and black vinyl. The rest of the interior, including the headliner, carpet, and door panels, also received matching leopard-print material to bring the beast to life.
After the guys finished putting it all back together, there's no doubt they were extremely happy with all their accomplishments. After the truck was taken to a few shows, we're sure that Chris' shop began to overflow with customers hoping to have their rides turn out half as dope as Chris' Ruthless Blazer.
The Lowdown
Wheels/Tires: 18x8-inch Eagle wheels wrapped with 225/40R18 tires
Suspension/Chassis: Suspension modifications by Ruthless Customs in Tucson, Arizona / Belltech 2-inch drop spindles / Firestone airbags all the way around / chrome and powdercoated suspension components and rearend / stainless-steel brake lines / custom three-link rear suspension setup
Body Modifications/Paint: Smoothed body seams / roll pan / swapped stock mirrors for a set of hot-rod billet mirrors / custom-made Negative Camber grille insert / Travis Martin did all the bodywork and painted the Blazer R&M Hugger Orange
Interior/Stereo: Interior by Ruthless Customs / fiberglass dash painted to match exterior / Dolphin gauges / Saturn bucket seats wrapped with leopard print and black vinyl / leopard-print carpet and headliner / tall custom billet shifter topped with a skull head / Billet Specialties steering column / Colorado Custom steering wheel / two 10-inch Audiobahn subwoofers in custom enclosure behind front seats
Engine/Performance: Engine mods by Ruthless Customs / 355ci Chevy small-block crate motor and GM Turbo 350 transmission combo / 420 hp / polished tunnel ram intake with twin Holley four-barrel carbs / geardrive / chrome and billet dress-up accessories / custom driveshaft / B&M shift kit / relocated Optima battery to rear of truck / Hedman headers powder-coated silver / DynoMax 2-1/2-inch exhaust / Mallory distributor and coil / Taylor plug wires
First Place at Super Chevy / Second Place at Vegas Nationals and Best Engine
Special Thanks: Ruthless Customs / Travis Martin / Photo Finish

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