Custom 1985 Chevrolet Blazer - Trust No One

A Do-It-Yourselfer's Dream

Lance Martz
Mar 1, 2005
Photographers: Lance Martz, Mike Alexander
Photo 2/15   |   Owner: Daniel SimpsonRide: '85 Chevy BlazerHometown: Kemah, TexasClub Affiliation: Severed Ties
When Daniel Simpson decided to go all-out on a custom ride, he wanted to make sure that when he was done, he'd achieved just about every dream he'd ever had. His previous truck, a '98 'bagged and body-dropped S-10, was close to what he'd envisioned, but he felt that there'd be more room to roam if he built something with a larger interior. That was when he started looking around for a Blazer. After finding the perfect $1,500 guinea pig to start his project, Daniel went to work building his version of the ultimate custom. It took him almost two years to get the Blazer to the point you see it at today, but the results are well worth any hardships he may have encountered along the way.
As you can probably guess, a Blazer that only costs $1,500 probably isn't the cleanest ride you'll ever purchase. It's not at the pinnacle of roadworthiness, for sure. Since that's exactly what Daniel paid for his Blazer, he had a long, long way to go before the Chevy would turn anyone's head to gawk in amazement. One of the first things he did was to take control of the buildup, making sure he was involved with every part. Daniel did most of the work from start to finish. When he started to shave it out, he committed himself to doing it all alone. That way, he not only saved the money he'd have spent paying someone to do it, but he knew that if things didn't come out right, he had no one to blame but himself. When the truck's bodywork was complete, he began to work on other areas and made plans toward getting the Blazer ready for paint.
Photo 6/15   |   1985 Chevrolet Blazer custom Hood
By the time the Blazer was ready to be sprayed in a paint booth, the engine bay was stripped bare and the firewall was smoothed. Every square inch of the mini-SUV was sprayed using House of Kolor's Sunset Pearl. When the truck had a brand-new look to it, Daniel entrusted the flamed graphics to his buddy Patrick. He laid out the licks, sprayed them using House of Kolor's Red, dusted the flames with micro-flake before pinstriping them with Baby Blue, and sealed the whole job under a glossy coat of clear. With the paint on the outside looking absolutely stellar, all that was left to do was everything else.
With Daniel in total control of the buildup, he pulled and freshened up an engine from a '78 Corvette. He knew the brand-new, smooth firewall would really make the custom touches on the engine stand out. Making short work of getting the new engine and transmission into place, Daniel moved into the interior areas of the Blazer to finish the project in time to start showing it. The entire interior centers around a handmade fiberglass form, which Daniel created to use to upholster what became the centerpiece of his interior - a custom dash. Farther back, cut-down bucket seats were upholstered to match the dash, and a custom center console was built from fiberglass and painted to match the new base color of the Blazer.
Photo 7/15   |   1985 Chevrolet Blazer rear Passenger Side View
The Blazer was completed to the point you see it at just before Showfest 2004. As a matter of fact, Daniel got the truck put back together just in time for the massive show in Greenville, Mississippi, and we were one of the first to be able to see this beyond-bright display of custom work close up. Since we had trouble peeling our eyes off the Blazer, we figured MT readers would feel the same way. We hope you agree.
Photo 8/15   |   1985 Chevrolet Blazer drivers Side View
The Lowdown

Wheels/Tires 20-inch; 212 custom wheels with 245/35/20 Nitto tires all around
Suspension Two-inch drop spindles / reworked upper control arms / Firestone 2500-series air springs / custom two-link rear suspension setup / all work performed by Daniel Simpson
Chassis Boxed chassis / 2x2-inch-steel square tubing used for reinforcement / 8-gallon fuel cell
Body Modifications Shaved door handles / shaved mirror mounts / shaved body line / shaved tailgate handle / shaved taillights / shaved fuel filler door / smoothed steel roll pan / 6-1/2-inch body drop / fullsize Chevy truck bumper cut down to fit and welded back together / molded front bumper to fenders / phantom billet grille / hood-pin closures on hood / secret fuel-filler location / molded hood snorkel for vertical clearance with V-8 installed
Photo 9/15   |   1985 Chevrolet Blazer custom Ragtop Roof
Paint/Graphics House of Kolor's SunsetPearl basecoat / House of Kolor's flame graphics sprayed by Daniel's friend Patrick
Engine/Performance 355-cid V-8 from a '78 Corvette bored out 0.030 over / K.B. pistons / turbo 350 transmission / B&M shift kit / ceramic-coated Hedman exhaust headers / modified driveshaft / 8-1/2mm MSD plug wires / HEI Pro distributor
Interior Colorado Custom billet aluminum steering wheel / hand-made custom fiberglass dash by Daniel Simpson / custom-upholstered vinyl seats, dash, and floor / tweed flooring / all interior stitch work by Daniel Simpson / interior paint by Patrick / full-length ragtop roof with clear vinyl used instead of stay-fast material in three panels / custom fiberglass center console with air pressure gauges and controls painted Sunset Pearl by Patrick
Stereo Alpine head unit / Rockford Fosgate Punch 1,800-watt amplifier / Kicker 10-inch subwoofers / Kicker 6-1/2-inch midrange speakers
Special Thanks Patrick, Matt, and Gerritt



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