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1996 Chevy S-10 Blazer - Facelift

It looks 10 years younger

Brandan Gillogly
Feb 22, 2008
Photographers: Dan Ward
Photo 2/13   |   1996 Chevy S10 Blazer left Side View 2
Several vehicles manage to stop us in our tracks while we're walking through the vast aisles of the SEMA show, many of them are cars. But when we came across this '96 Blazer, owned by Ryan Alvidrez, we were amazed that the transformation he'd made looked so natural. A common reaction was, "Why didn't someone try that sooner?"
Photo 3/13   |   20x8.5-inch Bonspeed Ramone wheels and 35-series Toyo rubber were mounted on all four corners.
Let's start with the most obvious. The body was shaved by Mike Toone in Corcoran, California, where S-10 truck bed sides and a roll pan were used to create a clean view from the rear. This part of the build began years ago, as Ryan needed a clean driver which also served as an advertisement for A'z Auto Parts, his parents' business. Along the way, GM decided to release its new '07 GMC Sierra. Apparently, it didn't take long for Ryan to realize that the grille and headlights, with a bit of trimming here and there, would look great on the front of his Blazer.
Enter Steve Chapman from Fabworxs in Fresno, California. After sectioning aSierra billet grille and trimming the Blazer's front fenders, the '07 headlights made a natural update to the '96 sheetmetal. With the body all set for paint, Mike Toone painted the base House of Kolor Majik Blue, before Vince Gonzalez, again from Fresno, sprayed the overlapping tribal graphics in contrasting silver with green pinstriping and drop shadowing to finish things off.
Photo 4/13   |   1996 Chevy S10 Blazer earthquake Speakers
Setting off the smoothed and updated body is a chassis that tucks 20-inch Bonspeed wheels at each corner. To get the clearance needed, Ryan again left the Blazer in the trusted hands of Steve Chapman. Belltech spindles were bolted onto the front with Slam Specialties 'bags, while the rear frame was notched and a triangulated four-link was fabricated to work with the help of more Slam Specialties 'bags. The factory gas tank was tossed in favor of a custom-built 30-gallon fuel cell, so the cruising range of this Blazer is through the roof.
Photo 5/13   |   A Dakota Digital designer elliptical gauge cluster was mounted behind a Billet Specialties steering wheel.
Once you get past the custom bodywork and updated faade, you'll see that the interior is just as worthy of praise. The factory seats were cut down by Steve Chapman and were sent to Renn Upholstery in Clovis, California, to be covered in gray, blue, and white Enduratex, while the headliner is all gray suede. The rest of the interior is equally custom, as Ryan and Tom Alvitrez fabricated custom door panels, the entire dash, and the center console, which is one piece. The fiberglass doesn't stop at the dash, as the entire cargo area is now the home for a barrage of Earthquake audio. Six 12-inch Sub Zero subs are powered by PH5000 and PH10000 Eathquake amps, and receive audio from an Alpine IVA-W205.
Photo 6/13   |   1996 Chevy S10 Blazer speakers
Since the Blazer is a cruiser and not a racer, the performance modifications went into the parts that would do the most good. SSBC brakes were bolted onto each corner, and the 4.3L V-6 received JBA headers and Flowmaster exhaust. Of course, the audio system needed a boost, so a Kinetik power cell replaced the OEM battery.
Photo 7/13   |   1996 Chevy S10 Blazer rear Right View
After four years of work, with an especially hectic two months preparing for SEMA, Ryan's Blazer is finally finished. Judging by the results, we say it was worth the wait, and we wouldn't be surprised to see more '07 Sierra conversions in the future.


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