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  • 1989 Chevrolet Blazer - Grandpa Knows Best - Hometown Heroes

1989 Chevrolet Blazer - Grandpa Knows Best - Hometown Heroes

Joe Greeves –
Sep 1, 2009
Photographers: Joe Greeves
Photo 2/10   |   OWNER: Bobby PhilpotRIDE: 1989 Chevy BlazerHOMETOWN: Newport News, VA
If you've spent any time on the southeastern show circuit, especially in virginia or the carolinas, you probably already know the `89 blazer of bobby philpot.
He and his grandfather, Ted Yarborough, are active competitors and Bobby's truck is never done in their eyes as there are always more mods just around the corner. Ted retired from his body and fender shop a few years ago but still keeps his hands busy by making regular changes to his grandson's Blazer.
Ted bought the Blazer when Bobby was 14, telling him it would be his, once he got his license at age 16. During the two-year waiting period however, lots of changes occurred. Bobby suggested shaving the door handles, adding 17-inch wheels, and a few other upgrades. The first car show that they attended, they got beat and Ted said "I can't handle that!" That loss started the process of relentless refinement that is still in effect today.
The body man rose to the challenge beginning with a huge 5-inch body drop, 'bags, and 20-inch Pacer rims. A 3-inch C-notch provided clearance in the rear and trimmed lower control arms up front balanced the Blazer's profile. An air-conditioning compressor from a 1956 Ford fills the five-gallon reserve tank in 18 seconds flat. Once the Blazer was sitting pretty, it was time to update the power plant. Ted and Bobby chose a new 350 V-8 under the hood with just a touch of old-skool, using three 2-barrel Rochester carbs with progressive linkage. Hit the gas and all six throats open for max acceleration. Yet, while cruising around town, the central two-barrel provides great economy. A Turbo 350 automatic, equipped with a Hurst Slap Shifter, multiplies the power. Additional mods outside include shaved body lines, 1978 Caddy taillights, the rear hatch welded smooth, and the gas filler cap was hidden behind the license plate. The grille is custom-made, highlighting the fact that this Blazer is "Tuckin' 20s". The cowl-induction hood is a combination of the original metal hood with a 2-inch fiberglass scoop, providing both cooling and additional clearance for the multicarb setup.
The truck has had at least a half dozen complete interior changes over its lifetime. The suicide doors and front opening hood work from a distance, entertaining spectators thanks to the remotely controlled linear actuators. The 1997 Dodge Spirit seats provide the low profile necessary in the body-dropped truck, thanks to custom brackets that Ted fabricated. A fiberglass center console between the seats flows into the elaborate dashboard, fitted with Auto Meter gauges, an Alpine head unit, 7-inch screen, and a PlayStation II for entertainment at car shows. But the real activity occurs behind the seats. The radical rear stereo setup holds four 12-inch JL Audio subs, powered by a single 500-watt JL Audio amplifier along with a 15-inch Magnavox HDTV monitor. All the components fit in a custom-made fiberglass enclosure that hides the pair of Optima YellowTop batteries and all the air suspension components. Future plans include redoing the stereo system and modifying the suspension so that the truck will lay completely flat. Everything inside that is carpeted will soon be replaced with fiberglass and swivel seats will make entry even easier.
What is the best part? Both men say that they benefit greatly from the relationship and Bobby wants to follow in his grandfather's footsteps, eventually opening his own body shop. We have a feeling that he will keep his grandfather on call as a technical advisor. Ted smiles and says simply, "It ain't done yet!"
Photo 6/10   |   1989 Chevrolet Blazer 1989 Chevy Blazer
The Lowdown
Rolling Attire
20-inch Pacers
Tires: Hankook Ventus Sport
Chassis Modifications
Suspension Type:
'Bags all around
Air/Hydro accessories: Engine-driven compressor
Frame mods: 3-inch C-notch
Performed By: Ted Yarborough
Body Modifications
Door handles, body lines, gas cap, side mirrors, repositioned front and rear license plates
Body Mods: 5-inch body drop and suicide doors operated by linear actuators
Front End: Custom grille, custom bumper, tilt forward hood operated by linear actuator, projector headlights
Rear End: Molded in tailgate, custom roll pan, recessed license plate, hidden gas cap
Taillights: 1978 Cadillac
Exterior bolt-ons: Motorcycle mirrors
Performed By: Ted Yarborough
Brand and Colors:
Dupont Dodge Blue
Performed By: Carl Dickinson
Dodge Spirit seats reupholstered in light blue tweed
Dash: Dark blue tweed with custom instruments and audiovisual components
Door panels: Custom fiberglass with blue and silver tweed upholstery
Center console: Custom fiberglass with dark blue tweed upholstery
Flooring: Dark blue carpet
Headliner: Light gray
Gauges: AutoMeter set in a custom panel
Performed By: Lee's
Photo 7/10   |   1989 Chevrolet Blazer jl Audio
Head Unit:
Amplifiers: JL Monoblock 500-1
Speakers: Two Planet Audio 6X9 Mids and Highs, four JL Audio 12W1s
Additional Components: 7-inch monitor in the dashboard, 15-inch monitor
Performed By: Ted Yarborough
350ci Chevy V-8
Fuel Delivery: Edelbrock old-skool three two-barrel carbs
Intake: Edelbrock
Battery: Two Optima Yellow Tops
Performed By: Ted Yarborough
Special Thanks
Bobby would like to thank his Granddad, Ted Yarborough for creating his one-of-kind truck. Bobby hopes to follow in his footsteps and open a custom shop of his own one day.


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