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1988 Chevy Blazer - Hot Rod Style

Proving It Can Be Done Right

Brandon Burrell
Mar 1, 2010
Contributors: Mike Alexander
Photographers: Brandon Burrell
Owner: Darrell Linebarger
Ride: 1988 Chevy Blazer
Hometown: New Market, TN
Club: NC
Having the lowest, brightest, wildest mini out there isn't always the thing everyone strives for. Sometimes just having a simple, clean truck with attention to every detail is what it takes to make someone happy.
In this case, that someone is Darrell Linebarger from New Market, Tennessee. Darrell set off 10 years ago to build what was in his mind, the perfect blend of new-school minitruck and old-school hotrod-style. Most full-show hot rods boast a slew of clean body mods, simple paint schemes, a clean interior and some performance upgrades, so that is the recipe that Darrell went with. After getting started on the 1988 Chevy Blazer, life started to get in the way and put a big slow down on the build. First, Darrell lost his job and could no longer afford to work on the truck. This didn't last long though as he soon found an even better job that provided the lacking truck funds, but with the responsibility of a better job came so much over time that he was exhausted and hardly ever found time to work on the Blazer. Then it was time to settle down and get married, which wasn't exactly a factor in the truck sitting idle, but with gaining a wife, there is a never-ending "honey-do" list which does tend to slow things down a little.
Photo 2/6   |   1988 Chevy Blazer Left Side View
Once life finally leveled back out for Darrell, it was time to dive full force into the build and get it done. The truck was taken over to Darrell's good friend, Kevin Riffey's house, where the majority of the work was completed. It's a good thing he had a friend like Kevin that allowed him to leave it there but on the down side, Darrell couldn't just walk into his garage and tinker with it when he had a spare minute or two. The first thing the two of them attacked was getting the SUV frame planted firmly on the ground. This was done with the help of a full air suspension and a set of drop spindles and in the rear with DJM Ladder bars, a panhard bar and a new bridge and notch. While the suspension was apart, a four-corner set of Baer brakes were added not only for the extra stopping power, but to make the view through the two-tone Bonspeed wheels even more appealing.
Photo 3/6   |   1988 Chevy Blazer front Right View
Anything that stuck out of the factory sheetmetal was quickly welded up creating a smooth shell. Next came the bodywork and after some final sanding the Blazer was ready for the classy silver paint to be laid down. To make the paint really stand out, a simple blue graphic was added above the body line. Once all the windows and trim were reinstalled, Darrell also bolted on a '93 GMC grille with billet insert and a Goodmark cowl-induction hood to update the truck a little with even more classy, hot rod-style touches.
Now that the rolling attire, suspension, and paint were handled it was time to blow the dust out of the interior and add some new coverings to the mix. Keeping with the hot rod theme, Darrell opted for some gray tweed and allante, which together created a simple yet affective cabin. Now that the hot rod side of things were done, it was time to put in some new school additions. A custom sub enclosure and speaker pods were built then smoothed and painted to match the exterior complete with matching graphics completing a clean and classy interior.
Since the motor was all that was left to make this Blazer a show stopper, Darrell started looking up parts to swap his factory V6 for the highly sought after LT1. But when it came time to order everything, he noticed that where he once had money in his wallet, now only had a few cob webs. His first thought was to run straight to the wife and see if she had gone shopping for some new shoes and clothes, but after a short question/answer session with the boss lady, he was quickly informed that it wasn't her that used all the money, it was his Blazer that ate up all the funds. Knowing that the wifey is always right, he decided to opt for a couple shiny billet pieces and an Optima YellowTop battery to make the engine bay a little more presentable and hold off on the flashy V-8. When asked if he would do anything different, Darrell answered by saying "Yeah, I would bodydrop it and then do the motor." But even with the stock V-6 and laying frame, we feel that Darrell has built one of the cleanest Blazers around which is the purpose of this special Hot Rod minitruck issue, showing off all of the trucks that have done the simple and clean builds right. For more info on Darrell's Blazer, check out the Lowdown.
Photo 4/6   |   1988 Chevy Blazer subwoofers
The Lowdown
Rolling Attire
Wheels Front: 18x7 Bonspeed Lagunas
Wheels Rear: 20x8 Bonspeed Lagunas
Backspace Front: 4 1/2 inches
Backspace Rear: 5 1/2 inches
Tires Front: 225/40ZR18 BFG G-Force TA KDW
Tires Rear: 255/30ZR20 BFG G-Force TA KDW
Photo 5/6   |   1988 Chevy Blazer custom Interior
Chassis Modifications
Front Suspension: Custom tubular lower A-arms, stock uppers with Baer drop spindles
Rear Suspension: DJM Ladder Bars, custom panhard bar and custom bridge
Airbag: Firestone 2600s
Spindles: 2-inch Baer/Belltech drop spindles
Shocks: Afco Billet oil-filled shocks
Air Accessories: Dakota Digital air gauges with billet switches
Brakes: Baer dual piston up front, single piston in rear
Misc: Custom lengthened air tank
Performed By: Kevin Riffey of Kevlar Customs and owner
Body Modifications
Shaved: Door handles, emblems, roof seams, dip for gas door, bumper bolts, and license plate holes
Front End: 1993 Chrome GMC grille with billet insert
Back End: Sir-Michael's roll pan with modified LED light, stock lights have been smoked
Exterior Bolt-ons: 2-inch GoodMark cowl hood
Misc: Modified the inner fenderwells to clear tires
Performed By: Kevin Riffey of Kevlar Customs and owner
Photo 6/6   |   1988 Chevy Blazer shifter
Brand and Colors: DuPont dark pewter metallic and Yamaha R1 blue
Airbrushing: Shadowed the base of stripe with DuPont black
Misc.: Stripe was designed by Dave Brockmeyer
Performed By: Kevin Riffey of Kevlar Customs and Owner
Seats: Stock S-10 buckets with the head rests removed
Material: Tweed and Allante vinyl
Center Console: Modified 1995 S-10 Blazer
Misc: Billet dome light added, Billet Specialties shifter with a one-off solid billet die shifter, console was smoothed and houses an iPod controller and billet switches for the air suspension and windows
Performed By: David Corn of Pro Stitch and Owner
Head unit: Alpine CDA 1003
Mids & Highs: Two pair of Boston Acoustic 6 1/2-inch separates, a set of Boston Acoustic 6 1/2-inch co-ax and a set of Boston Acoustic 5 1/4-inch separates
Amplifier for Mids & Highs: Two Phoenix Gold M-25
Subwoofers: Two 10-inch Rockford Fosgate P-3
Amplifier for Subwoofers: Phoenix Gold M100
Video: iPod and 6-inch flip-out
Custom Fabrication: Custom fiberglass sub box, custom front door panel pods and custom rear speaker pods
Performed By: Adam Chitwood and Owner
Driveshaft: Stock, but shortened
Battery: Optima YellowTop
Inner fenders: Sectioned to clear the front wheels
Detail Work: Billet air cleaner and brake reservoir cover, coated exhaust with Eastwood coating
Performed By: Pro Mod Rob and owner
Special Thanks from Owner
"My wife Jennifer for being very patient throughout the build, my mom, dad, sister, and bro in law, Pro Mod Rob, Chad Yearwood, Kevin Riffey, Brubaker, Russell, Shack, Matt Thomas, Chris Covington, Dell, Bill Mee, Jason Dean, and all of my great friends that helped me on the build."



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