1969 Chevy Blazer - Blaze

New School Meets Old School

Dan WardMar 1, 2010
As a full time gearhead, Chris Fesler gets to live out his dream of being fully enveloped in custom cars, trucks, and hot rods. As the owner of Fesler Built, a one-stop-shop for all things custom, he gets to make a living while living his dream. So what does a gearhead living his dream drive to work every day? His dream truck, of course. When it came time to build something for himself, Chris tracked down a '69 Chevy Blazer and got to work making it more to his liking. Working on it here and there, in between customer's cars and trucks, he and his crew only have about four months total build time spent on this custom creation. Must be rough driving a wild roadster Blazer, while eating, breathing, and sleeping tricked-out rides all day, every day.
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Finding a pretty straight '69 Blazer 4x4, Chris brought it back to his Fesler Built shop, in Scottsdale, Arizona, and began the teardown. Starting with the foundation and rather than trying to save the 40-year-old frame, Chris ordered a full roller chassis from Jim Myer's Racing. On went Ride Tech's full Shockwave airbag system, with stainless air lines and Viair compressors for reliable and worry-free up and down operation. An Accuair ride control system constantly keeps the suspension at its perfect height. With plans to lay the Blazer's body on the Arizona asphalt, the body mounts were relocated lower on the frame. Serving as both serious braking hardware and hot-rod eye candy, six-piston Baer brakes were bolted to both the front and rear. Receiving instant brake pedal feel is thanks to the Hydratech brake system. Mounted to each corner are Fesler FS906 wheels, sized 20x8 inches up front and sick 22x11-inch hoops tucked deep in each rear fender. BFGoodrich tires were chosen for this project and up front, 255/35ZR20 g-Force T/A KDW provide the directional input and out back, meaty 305/40ZR22 BFGs provide the power patch. A Chris Alston Fab 9 serves as the rear wheel power distributor, linked via a Driveshaft Shop driveline that connects the GM Performance 4L65E tranny. Power comes from a GM Performance LS1 equipped with a Fesler Built air intake using Airaid filters, Billet Specialties Tru Trac pulley system, and a FAST intake manifold and throttle-body. An Accel Gen 7 computer system controls the engine and Optima batteries keep the system juiced. Earl's fittings make sure there are no leaks and keeping the engine cool is an Air Mobile polished aluminum radiator with dual electric fans. Flowmaster exhaust provides the rumble, with cutouts in the frame for a clean appearance. After assembly, everything was torn back down and either painted BASF green or powdercoated black. Seeing the chassis roll around the shop in just a few short weeks, the Fesler crew couldn't wait to see the body back on the frame. This, however would take a few more weeks as one or a hundred body mods were planned for the Blazer.
With wrench in hand, Gary Sharp forever removed the fiberglass roof. Up next, the windshield was chopped 4 inches and laid back 5 degrees. Both doors were cut down and re-worked and capped, as were the bedrails-the end result is a factory-styled roadster that is completely seamless. A 2-inch traditional body drop was performed, guaranteeing the Blazer's slammed stance and even the rockers were cut to get the Blazer lower. After placing the massaged body on a rotisserie, the door handles, emblems/trim, and the tailgate were smoothed to perfection. A Sir Michael's roll pan was welded in place, as were Watson's Street Works LED taillights. You may be wondering why the '69 doesn't look like a '69, and the cleaner lines and appearance of the '67 front end swap is the culprit behind that confusion. Other tricks up the Fesler Built crew's sleeves include, tucked front bumper, extensive cowl fitment massaging, a shaved firewall, and the addition of a 2-inch cowl hood with modified hinges from a Mercedes Benz. Gary Sharp performed much of the intense metal surgery and rather than paint it right away, the Felser team covered the metalwork in black primer. More on that, in a minute.
A roadster truck means easy viewing of the interior and with things so wild, there was no turning back for an over-the-top cabin. A sheetmetal dash was fabricated, as was a metal center console and door panels. The dash houses a huge Dakota Digital gauge display and the center console is home to a Pioneer AVIC-Z2 DVD/navigation head unit, Billet Specialties Silhouette A/C vents, and Dakota Digital A/C controls tell the Vintage Air A/C system when to kick on. A Flaming River tilt column is capped with a Felser Billet wheel and also serves as the mounting point for the Master Shift paddle shifters. Could GM, in 1969, have even dreamed of a Blazer with F1-inspired paddle shifters? With a layer of Dynamat laid down, Mercedes carpet was installed and looks up at leather and suede-covered seats. Behind the seats, four 12-inch Kicker subs are mounted in a large sub enclosure and pound hard thanks to two Kicker 2500.1 amps. Mid and high frequencies are supplied via two sets of Kicker 61/2-inch components powered by a Kicker ZX850.4 amp. Each amp and the large Kicker power cables are on display when the tailgate is lowered and the hidden gas filler also becomes visible with the 'gate dropped. Audio in full effect and the Blazer looking sinister in flat black, the Blazer debuted in the Kicker Audio booth at SEMA. Thanks to the interior and audio on full display, the Blazer drew quite a crowd and serious inquiries into the shop's capabilities. With such a positive response, the team was energized to see the Blazer in color, so back to Scottsdale for more work.
No need for anything flashy, because of the wild first impression, Chris chose a simple, solid paint scheme for the Blazer. Gary Sharp applied the BASF green paint and buffed the truck to an endless shine. Standing back from the freshly-completed project, the entire Fesler Built team had created a stunning example of the shop's creativity and talent. One thing left to do-drive it like you stole it. "This is the vehicle I take clients in to show them how the new technology and suspension work", he mentions. Making us very jealous, Chris tells us, "we drive it hard, even road course race it." Having the courage and talent to build his dream truck, Chris' vision came to life in some four months and is why the custom truck hobby is so amazing. We can't think of a more perfect ride to enjoy the warm Arizona weather than an LS-powered roadster Blazer.

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