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  • 1972 Chevy K5: Resurrecting the Sublime Blazer- Intro

1972 Chevy K5: Resurrecting the Sublime Blazer- Intro

Waxing Nostalgic about Blazers, Beaches, & the Band Sublime

Oct 22, 2020
Recently, Truckin embarked on a little project that had been probably ten years in the making for me. If you don't know me or haven't noticed me mention it before, I live near the beach in Long Beach, CA and have for over 20 years. Even though I grew up a few miles away in OC, and the family business and all the cousins were in Long Beach, I met a whole lot of new people when I crossed over the county line oh-so-many years ago after high school. I had also just recently sold my '71 Blazer, which had served me well on many trips up and down the coast to Mexico and the California mountains for snowboard trips.
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Editor, Jeremy Cook's '71 Blazer, 1990
In the process of booking bands for my college, I constantly heard about a band from my neighborhood that had a big buzz building around them. I scored a bootleg Sublime tape from my buddy Marc from Black Flys and pretty much wore it out that first summer. When I finally got to know the band after booking them for an infamous show at my college, I found out that they were all into vintage SUVs as well- Brad Nowell had a Scout, Bud Gaugh had a Square-body Blazer, and Eric Wilson had a Land Cruiser with a Chevy small block and the roof cut off (which was coincidently bought from my friend and pro-skater Tim Short).
More on this 1972 Chevy K5!
1972 Chevy Blazer - Resurrecting The Sublime Blazer, Part One
1972 Chevy Blazer - Resurrecting the Sublime Blazer, Part Two
Michael "Miguel" Happoldt, the 4th member, Manager, and producer of Sublime as well as the owner of Skunk Records was the odd man out. He drove a van so the band could tour- it's the one in the Date Rape video that caused Sublime to explode across the U.S. When that happened, one of the first things Mike did was join the Vintage SUV club. He picked up a recently restored '72 Blazer. Anyway, I don't know how much of it was publicized, but I thought that the vehicles that all these guys were driving tied in extremely well with the lifestyle they were living and what they were trying to convey in the music. These guys were well known for loading up their dogs and 'boards and living that life that some of us get a glimpse of and most don't appreciate until it's gone.
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Miguel's '72 Blazer, 2007
Mike lived a couple blocks down the street from me and I saw that Blazer almost every day. It looked just like my old one. I vowed to get another one but even back then I had too many projects on my plate. The rest of the Sublime story is well-documented, albeit not always accurate history, and the next 20 years of the Blazer story is pretty much just as crazy. I'll let Mike tell you in his own words.
The Blazer was originally restored by Roark Merrill of Classic GM Sports fame in 1994; he was a local legend that only did '67-'72 GM Trucks. I bought it with the signing bonus from Sublime. Not long after that it was first wrecked in Hollywood by Brad one day when we were recording up at Ocean Way Studios, but it only needed minor repairs. We used the thing for endless trips to Baja and Tahoe; it never got stuck or broke down- ever! In '98, Paulie Nugent, one of the guys on my record label wiped out the hood and core support. With Classic GM out of biz I let a friend who claimed to be recently sober take it on. He said he had a front end for it. I said "you sure it's a '71-'72?" He said "yep" and for the next ten years I had a banged up, primered '67 front end on it. The truck was looking rough and the neighbors started to turn on me during that time! Then in 2008, my then brother-in-law took on the project. Richie Tracy coincidentally worked for Classic GM when he was a kid and we got it back into shape with the correct front end and trim and a quickie paint job, we were working on the top and some interior parts when Richie suddenly passed away. For the last eight years it's been sitting hidden away until I pulled it out to get some pictures of it for Truckin. The Blazer has been to hell and back, but it has always remained in running and driving condition and still has never let me down.
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The Blazer is now the sole-survivor of all the Sublime SUVs, and Mike and I still live a few blocks away from each other. After talking about if for several years, we're finally going to give it the makeover it deserves. Nothing too fancy, but it will be a Blazer worthy of Truckin and worthy of the Sublime legacy. More importantly, it will once again be able to travel up and down the coast for gigs, surfing, and snowboard trips. Most importantly, maybe it will give me the motivation I need to find another Blazer for myself.
Four On The Floor, By Perro Bravo, Courtesy of Skunk Records
Just before Miguel turned the truck over to us for the work to begin, he used it for his current band, Perro Bravo's latest video, Four On The Floor. This will serve as our "before" photo!
Stay tuned to Truckin to see how this locally world famous SUV turns out.
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