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1981 Chevy K5 Blazer- Grounded

Like Father, Like Son

Phil Gordon
Dec 29, 2016
Photographers: Phil Gordon
Grounded describes a person who is sensible and has a good understanding of what is really important in life. James Williamson of Loxley, Alabama, became grounded at a very young age. Like most young boys, James looked up to his father and cherished all the time he could spend with him. James’ father was a custom-truck builder, so naturally the son followed suit. The father-and-son bond grew even stronger when James purchased his first truck.
During the early ’90s, James met Darrell Redding, a fellow truck builder, while hanging out at another friend’s house. As their friendship grew, they were always looking out for custom trucks for each other. Online, James found a project Blazer, a 1981 K5 model that needed attention. He knew Darrell would want this classic truck, so he made the deal. “I thought the thing was ugly, but I knew Darrell would want it,” James says.
When it came time to trade with Darrell for the new project, the two couldn’t come to an agreement. At that point, James decided to keep the truck and finish the work himself. The seats were removed and sent to Mr. Stitches in Lake Mary, Florida, to have them reupholstered and treated. James and Darrell built a custom center console, with his friend Joey painting the interior.
Photo 2/12   |   1981 Chevy K5 Rear
The Blazer already had an air-suspension setup, but it needed to be reworked from sitting for so long. James had Jonathan Harvison at J&J Kustomz handle all the air work. The next step was to remove the old camouflage-style paint. He brought the K5 to Deep South Paint & Body, which coated the Chevy with a DuPont Green out of the Hot Rod color chart. While the truck was being painted, James and his friend Roy Macks rebuilt the entire motor. The motor was stock, so they upgraded everything under the hood and added chrome.
James wishes to thank everyone who helped him along the way, Jonathan Harvison, Chad Macks, Roy Marks, Darrell Redding, Joey Millfelt, Hailey and Jesse James, and of course, his beautiful wife Daphne and their two children Jesse and Jazzy. Grounded was not an expected build, but it grew on James. And he wants to share that father-and-son bond, which made him who he is today, with his son Jesse.

Inside the build

Year/Make/Model: 1981 Chevy K5 Blazer
Owner and City/State: James Williamson; Loxley, Alabama
Club Affiliation: Acrophobia
Chassis:
Front Suspension: Belltech 2 ½-inch drop spindles, shortened control arms, 2600lb Dominator bags, four ½-inch SMC valves
Rear Suspension: 4-link, 2600lb Dominator bags over axle, four ½-inch SMC valves, two Viair 480 compressors done by J&J Kustomz
Photo 3/12   |   1981 Chevy K5 Engine
Drivetrain:
Engine: Chevy 350 with a Summit 1107 cam, 1.5 roller rockers, Pet Jackson noisy timing gears, Edlebrock intake and carburetor, Gibson block hugger headers
Transmission: Turbo 350
Photo 4/12   |   1981 Chevy K5 Grille
Body/Paint: stock floor bodydrop done by Dent Work in Houma, Louisiana, frame cut 3 ½-inches. DuPont Hot Rod Green all done by Chad Macks from Deep South Paint & Body, cowl panel shaved
Photo 5/12   |   1981 Chevy K5 Interior
Interior: black carpet, black leather seats done by Mr. Stitches, fiberglass dashboard painted to match built by James and Darrell Redding
Stereo: Kenwood head unit, Kicker components and amplifiers
Photo 6/12   |   1981 Chevy K5 Wheel
Wheels & Tires:
Wheels: American Racing Nova 22x11
Tires: 295/25Z/R22

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