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1987 Chevy S10 Blazer- HELLBLAZER

Blazing the Bar

Mike Alexander
Oct 29, 2017
Photographers: Mike Alexander
For more than 20 years, Alfred Improta, Jr., has been building Chevy Blazers and other customs. His long-lasting passion for the truckin’ style has been an integral part of his life. The New York resident inherited his love of hot-rodding from his father. Al has continued to participate in the enthusiasm with his father and the rest of his growing family, as well as the many “family” members of Severed Ties, the club to which Al belongs. His build history is largely comprised of S10 Blazers. For the HellBlazer build, however, Al’s goal was a simple but lofty aim to raise the bar altogether in cleanliness and detail with a street-rod-inspired build. After purchasing HellBlazer back in 2006, he spent the next decade doing just that.
Photo 2/19   |   1987 Chevy S10 Blazer Hellblazer Front
As any thorough build, Al began with extensive chassis work to ensure the proper foundation on which to plant his masterpiece. With his own two hands, he began deconstruction. From the firewall back, Al fabricated a custom 2x3-inch tube frame. The custom steel was smoothed and painted, along with the Thorbecke upper and lower control arms used for the front suspension. The rear uses Thorbecke products, too, for a three-link configuration. In addition to the boxed frame and suspension components, Al narrowed the rearend by 9 3/4 inches to accommodate the massive wheels and body drop. The extremely attractive rolling attire on which the HellBlazer cruises are Hot Rods by Boyd Slayer custom wheels. Each wheel measures 22 inches tall with the front set at 8.5 inches wide and the rear a massive 10 inches wide for a classic hot-rod staggered stance. Backing each wheel are Wilwood disc brakes to quell the muscle under the HellBlazer’s hood.
Photo 3/19   |   1987 Chevy S10 Blazer Hellblazer Wheel
The power plant is a classic all-American muscle choice. Al and his father assembled the Merkel Racing 383 small-block before moving it 3-inches back, using a motor mount adapter plate. The V-8 uses ported and polished Trick-flow heads and MSD distributor, wires, and coils. An Edelbrock manifold pairs with a custom March 8-trumpet air cleaner to provide a healthy volume of air intake. On the other end of the equation are bolted Sanderson ceramic-coated headers, flowing into a custom exhaust. The motor and its accessories are good for a tire-shredding 491hp and 502ft-lbs of torque. The huge power numbers are sent through a TH400 trans equipped with a Lokar shifter, down a custom driveshaft, and into the narrowed GM 10-bolt rear.
Photo 4/19   |   1987 Chevy S10 Blazer Hellblazer Engine
Elegantly draped over the handmade chassis and monstrous powertrain is a collection of ultra-clean lines, custom-cut fits, and a sensational color that is synonymous with the build’s attitude. In addition to the inner wheeltubs for the front of HellBlazer, the firewall was recessed and the inner hood structure modified to clear the custom engine components. The minimalistic aesthetic on the front exterior is achieved via a sectioned and shaved bumper and a Fiberglass Phantom grille with a Trenz billet insert. Stretching back over the body, several of the exterior elements and hardware were shaved smooth, including the radiator support, front markers, wiper cowl, roof rack, gas filler door, and finally, the door handles. The final touch of custom bodywork comes by way of rear inner tubs, a rear rollpan, and suicide doors for extra badass points. After the extensive prep work, Al and Erik Fink drenched the HellBlazer in its signature color: Dupont Hot Hues Scarlett Midnight. The effect speaks for itself, and honestly, pictures just can’t do the depth of this color the justice it deserves.
To properly adorn the interior, Al went with a clean black style that compliments the HellBlazer’s mood excellently. For the centerpiece, he built a custom steel dash and console. Standout features on the dash include the Lokar shifter, Dakota Digital gauges, and Billet Specialties steering wheel. The stock seats were modified for a more comfortable cruising position and wrapped in black leather. A matching black leather and sueded custom headliner covers the interior roof and is reflected by the custom black carpet throughout. The black interior is filled with clear and potent sound, thanks to a custom-housed 10-inch Sundown Audio subwoofer. The rest of the audio experience is handled by Alpine 6 1/2-inch door speakers, a HiFonics five-channel amp, and controlled by a Pioneer 7-inch flip-out head unit.
Photo 5/19   |   1987 Chevy S10 Blazer Hellblazer Interior
With a lifetime of hot-rodding and truckin next to some of the most dedicated enthusiasts in the scene, Al has built a legacy that specifically touches the S10 Blazer community at its roots. He has invested more than a decade of time and passion to the HellBlazer build to help elevate the status quo of mini-truck builds in general. The ‘bagged and bodied Blazer is an icon of his hard work and dedication to doing what he loves. The support of his family is second to none. Thankfully, his work is not being missed, and HellBlazer now makes its way to the front of many truck and customs shows around the country, leaving a mark wherever it goes.

Inside the Build:

Al Importa, Jr.; Patchogue, New York
Truck: 1987 Chevy S10 Blazer
Club: Severed Ties
Chassis:
Custom Chassis from firewall back, 2x3-inch tube
Front Suspension: Thor Bros. upper and lower control arms, Slam Specialties RE7 ’bags
Rear Suspension: Thor Bros three-link rear suspension, Slam Specialties RE8 ’bags
Brakes: Wilwood
Engine:
383 SBC Merkel Racing Motor good for 491HP 502TQ, Trick Flow heads, ported and polished Edelbrock Intake, custom March air cleaner, Sanderson ceramic headers, MSD distributor, wires, coils
Transmission: GM TH400
Narrowed 10-bolt GM rearend
Body/Paint:
Body dropped to flat rocker, shaved door handles, gas filler, roof rack, wiper cowl, radiator support, and front markers, sectioned and shaved front bumper, front and rear inner tubs, rear rollpan, suicide doors, fiberglass phantom grille with Trenz billet insert, Dupont Hot Hues Scarlett Midnight paint and about a million hours cutting and clear work
Interior/Stereo:
Custom steel dash and console, rebuilt stock seats in black leather, black leather and suede headliner, black custom carpet, Billet Specialties steering wheel, Dakota Digital gauges, Lokar shifter
Stereo: Pioneer 7-inch head unit, 10-inch Sundown audio sub, 6 1/2-inch Alpine door speakers, HiFonics five-channel amp
Wheels& Tires:
Wheels: 22x8.5, 22x10; Hot Rods by Boyd Vandetta
Tires: 265/30R22, 285/30R22; Falken
Special Thanks From Owner:
My wife and kids, Erik Fink for body and paint expertise and three years of hard work, Mikey Unigga, Mikey Corragio, Dan Pecchia, Billy Cabral, Mike Alexander, and my club Severed Ties for all the help and support through this decade-long process.

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