1977 Chevy K-5 Blazer- FLO Squared

Calling Card for the Art of Air Supply

Michael Phillips
Sep 20, 2018
Photographers: Mike Alexander
Building a vehicle for yourself and building a flagship for your company are entirely different animals—yet somehow they’re very similar. You want the vehicle to be a billboard of your vision and products, but at the same time speak to a much broader audience, reaching beyond your personal taste and style. Mike Alexander and Tim Dunaway teamed up to bring FLO Airride Mfg. to life as a brand committed to continually launching new-and-improved bespoke-style air-ride components for the automotive air suspension industry. They truly value quality over quantity and are on a mission to deliver “The Art of Air Supply” with their billet-aluminum air tanks, compressors, and air-ride accessories. The year 2017 marked FLO Airride’s first year as an exhibitor at the mighty SEMA Show in Las Vegas. This rite of passage demands makers put forth their very best effort in the builds they present, so, of course, the FLO duo went above and beyond (or rather below) with their ’77 K5 Blazer SEMA build. A combination of modern innovation, insanely subtle body mods, and true classic styling makes the FLO Blazer top-notch in every sense (especially for a build that went from basket case to SEMA floor in 90 days flat). Of course, there are quite a few painstaking modifications that make FLO Squared genuinely one of a kind.
The K5 started off with a solid foundation, including full GSI Machine & Fabrication front and rear setups. The beautiful box-tube components are a combination of precision-machined steel and hand-welded joints. As a result of its laser-scanned dimensions, the GSI frame fits perfectly beneath the iconic ’73-to-’91 body style. The front suspension configuration consists of GSI upper and lower control arms suspended by Air Lift Performance Dominator 2,600-pound airbags. The rear four-link makes use of Firestone 9000 airbags and a GSI billet Watt’s linkage. The GSI front end also includes the integration of a Mustang II steering rack and optional mounts for the LS-based powerplant.
The custom frame essentially eliminates all bumpsteer and excessive camber movement throughout the suspension travel. The travel is managed thanks to a host of the highest quality air-ride parts on the market today. The airbags are managed via Air Lift Performance’s high-tech 3H system, which digitally manages the pressure of each airbag and the height of the suspension simultaneously. Keeping the air supplied are FLO Airride Mfg’s unique billet air compressors and custom billet air tanks. The system is outfitted with FLO’s billet rail system for a durable and handsome presentation, and it’s all tied together to help the K5 rest its body comfortably on the pavement.
Photo 2/15   |   1977 Chevy K5 Blazer FLO Rear
The FLO Blazer sits on a set of 22- and 24-inch billet US Mags Scottsdale wheels that are tucked in the fenders and nearly invisible. The staggered lips are finished in full polish, and the wheel centers are paint-matched Titanium Gray to the truck’s center body section. Snugly fit behind each wheel are custom disc brakes from Baer Performance. The 6S Extreme brakes are absolutely massive, and the six-piston calipers are custom powdercoated to match the brilliant blue of the Blazer. The calipers and wheel centers parallel the truck’s subtly custom body and paint scheme.
While they are plenty capable, the 6S brakes are put to good use thanks to FLO Squared’s primary motivator. Inside the completely customized engine bay lies a 6.0L LS2 donated by a first-gen Cadillac CTS-V. The engine bears little resemblance to its factory form, as it’s been outfitted with a Sniper EFI low-profile intake manifold from Holley Performance, Powermaster starter, and full Tru-Trac accessory front drive kit from Billet Specialties. The custom intake and valve covers have been paint-matched to the blue exterior. The inner fenders, core support, and firewall are adorned with custom bead-rolled and gusseted sheetmetal from the builder, ultra-talented Rob Perry of Perry’s Garage. The Baer billet master-cylinder sits attractively beside the motor. The engine emits a modest roar through Hedman LS swap headers and a custom stainless dual MagnaFlow exhaust. This Blazer is quite the beast ready to be unleashed!
Photo 3/15   |   1977 Chevy K5 Blazer FLO Engine
The beautiful exterior styling and trim of the square-body are retained with the FLO Blazer build. Its chrome section trim, fender trim, bumpers, and grille have all been restored to their former glory. Both the front and rear bumpers have been pulled in for a subtle cleaning effect. All new glass has replaced the windshield, passenger windows, cab windows, and power-retracting rear windshield, with new rubbers from Precision Replacement Parts. With such a short time frame before the build was painted, flush glass was one of the largest challenges, but even the topper was smoothed, and the FLO Blazer is the only K5 Blazer in the world to boast flush-mount glass all round!
Nathan Coker from Coker’s Rod Shop and Rob Perry teamed up on the body and paint to pull off a three-week miracle. The truck’s two-tone paint scheme is achieved with a combination of Titanium Storm Gray and Blue My Mind Laguna Blue from PPG. The majority of the truck is finished in the icy jewel tone, with a perfect contrast in the warmth of the gray centersection. The scheme extends to many of the truck’s key features. The exterior, interior, and underside also make use of a balanced combo of matte gray metallic, blue, and chrome components.
Photo 4/15   |   1977 Chevy K5 Blazer FLO Front
The K5 interior complements the retro styling of the exterior with tasteful modernization. Custom black and gray upholstery stretches in all directions of the interior. Comfiass Seat Co. knocked out the interior with help from many close friends in a matter of three days, again, yet another SEMA miracle. Dual-color patterned stitching continues the gray and blue color palette. The seats are outfitted with FLO’s icon in the center stitching. The dash is paint-matched blue and complemented with the dazzling blue LEDs within the custom Dakota Digital HDX gauge cluster. Satin black billet touchpoint comes by way of the Billet Specialties steering wheel and American Powertrain shifter. The Air Lift Performance 3H digital controller is cushion fit to the custom center console along with billet-rimmed cupholders. Custom black-loop carpet covers the floor. SoundSkins insulation lies throughout the cabin underneath the custom trimming, which aids the powerful audio experience brought about by a host of Kicker Q-class audio equipment. Dual Kicker amplifiers and subwoofers are flush fit in the rear section. The Kicker audio is kept juiced up by dual XS batteries. The interior focal point is the next-level air tank configuration of the FLO Airride billet rail system and twin hand-painted air tanks exposed in the rear section, while the Air Lift 3H valve manifold glows blue from the custom-trimmed rear notch paneling. The jaw-dropping interior is kept powered up and cooled down with a combination of Restomod Air’s A/C system and Painless Performance wiring.
Photo 5/15   |   1977 Chevy K5 Blazer FLO
All in all, FLO Squared pulled off what very few thought possible: a full custom build from the ground up in 90 days. One look at the insanely badass engine bay, bodywork, and custom details and anyone knowledgeable would agree this caliber of work and detail takes a ton of time and effort—and those are the folks who can truly appreciate full-custom builds. Mike and Tim worked together to bring a vision to life for their company but couldn’t have done it without a huge network of friends and family standing behind them ready and willing. Mike and Tim would like to extend a huge thanks to Tim Dunaway, Rob Perry, Nathan Coker, Rory Griffith, Bryce Mills, Jake Moore, Anthony Carri, Mike Pruett, Michael Phillips, Jeff Lewis, David Corn, John Jackson, Brady Basner, Devin Pringle, Corey Rosser, Ron Burnett, Scott Sandoval, Rick Elam, Scott Johnson, Bobby Martins, Tim King, Ashley Alexander (and all the wives and kids of these wonderful people who understand what they do), and everyone else who came together to help pull off yet another miracle of friends helping friends and keeping the dream alive!
Photo 6/15   |   1977 Chevy K5 Blazer FLO Side

Inside the Build:

Year/Make/Model: ’77 Chevy K5 Blazer
Owner and City/State: FLO Airride; Temecula, California
Suspension/Chassis:
Full front and rear setups from GSI Machine & Fabrication, front Air Lift Dominator 2,600-pound airbags, Rear Firestone 9000 airbags, GSI four-link rear suspension with billet Watt’s linkage, dual FLO Airride custom billet tanks, dual FLO Airride billet compressors, FLO Airride billet rail system, Air Lift Performance 3H Height and Pressure digital management
Brakes: Baer 6S Extreme Big Brake Kit, Baer 6S Billet Master Cylinder
Engine: First-generation CTS-V powertrain, 6.0L GM LS2, Holley Performance Sniper EFI LoPro intake manifold, Holley Performance fuel rails, Hedman LS swap headers, MagnaFlow stainless exhaust, Billet Specialties Tru-Trac accessory front drive kit, Painless Performance wiring harness
Transmission: American Powertrain T56 six-speed
Body/Paint: Custom two-tone paint using PPG Blue My Mind Laguna Blue Pearl and PPG Titanium Storm Gray, fully restored chrome trim, custom bead-rolled-trim engine bay and floor, smoothed cab with flush-mount glass
Interior/Stereo: Paint-matched dash; SoundSkins cabin liner; custom-upholstered black and gray seats, headliner, door panels, and trunk sections with contrast blue and silver stitching; custom black carpet throughout; FLO-customized Dakota Digital HDX gauges; Billet Specialties steering wheel and pedals; Restomod Air A/C; Full Kicker Q-class system; Dual XS Batteries
Wheels & Tires:
Wheels: 22x9, 24x10; US Mags Scottsdale
Tires: 275/40R22, 285/30R24; Nitto 420
Special Thanks: GSI, Kicker Audio, Air Lift Performance, FLO Airride, Dakota Digital, Billet Specialties, MagnaFlow, PPG, Baer Brakes, Restomod Air, Powermaster, Perry’s Garage, Coker’s Rod Shop, XS Power, SoundSkins, LMC Truck, Renderings By Tristan, Dixxon Flannel, RAD Machining, McGaughys, Precision Replacement Parts, Painless Wiring, Severed Ties

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