Fire Starter

October 26th, 2011

Text by Jason Mulligan

Photos by David Fetherstone

Owner: Rich Schreiner; 1971 Chevrolet Blazer; Sacramento, CA

This Blazer is a Metal Masterpiece Drenched in Eye Candy

This Blazer started out as a a beat up truck in Northern California. Steve Ortega Jr. of Brentwood, California, picked up the primered and ‘bagged but otherwise stock Blazer dirt cheap. He brought in Grant Kustoms (http://www NULL.grantkustoms NULL.com) in Oroville, California, to begin some of the bodywork, including raking back the windshield, smoothing the pillars and welding up a rear combo skin. Then he brought it down to West Coast Nationals to cruise around in the hot sun where a simple conversation ensued about getting a spot with Street Trucks for the Blazer at SEMA (http://www NULL.semashow NULL.com). The answer, “If you think you can get it done in the four weeks before the big show, then sure!” The Blazer went straight to Grant Kustoms that next day where Bob Grant and the rest of the guys tackled the monstrous feat to turn the Blazer into a show stunner in a mere few weeks’ time.

The windshield posts were cut down, capped and racked back 8 degrees. The hood was also reworked to match the angle of the modified posts and clean up the lines. The doors were capped off with rolled sheet metal, and a new dash was created from sheet metal that bears some resemblance to the factory lines but is completely smooth and wraps around to the doors. Sitting behind the ididit steering column is a pair of Dakota Digital gauges. The metal rework created two bulkheads at the rear. The notch cover was extended to support the back seat. Panels were also created to house the Pioneer sound system that would soon come. The classic bodyline flows the entire perimeter of the Blazer, resulting in a molded in front end. The whole tub is one smooth, uninterrupted metal panel. The crew at Grant Kustoms metal finished the Blazer and took the tub over to R/T Autobody in Gridley, California, so that Kevin Pickering and the guys could spend several late nights and long hours bodyworking the Blazer to a perfect finish inside and out before spraying the entire SUV with House of Kolor Tangelo Pearl.

A custom center console spits the front bucket seats and has a trap door that hides all of the switches and ignition. The console also features giant cup holders for four full mugs.

The custom-made bucket seats and form-fitting rear bench were trimmed in light tan leather by Cool Customs Interiors in Yuba City, California, in the final days leading up to SEMA. The rear area of the tub features flushed suede panels over the speaker and amplifier enclosures. Two sets of Pioneer Electronics component speakers were used up front for the mids and highs, while the rear panels feature the Pioneer 10-inch subwoofers and amplifiers to power everything.

In a few short weeks, the Blazer went from a bare tub to a full showstopper debuting at SEMA. Soon after, Steve sold off the Blazer in order to work on other projects, and it landed in the capable hands of Rich Schreiner, who finished up the chassis and powertrain. Rich had Brent and Chris at BC Fabrication in Sacramento rework the Blazer’s air suspension. A KP Components cantilever 6-link, LayArms and other air ride components were installed for reliability. They also installed a CPP master cylinder and set of disc brakes behind the Raceline Jaded 22 x 8.5- and 22 x 10-inch billet wheels that were wrapped in Kumho tires.

BC Fabrication is also responsible for all of the engine work sitting under the redesigned hood. The crown jewel is a 572 Chevrolet big-block crate motor. The Chevrolet Hugger Orange tone was a perfect fit for the 725-hp engine. The engine was dressed up head to toe with plenty of billet and chrome accessories, including March Performance billet air cleaner and pulley system. Headers and an MSD ignition setup were also installed to add further performance to the big-block that had been mated to a custom B&M T400 transmission. The guys at Grant Kustoms, R/T Autobody, Cool Customs Interiors and BC Fabrication have built one insane custom Blazer. Even more amazing is the fact that all of it, sans engine and a few details, came together in fewer than four weeks before SEMA!

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