It may not look like much at first glance, but this Chevy K5 Blazer has a few secrets hiding underneath its staid retro exterior. That’s why at the recent Barrett-Jackson auction in West Palm Beach, Florida, it went for an astonishing $220,000 – a record sell for a 1971 K5.
With more than 1,200 hours of man work put into the project, this immaculate K5 resto-mod retains 95 percent of its original sheet metal and components. Under the hood is where things get interesting. A brand new Corvette LS3 V8 good for 430 horsepower (320 kilowatts) was shoehorned into the engine bay, paired to a GM 4L70E automatic transmission with overdrive.
The truck was given a full frame-off restoration, and along with the engine, comes with updates like an epoxy-primed and coated underside for chip and sound control, a Dupont base coat and clear coat, and upgraded front and rear axles. Four new alloy wheels – and a spare – with Goodyear tires finish off the package.
The interior also received a full makeover. All-new upholstery, carpet, and weatherstripping were added. A new heating system works together with the original gauges, factory title steering wheel, and a reproduction AM/FM stereo. All in all, the car has driven less than 200 miles (321 kilometers) since its completion in December 2016.
At the recent Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach sale, it sold for the aforementioned $220,000, making it the seventh most expensive car to cross the block all weekend, and the most expensive K5 Blazer ever sold. Along with the expensive Chevy, a VW Microbus sold for $291,500, and a 1971 Oldsmobile 442 convertible sold for $176,000, both world records.
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Gallery: 1971 Chevy K5 Blazer Auction
This immaculate K5 Blazer Resto-Mod sold new in Las Cruces, NM. There are over 1,200 hours in this complete frame-off build. The rock-solid body retains 95% of its original sheet metal that was completely stripped, top to bottom. The underside was epoxy-primed and coated with U-POL Raptor protective coating for chip and sound control. Dynamat installation on the floor and firewall provides additional sound control. All the metal was epoxy-primed and finished with Dupont base coat/clear coat. The frame, radiator support, inner fenders, original skid plates and fuel tank cover are all powder-coated. It's powered by an LS3 430hp engine with a GM Connect-and-Cruise 4L70E automatic overdrive transmission, mated to the original NP-205 transfer case. The engine is cooled by a DeWitt aluminum radiator. The transmission includes an auxiliary cooler with flexible stainless-steel lines. The front and rear axles are upgraded with new Eaton posi-traction units, bearings and seals, aluminum differential covers and stainless-steel brake lines. Five new alloy wheels with Goodyear tires complete the ride. The interior includes all-new upholstery, carpet and weatherstripping. The comfort is handled by a Vintage Air and heating system. The dashboard features factory gauges, factory tilt wheel and a reproduction AM/FM stereo. The Protect-O-Plate documents the original sale. Also included is a photo album showing the original condition at purchase in July 2015 and demonstrating the build process. It has less than 200 miles since completion in December 2016. This ride is finished for show and built to drive.