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V8 Topless Tahoe: 1985 Chevrolet S10 Blazer

Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

I have always wondered why owners of these “SUV” type vehicles with removable rear tops rarely seemed to take them off, it’s such a great look, in my opinion. This uber-custom truck is a 1985 Chevrolet S10 Blazer Tahoe Edition and it has a surprise lurking under the cowl induction hood. It can be found on Craigslist in Grand Rapids, Minnesota with a very reasonable asking price of just $3,900 or best offer! I almost wish that I wouldn’t have seen this one, this is hard to pass up at that price.

In Minnesota, this would be considered a summer-only vehicle since this is a rear-wheel drive model. Not many of us Midwesterners even knew that these SUVs came in anything other than 4WD or AWD. This is a southern California vehicle so I’m assuming that there’s no rust and the seller doesn’t mention the R-word and it sure looks perfect in the photos. However, there isn’t one photo of the other side, for some reason. That always seems a little strange to me when it would have been an 8-foot walk to get around to the other side and Craigslist doesn’t charge for photos up to around a dozen.

But, isn’t this thing cool! I absolutely love the look of this one, and the custom tonneau cover comes off “for that summertime convertible feel.” The scale, color, stripes, wheels, hood, and just everything about this one turns my crank. Speaking of crank, you may have guessed that there isn’t a puny 4-cylinder under that hood. Yes, this is one time when you can say, “Stuff an SBC in there..” and you’d be correct!

There are four photos, all basically of the same side, so you’ll have to get in touch with the seller for more photos, as I have done. And, within ten minutes they sent me a couple of engine photos!! Here they are. It solidifies my love for this truck in that it doesn’t seem to be a hack job in stuffing that Chevy 350 under that hood. It looks pretty tidy and clean, no? I predict that this vehicle will not be listed for too long, it’s really a killer deal.

This isn’t something that I’m normally big on, as most of you know. I usually like things original or restored to original specs. But, dang. Have you seen a topless S10 Blazer like this before? Depending on the dependability and drivability of the engine and the shape of the interior, this is a killer price, no?

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Comments

  1. Pappy

    I don’t believe the S10 Blazer ever had a removable top so this is another custom aspect of this vehicle.

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    • edh

      Correct

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    • DrinkinGasoline

      Yep

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    • David Ulrey

      You are correct.

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  2. Jay M

    IActually, ASC converted 1,500 of them to a removable roof in 1985.
    They were also used in a TV show named Riptide.
    They come up for sale now and then, and there are also many backyard conversions, too.
    The above example is much nicer than most, but I wonder what happened to it hard top?

    1+
    • Chebby

      Oh yeah, Riptide! The poor man’s ‘Simon & Simon’. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      • DAN

        you got that reversed
        riptide had
        59-62 corvette w/dual chrome roll-bars,lol
        speedboat
        big ass/bad ass bus size helicopter

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  3. Wagon master

    Those cyl heads are HP L31 062 Vortecs.

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  4. Jay M

    You can see the removable hardtop here:

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    • DrinkinGasoline

      Pure aftermarket. Notice how the roofline does not relate to the cab roofline and the sail panel rake does not reflect factory specs, not to mention that the rear “Dirt deflector” is clearly not GM, let alone that the cap is not color coordinated with the upper two-tone body color. And look at those side glass reveil seals….way too thick.
      DrinkinGasoline is a 25 yr. retired General Motors Service Parts Operations Manager certified in all GM Divisions including Fleet Operations…..just sayin’ ๐Ÿ™‚

      1+
  5. Woodie Man

    Too bad it’s a slushbox

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    • Don

      That is a custom there are no stock S10 that had that .I think the full sized blazer could have.

      1+
      • DrinkinGasoline

        You would be correct Don. The Chevrolet S-10 as well as the GMC S-15 version, were never manufactured by General Motors with a removable “Hardtop Cap”. The body’s were integral. Aftermarket “Upfitters” such as ASC and others did conversions but those vehicles did not leave the GM assembly line in that configuration. There is no such GM RPO for a removable top, nor was there ever mention in any GM SPO Service Parts Replacement listing.

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  6. Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Staff

    Thanks for the great follow-up info, folks! What a great group of people out there in Barn Finds’land!

    I agree on the automatic, a 5-speed would be so much more fun.

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  7. Don

    I do like the S10 Blazer better then the Ford bronco 2 had an uncle that had the bronco it sounded like a deisel engine

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  8. Jim

    I can answer your question about the top. I had a 73 full size Blazer I used to take to the beach surf fishing, the problem with the top is my garage usually had a project car in it so there was no chance of hooking up a pulley system for lifting it and storing the top. It unbolted easy enough but you couldn’t remove or install it yourself without a buddy(I had painted the truck and didn’t want to wreck the paint) and after a day or night fishing you were usually pretty tired to start playing strongman with the top. I had mine off quite a bit but not as often as I liked. I had a buddy with a ’69 with the folding soft top but the top kept getting cut up by kids breaking in and stealing stereos and parts. Here in NYC security is a problem if you park in the street, even in good neighborhoods kids still get into cars.

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    • DrinkinGasoline

      Yes. GM’s C and K Series did have removable hardtops as well as soft top options but, not the smaller S and T series from the line.

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  9. Ck

    Why does it have to be freakin Beige, any other color but freakin Beige.I hate freakin Beige.Otherwise its kinda kool.

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    • Chebby

      This beige was popular during GM’s worst era, so lots of its most awful cars were also this color. They really should have thought that one through.

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  10. Jay M

    Well, I think this is a great deal. An S truck with a V8 and 700R4 is a blast to drive.
    I had a short rwd with a TPI back in 1990 and it was plenty fast, fun and reliable.
    Looks like the truck used to be white, not sure about the choice of beige.
    Still, there is a lot there for the money and a color change is pretty simple on a small straight truck like this.
    Great find Scotty.

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    • Nova Scotian

      ๐Ÿ‘I concur except when the whole back window is open while the vehicle ๐Ÿš— is in motion, EVERY grain of sand gets blown into the cab. Like a desert storm. Had a truck with the sliding back window, and while it’s nice when trolling along, speeding up, creates the sand blasting action. ๐Ÿ‘Ž

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  11. Ron G

    I never knew these were a thing, but I like it. definitely worth the price to me, especially since it has a V8. One of my all time favorite vehicles, had 2 of them and 3 S-10s, loved every one of them. Very easy to work on.

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  12. RJ

    A steal.

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  13. George

    I liked everything about the S-10 Blazers except the engines (the 2.8 V-6 being more gutless than the 4 cylinder) and the 4 speed floor shift. The interiors were nice and could comfortably seat 4 adults but they were useless for anything but flat terrain. The road to the skiing area in Band OR has a relatively steep down grad followed by a block of flat road turning into an up slope of the same grade as the down slope. I was driving, there were 4 in the Blazer, w/ the owner riding in the back seat with her boyfriend, who suggested that I get up a head of steam if I expected to make it over the top of the upgrade. He was speaking to the choir as I always did that when driving pickups etc. I when I was at the bottom of the downgrade I was doing 90mph when i hit the up grade the speedometer looked like an altimeter of a jet fighter in a severe nose drive. Without lifting my foot off the gas, I shifted into 3rd not more than couple blocks up the hill when the speed had dropped to 42 mph. Te engine momentarily squealed like a pig from the temporary redlining, was soon down in the low twenties when I slammed it into second and we creeped over the top at 16mph. Some weeks later I was in my Honda Prelude reaching 90 mph in 5th when I started up. Fifth was pretty tall, so I had to select 4th at about 80 to maintain momentum and went over the top at 55. There were only two my wife and I as opposed to 4 in the Blazer, but there was no fear od being rear-ended which was a clear and present danger in the Blazer. About 6-7 years after introduction. GM finally put in more powerful engines which cured the problem. GM always does that with new entry cars. The Cadillac Allantra was introduced with the endemic 4100 engine which made the Cadillac about as exciting as the disastrous Cimmoran They waited to fix that stupid plan for several years and finally used the NorthStar the last year of production. My friend still has her 1986 Blazer which she seldom uses.She switched to an Olds 3.2 around 1991, when the 2.8 quit running altogether in about 1991 with 55K on the clock. The Olds made it driveable. She takes excellent care of her cars, and I was tempted to buy it a few years back and put in a 283 for driving short jaunts to the beach, fold the back seats down, back up close to the ocean, flip up the back tailgate and spend the night sleeping the night on a thick piece of foam rubber in my sleeping bag, like I sometimes did, when I would trade her my 1966 Dodge Charger for the week-end.

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  14. BRAKTRCR

    They moved Grand Rapids to Minnesota? Geeze I thought Michigan was recovering, but to have a whole city move, that’s rough

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  15. EJB

    There was a “topless” Blazer in the movie Jaws. I lust after that truck everytime I see the movie.

    I also love the mayor’s jacket but that’s a different story.

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    • Bingo

      Anchors away. โš“๏ธ

      1+
  16. wade

    gm never made a s10 with a removable top, but ( ASC ) American Sunroof Company made a conversion that dealers could install.

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    • Don DA DAVIS

      True
      Mine is ALSO a Dealership Option !

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  17. Don DA DAVIS

    They are far a Few between -[Blazer S10] w/ removable Tops !
    Mine is in The same category !
    1988 S10 C.S.E 4×4 Restored !–1 of 150 Produced in 1988 only !
    And–all OEM.
    I am also looking _maybe- to get one of those S10’s like that one !

    1+
    • DrinkinGasoline

      I hate to play devil’s advocate here but….Dealer Authorized Upfitter packages are not OEM (Original Equipment Manufacture), and not supported by GM Service Parts Operations in any manner. They carry no GM RPO codes whatsoever in Service Parts Identification.
      Conversions, whether factory authorized or dealer, carry an additional/secondary VIN which must be referenced when any replacement part inquiry is made..Which means, the poor GM parts guy has to track down the upfitter, which is most likely long out of business, bought out, or those era parts have been long since discontinued or superseded by one that will not apply to it’s original application. So no….CSE is not OEM nor is ASE, etc..

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  18. SubGothius

    Funny you mention no photos of the right side, as that second photo at first glance looks like the entire right side of the cab is missing! …until you realize that’s just an optical illusion created by the reflection in the rear window.

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  19. Don DA DAVIS

    Rockwood Conversions no longer supports on any Level the bed conversion–Nor do they make it any longer !
    I contacted them to get the info on this one !
    This truck has never left this area since it was purchased New off the Socorro Chevrolet Dealership here in Parker Az.
    *****************************************************************************
    The O.E.M comes into play w/ the replacement of Most of the parts that were worn out over the years !
    All Metal upfront has been replaced and much more !
    This bed is the ONLY thing thats after Market !
    And the Cab Visor .

    1+
  20. Don DA DAVIS

    Right Side.

    1+
  21. Don DA DAVIS

    Rear

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  22. dj

    I worked at a GM dealership during the 80’s 90’s. It was whoever come up with whatever to try and sell cars. They would slap Special Edition on them and claim 1 of 100. We had Euro Celebrity 4 door cars with ground effects held on with liquid nails. This cut up Blazer has the wrong seats and home made door panel inserts. I had a 1996 GMC Ducks Unlimited truck built in Memphis 1 of 12(was told that lol). Had extra money added to the sticker for stripes, gold emblems and so forth. It was still only worth what a 96 GMC was worth.

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  23. moorevisual

    Thanks Barnfinds! When I saw this truck I knew I had to have it. It arrived a few weeks ago and I’ve driven it pretty much every day, lots of fun and tons of curious looks and questions.

    2+
    • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Staff

      Congrats, moorevisual! I was working with the seller’s “representative” to try to set up a time to see it in person, but then communication ended and they never got back to me again. Nice work snagging that fantastic looking truck! Don’t forget ol’ Scotty G if you’re ever looking to pass it along.

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      • moorevisual

        Thanks Scotty. This had to be the most difficult experience I’ve ever had trying to get in touch with a seller. However, once I was able to speak to the actual owner, he was pleasant, helpful, and quite knowledgeable.

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  24. Jay M

    Congratulations! It’s fun to have something unique. Not sure what diff you have, but a 99+ from a 5speed manual S series will get you the 8.5″ rear diff with discs and the factory limited slip. Some even have 3.73 gears that will help acceleration.

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    • moorevisual

      Thanks Jay, I will definitely have to look into that!

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  25. Kevin Barclay

    Do you live near Atlanta GA?
    I either saw this truck or it’s twin at Home Depot today.

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    • Moorevisual

      Yes ’twas me!

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