Grandpa’s 1997 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer

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Spending tens of thousands of dollars on a vehicle to transport the family can be daunting for some people, and the thought of owing the bank for a vehicle that will quickly depreciate is not an attractive concept. What if there was an affordable solution to the problem? Perhaps there is with this 1997 Chevrolet Blazer. It is a tidy, dry-climate survivor ready to hit the road for adventure or daily commuting. It is nicely equipped, but the seller’s price of $5,500 OBO may prove irresistible. If you’re tempted, you will find the Blazer listed here on Craigslist in Anaheim, California. I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder Rocco B. for spotting this beauty.

Chevrolet introduced its Second Generation S-10 Blazer for the 1994 model year, dropping the “S-10” designation following the end of K5 Blazer production. Our feature Blazer rolled off the line in 1997, with the original owner ordering it in Olympic White, a neutral shade that allows the vehicle to blend into the background effectively. Its overall condition is impressive for a vehicle with twenty-six years under its belt. There are no significant flaws or imperfections in the panels, and a dry-climate existence has left this classic rust-free. The seller admits the vehicle isn’t perfect, but the minor chips, scratches, and discolored bumper paint could be addressed easily and cheaply. The buyer might elect to leave things untouched, especially if this Blazer’s future includes ongoing battles in car parks or heavy commuter traffic. The plastic and glass are in good order for their age, and the wheels should present nicely following a thorough cleaning.

Chevrolet adopted a “one size fits all” approach under the hood with the ’97 Blazer. Buyers received the 4.3-liter “Vortec” V6, producing 190hp and 250 ft/lbs of torque. Shifting duties fall to a four-speed 4L60-E automatic transmission, with power assistance for steering and brakes as standard equipment. For a vehicle of this type, the curb weight of 3,686 lbs is surprisingly modest. While it doesn’t result in lightning performance, this Chevy will cruise effortlessly all day at 70mph while returning fuel consumption figures better than 20mpg. That is a winning combination for anyone contemplating the worth of this classic as a daily driver. The seller indicates that this Blazer has 98,000 miles on the clock and has always been meticulously maintained. It received a new timing belt at 70,000 miles, and the tires, belts, hoses, and battery are relatively new. It runs and drives perfectly, making it a turnkey proposition for its new owner.

The ace up this Blazer’s sleeve could be its interior because there is little to criticize about its condition. The carpet in the cargo area has dirty marks, but I suspect a professional cleaning might eliminate the worst of those problems. Otherwise, the cloth seatcovers look excellent, the carpet is clean, and there are no signs of cracking plastic or abuse. The factory radio has been upgraded to a more modern unit, but that appears to be the only modification. The new owner receives ice-cold air conditioning, an effective heater, power windows, power locks, power mirrors, cruise control, plenty of cup holders, and three charging ports for cell phones or other devices. Everything works as it should, with no problems or gremlins to cause headaches.

Returning to my earlier point, it is possible to wander into your local Chevrolet dealership and drive away in a shiny new Blazer. Many people wouldn’t think twice before doing so, and I understand the attraction of being any vehicle’s first owner. However, that will leave no change from $40,000, and the depreciation during the first five years will be horrendous. This 1997 Blazer offers an alternative for under 15% of that figure, leaving plenty of change in the bank for other purposes. The new Blazer would cause its owner anguish if it received a typical carpark scar, but the same damage on this one would barely raise an eyebrow. I know which I’d choose, and it seems a no-brainer to me. Do you agree, or would the shiny example off the showroom floor prove irresistible?

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  1. KC JohnMember

    $5500? Nope. My part of the country is full of old blazers,in this kind of shape, for less than half. No disrespect to Grandpa. It’s just an old SUV painted refrigerator white. IMHO

    Like 4
  2. Jason

    My parents had a ’95 in LS trim, but in black. It was sturdy, if unspectacular. But I can smell this example through the pictures, and it’s not good. I see signs that it was smoked in, and it’s filthy!

    Like 1
  3. Jack M.

    The Chevrolet 4.3 litre V-6 is a close relative of the small block Chevy 350. Many parts are interchangeable. And like every other small block Chevy, it has a timing chain and gears. The seller probably replaced the serpentine belt at 70,000 miles.

    Like 13
  4. Matt

    I had quite a few senior customers in the past 20 yrs where Blazers were their final vehicle before they passed. Most were GM loyalists and they knew the 4.3 was a sturdy engine, nearly comparable to the 3800 in their LeSabre’s. I disagree with the above comments. To me it looks like a solid enough deal, and even tho the market is finally cooling off, i havent see one like this for “half the price” in a dozen years. Interiors can be detailed and brought back. This is a solid deal and a helluva lot more sensible than spending three times as much on a clapped out newer SUV rhat has 10x as many things that can go wrong

    Like 25
    • James Ford

      You are absolutely correct Matt! We’ll worth buying if it’s truly in as good of shape as the pics. Go anywhere and be reliable. I would trust is a lot more then an multi chain drive sewing machine engine today GM puts out today.

      Like 3
  5. Maggy

    Here in the midwest salt belt that would be a heck of a deal at 5500.The 4.3 isn’t even broken in yet at 98k and the 4l60e transmissions are durable with normal use.This would be gone in a day or 2 up here.

    Like 13
    • Matt

      Im thinking these negative comment folks havent spent much time used truck shopping in the last 5 yrs. And being a 2WD only makes it that much simpler and more reliable

      Like 8
  6. Johnnymopar

    It is a 2wd version. The interior has some weird stains. No where near to like new as described. Expect ball joints every 50k miles, the transmission is good for about 150k miles and the undersized gas tank will have you at the pump every 220 miles or so.

    Agreed, to me this is overpriced for a refrigerator white suv without 4wd. But to someone it may be worth it.

    Like 4
  7. Richard Isenberg

    Wow. A lot of negative comments on here. I’ve had 3 of these over years gone by and loved them. PA salt and snow destroyed them. I absolutely think it’s worth it. A good interior cleaning and a nice set of blazer factory wheels.

    Like 8
  8. Connecticut mark

    190hp not bad , 4.3 was a good engine, but 4×2 at that price not worth it unless you live in Florida.

    Like 1
  9. John Wilson

    Had one of these (red, 4wd) for many years. Ohio road salt did it in eventually. Had great difficulty finding certain replacement parts (“Y” pipe in the exhaust for one). Gave it away and it ran another couple years until it gave up the ghost.

    Like 1
  10. Henry A Crawford

    A lot of hate for a good sound truck under 100,000 miles. I worked for a Chevy Dealer in the 90s and these were hot sellers. Dependable is how I would describe it; They were abused (they are trucks} and after 25 years rust has taken its toll on what’s left out there. Please show me this truck for half that price and I will take two.

    Like 10
  11. Zen

    I knew of one on Long Island last for more than 300,000 miles before it was really falling apart, original engine and transmission. All highway miles, but still, that’s pretty impressive. That 4.3 V6 first impressed me when I knew someone who had one in a 1985 Chevy Caprice Classic. They bought it new, neglected it to no end (running low on oil numerous times), and it still lasted over 100k before the car was stolen, never to be seen again.

    Like 0
  12. Daniel (grandpas Son )

    Please note ~ this truck is its original condition we have not had it professionally detailed or restored in any way so what your seeing is this truck in its “dirty” original how it sat in the driveway shape you have to know how tough that is to find anything 30 years old this nice without a professional owner or particular enthusiast just an older man driving his truck daily yearly and keeping it nice and clean ALL ORIGINAL UNCLEANED professionally UNTOUCHED JUST NORMAL WASHES AND NORMAL UPKEEP YES THE TIMING WAS changed AT 70k Like it was supposed to be

    Like 3
    • Zen

      It wouldn’t have needed a timing chain at only 70k miles, so I believe you are mistaken. Please check your records.

      Like 1
    • James Ford

      Haters gonna hate Daniel. Your grandpa did good keeping it in good shape!👌

      Like 3
  13. JCAMember

    Why would someone include close up shots of a dirty interior? Makes no sense

    Like 1
    • William Leslie James

      How about HONESETY ,and self respect. I try to be as honest as possible when selling and hope to get the same when buying … I have been lucky for the most part,,, BUT NOT ALWAYS…

      Like 1
  14. Jason D Graves

    If it were one newer the front clip was different and IMO better looking. With a nice set of Corvette ralley wheels, 2″ cowl induction hood, and some window tint. It would be a very sharp ride and still very dependable with the 4.3 v6. I’ve owned several S10 over the years with the 4.3 and they will last forever. Taken care of. Love these trucks. From 83 to 04 I think

    Like 0
  15. Jason D Graves

    Headliner is also coming down above driver’s side. Also looks like quite a few scraps and scratches around the corners of bumpers. Still for the age a very decent looking ride

    Like 0

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