Buy Of The Week? 1980 Chevrolet K5 Blazer

Inexpensive, usable 4×4 vehicles aren’t real plentiful these days with most sellers thinking that their vehicles are a half-hour q-tip detailing away from big bucks on a national auction stage. This 1980 Chevrolet K5 Blazer is listed here on craigslist in San Tan Valley, Arizona, about 50 miles southeast of Phoenix. The seller is asking $3,200 for this truck. Thanks to Roland W. for submitting this tip!

Most of us have discussed how prices have been rising faster than incomes, but here’s one that could be a good buy. I’m embarrassed to even say what I’ve spent $3,200 on, it certainly wasn’t anything remotely as useful or cool as a sunburned Blazer. This really looks like a project that a person could tinker with as they have time or money to do so and just drive it in the meantime. As a general reference, NADA is at $8,350 for a low retail value and Hagerty is at $11,400 for a #4 fair condition value. These are the next hot vehicles, mark my words, Weezie.

The second-generation K5 Blazer had a removable top but in 1976, the cab portion stayed intact, unlike the first-gen Blazers. The early ones were really cool, having an almost-safari look that is really unique but maybe not too safe in rollover accidents. Not that we can live our lives worried about every scenario, but Chevy hoped that leaving the cab portion there would help a bit in those instances, and it also helped with water leaks.

This 1980 Blazer has never been lifted or modified in that way and I like the look, although I know that the surface-rust look isn’t for everyone. The interior looks a little worse for wear and you can see surface rust in the cracks and crevices, but $3,200 for a 4×4 that runs and drives well is hard to argue with. The dash cover maybe isn’t ideal but it works and it looks like a decent job of putting that cover on there. Seat covers are a no-brainer and you can take the top off and restore it while you drive the vehicle without a top on. I mean, well, you know what I mean.

The dusty, dirty engine is Chevy’s 350 cubic-inch V8 which would have had 170 hp and 270 ft-lb of torque. The seller has gone through the fuel system in this rig, from the rebuilt Holley 650 carb to the new fuel pump, gas tank, and sending unit. They say that it runs, drives, steers, and stops very well. Any thoughts on this Blazer? Good buy or good-bye?

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  1. Pat L Member

    Nice Scotty, you don’t see a whole lot of Jefferson references around anymore!

    • Lou

      Had to re-read just to find the Jefferson reference. What do you think happened to the hood? Here in Ohio, this rig would be sold already.

      • Lemble

        The hood hinges on these needed oiled a lot because they become stiff. When the hood starts to rust they bend easily mostly because of a bad design on the hood.

      • Hoberg

        This generation of GM trucks too commonly folded the hood at the leading edge where hinge bolted to the hood. Regretted getting rid of mine. So many good memories.

      • bikefixr

        Weak point in the hood frame. When the hinges get sloppy, they bend right at that point There is a kit avail that reinforces it. It was originally part of the front crumple zone

  2. local_sheriff

    Yes these hinges need to be lubed but not more than other hinges of such design. I’ve owned a ’77 and a ’78 squarebody and I never experienced kinks in the hood, but then again I gave them a squirt now and then. They bend because CARELESS owners neglect to lube them at all – the hood is designed to fold in the event of a collision.

    To me this is the very last of what I find as interesting K5s – the square-eyed versions coming ’81 onwards are so wimpy compared to the original ’73-’80 face. It’s sad GM executed the full convertibles from ’76; if they really wanted roll-over protection they could’ve equipped the K5 with a tubular rollbar as standard equipment, just as Wranglers have been equipped up to this day. It’s quite a downtrip to unbolt so many bolts and lift off that massive top, for then still not get the true wind-in-your-hair experience…

    • Todd Zuercher

      It wasn’t just additional rollover protection that made the change in the roofs for ’76 – the earlier versions tended to leak more around the windows/windshield, etc. That was one reason Ford went with the metal top over the doors on the ’78-’79 Bronco.

      • local_sheriff

        That’s true Todd and the wast majority of K5 owners hardly ripped the top off either. I never had leakage issues with my ’77 K5 though it was removed a couple times – my ’71 K5 though is a completely different story and its soft top probably seals better!
        Should the general interest for these vehicles keep growing I foresee a coming aftermarket product destined for ’76up K5 owners; a full convertible conversion kit featuring the ’75down windshield frame and body reinforcements

  3. jerry z

    I think there were more bent hoods on these Chevy’s that straight ones! Don’t get people takes the effort to get it running but can’t clean the truck?

  4. Todd Zuercher

    There were plenty of companies ‘back in the day’ that offered hood stiffening kits for this generation of trucks. There might still be some available – along with the frame repair/stiffening kits where the steering boxes attached. Autofab and Offroad Design have sold a lot over the years.

  5. Karl

    It’s got good potential and I wouldn’t get to bent about the hood (pun intended) you can buy a brand new re pop for a couple hundred bucks!

  6. mainlymuscle

    Not that it’s not worth saving,but about 5 seconds of math will tell you to spend 10 to 15 grand on one that’s already done .

  7. bikefixr

    Hell, I literally gave my 60K ’88 4sp Blazer away. Ported Vortecs, headers/true dual exh, .510-.525 210 cam, Centerforce, Eddy Performer Plus with a modified 454 TBI unit….1st outing SHATTERED the rear diff and both axles. Wish I had it back. Never envisioned prices rising like this.

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