Idaho Roller: 1970 Chevrolet K5 Blazer

Todd FitchBy Todd Fitch

Chevrolet introduced the first-generation K5 Blazer in 1969 to compete with the Ford Bronco and International Harvester Scout. The thinkers at GM based the K5 on a shortened pickup truck, reducing costs and presenting a roomier, more comfortable alternative to smaller competitors (some details courtesy of Wikipedia). This 1970 Chevrolet Blazer sits in¬†Roberts, Idaho with a listing here on eBay where you can click “Buy It Now” to begin a project for the low entry fee of $1,900.

The listing includes numerous pictures of the underbelly of this beast, and considering its age and the Idaho listing, it’s not too bad. I’ve seen worse rust on Pennsylvania trucks built in early 2000s. The rear frame tips had bumpers welded on then later torched off, and the front frame tips have been abused by recreational contact or perhaps snow plowing.

It seems the $1900 asking price did not warrant removing all the crap from the interior to take some decent pictures. The seller describes the interior as “mostly present.” The exposed door panels suggest this vehicle left the factory wearing orange paint. My Uncle had one like this in the ’80s, orange and white, and it was a blast, making the smaller Jeeps, Scouts, and Broncos seem toy-like in comparison.

Chevy offered two inline sixes and two eights in 1970 including the world’s cheapest hot-rod V8, the small block 350. The V8 exhaust manifold and manual transmission give some clues as to the most-recent powerplant. Both three and four speed manuals were offered in ’70, though (as typical through the ’80s) the first gear on the four speed is a “Granny Gear” most suitable to rock-crawling and squaring up small buildings on their foundations. TheDrive.com calls this truck “The best thing to happen between 1969 and 1972, besides maybe the moon landing.” What do you think?

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Comments

  1. DrinkinGasoline

    It’s a blank slate and for less than $2K, someone could get into the hobby reasonably affordable. Decent tires and rims and everyone and their mother uses a SBC so that’s no sweat. I’m not a Bowtie Guy but I would pull the trigger on this one waaay before considering the Coca-Cola Crap-Ola.

    10+
  2. JamestownMike

    FINALLY, someone has a reasonably priced project! Despite that, I’d only pay $500 to $1,000 max! Looks like a 3 or 4 speed manual, 4×4, no a/c, power brakes. Has one V8 exhaust manifold. LOVE that color on the K5 Blazers!

    4+
  3. MSG Bob

    Drove one of these (with 6.2L Diesel and auto trans) in the National Guard for about 10 years. By the time I retired, the one I had was well over 100,000 highway, street and off-road miles. Good truckettes.

    3+
    • Dave Wright

      Yours would have been a little newer than this one. Most were 86’s. The military bought a ton of 86 Chevy’s that were slightly modified to military specs, like 24V electrical systems that were wonderful. The military still has and operates a large number of them because they are good trucks and 86 or earlier diesels were immune from electro magnetic pulses from a bomb detonation. I have had several and as you say…..are wonderful trucks. One actually saved my life years ago in a high speed crash into a guard rail. They are still being sold by the government nearly weekly today.

      5+
  4. whmracer99

    Similar bones to the one that sold on Barrett-Jackson for $200K (still don’t believe that deal). Decent price for a project vehicle that’s structurally sound.

    3+
  5. sluggo

    Saw acres and acres of these (newer versions) at military bases all over the world. Most painted in woodland camo. We had a ready line of these in advanced mobility standby at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey,, I did not pay much attention but I would wager at least 150 of them all lined up. The problem was nightly raids by thieving Chingene (Gypsys) who would sneak on base and try to steal parts off them. An Auto trans for one of these would be a windfall and were highly in demand.
    I also drove a few of these when working with EOD teams looking for ordinance. We got to thrash these all over the Bomb ranges and then when you spot something, plant a flag, mark it on a map and on to the next adventure..
    When we were slow and did not have acft at the time I worked with EOD augmentee

    0
  6. Jay M

    Bought a 1970 K5 when I was 15 for 1,100 cash. Hugger orange CST, 350 -4 speed. Pulled a lot of friends out of the mud.
    I blew up the motor and sold it for 1,900.
    Saw it for sale about 5 years ago for 45k.
    The owner couldn’t believe that I still remembered the serial number 30+ years later…
    Good restoreable ones are getting very hard to find for a decent price.

    3+
  7. chad

    post a pic of a restored 1 from behind & above w/top off,
    sharp lookin!

    0
  8. Robbie

    this truck is worth its weight in scrap. maybe 25 to 50 dollars for the wheels and tires !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    0
  9. Tyler

    I’ve owned two of these, a 71 & a 72. I converted the 72 to a 2wd, was gonna be a nice summer cruiser, but someone else wanted it worse than I did so I sold it before finishing. Other than rockers, about the only body parts they have in common with the trucks is from the firewall forward. The torque boxes rust bad & the frames tend to crack on the driver side at the steering box. I do believe that someone is making a new tub for these now, & with the cost of the replacement panels, & the body work to install them, you would probably be money ahead to go that route.

    The late 90’s fuel injected L31 Vortec 350 is a direct bolt in, & would be the perfect power plant for this project. The SM465 transmission & NP205 transfer case that came in these are hard core & cant really be improved upon unless you went with a NV4500 5 speed.

    With that being said, these are fun, & you don’t see a lot of the first gen Blazers & Jimmys anymore, so it’s worth rebuilding. But unless you can do most of the body work yourself, you may be better off to buy one already finished.

    0

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