Original 350: 1971 Chevrolet K5 Blazer 4×4

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If you had declared in 1971 that SUVs would eventually dominate the new car market, most people would have given you a sideways glance and backed away slowly! Vehicles like this 1971 Chevrolet K5 Blazer were being comfortably outsold by the sedans and station wagons, which are now all but a distant memory. This classic is a rock-solid vehicle that has spent its life in a dry climate. It would be an ideal candidate for a light cosmetic restoration, but opting for preservation would be a valid approach. The seller has listed the Blazer here on eBay in Clovis, California. Bidding has raced beyond the reserve to sit at $21,150.

Chevrolet introduced the K5 Blazer for the 1969 model year, basing its new model on a shortened K10 Pickup chassis. This approach allowed the company to develop the vehicle cheaply by industry standards, giving Chevrolet a larger model to fight the Ford Bronco and International Harvester Scout. Initial sales were disappointing, but it only took until 1972 for the Blazer to begin comfortably outselling its Blue-Oval rival. This 1971 Blazer has spent its life in California, and the underside shots confirm it is completely rust-free. The Antique White hardtop is in good order, but the Mediterranean Blue gracing its panels has the baked appearance typical of dry climates. It would benefit from a refresh, but leaving it untouched is a valid option. The panels sport the occasional bump and bruise, which is expected from a vehicle of this type and age. There are no severe problems and none that justify steel replacement. The trim and glass are in good order, and although the aftermarket 15″ wheels and tires are later additions, they should enhance the Blazer’s off-road ability.

This Blazer’s interior is a revelation, with very few points worthy of criticism. The Blue vinyl seatcovers look remarkably clean, as does the carpet. Both look far better than you might typically expect, making me wonder whether they have been replaced. The passenger door trim has some slight wear, but the remaining upholstered surfaces are excellent. The dash is a highlight, with flawless presentation, gauges featuring crystal clear lenses, and a RetroSound stereo as the only aftermarket addition. The pad hasn’t succumbed to the sun, and there is no wheel wear.

Buyers could order their 1971 Blazer with a six under the hood, but this vehicle’s original owner went straight for the range-topping 350ci V8. They teamed that motor with a three-speed automatic transmission, a dual-range transfer case, and power assistance for the steering and brakes. The small-block would have originally produced 250hp and 350 ft/lbs of torque. Those figures gave the K5 a significant power advantage over the opposition, and the engine’s low-end torque delivery meant the Blazer could effortlessly traverse harsh landscapes while barely ticking over. The power and torque figures may be largely irrelevant because this small-block features a few upgrades beyond the visible cosmetic enhancements. It should breathe more freely courtesy of a Weiand intake, and the Champion aluminum radiator should keep things cool. The seller describes the condition as perfect, suggesting it is ready for a life of adventure with a new owner behind the wheel.

Being forced to sell a classic due to declining health is heartbreaking, which is the case with this 1971 Chevrolet K5 Blazer. The listing suggests it is the owner’s pride and joy and that they don’t want the sales process to linger unnecessarily. The twenty-one submitted bids have pushed it beyond the reserve, meaning a new home is only days away. It is a prime candidate for light restoration or preservation, but which would you choose if it were in your workshop? Are you tempted to turn that vision into a reality by submitting a bid? I wouldn’t blame you if you did.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. HoA Howard AMember

    Another noodle scratcher,,,again, not sure how BFs does it, remember the story of my ex-BIL and our trip to Nashville? This,or a reasonable facsimile there of,,was his ’71 Blazer we took. Blue, white top, only a 4 speed, I think, anyway, fun to see this stuff again.
    The K5( and Jimmy) , I feel, changed everything in 4×4 travel. No longer did a family have to put up with rattly door( if any), freezing, sitting on a 5 gallon pail, Scouts and CJs, or to a lesser extent, the FJ, to get somewhere. The K5 finally changed all that, and probably what many based their big 4x4s on,( Cherokee, Bronco, Trailduster etc). I’ve posted plenty of pics on rusty Blazers, most know 1st hand how fast they rusted, but most bought another, relegating the “old one” to driveway plowing up Nort’,,,what was left of them, that is. Many a body panel long gone, install the battery, fresh gas, and zoom,,still got it. Great find and I think I’m running out of vehicles for BFs to post,,,however they do it.( cue X-Files music)

    Like 8
  2. bobhess bobhessMember

    Great example of a great truck. Every time I see one of these it takes me back to our ’72 350, 4 speed manual, 4 wheel drive unit that did everything we asked out of it, which was a lot.

    Like 4
  3. Nostromo

    These have risen in value and interest. A few years ago I was looking to see what was out there and it was a revelation. Wow. Instead, I bought a 1996 2dr Chevrolet Tahoe in very good condition and spent two years with it getting it ready to sell to my younger brother; only I didn’t realize it at the time. That series Tahoe was/is fairly modern and it has the OBDII port which was a plus. Mechanically and electronically, that series Tahoe can still be fussed with by shade tree mechanics.

    Like 3
  4. mainlymuscle

    25k now , and my guess is it will take 40 ,and I will be there .I need another one !

    Like 3
  5. K. R. V.

    Awsome dry world survivor. With an original patina like a built in anti-theft device. Until you look inside or up close. The seat covers I’m here to say are definitely not original but nice.

    Like 1
  6. Pappy

    Interesting that it has the metal inner door panels. With AC/Auto, PS/PB, it should be a higher level model and it would have had the plastic door panels with armrest, etc.

    Seats are nice and have been replaced with non-original pattern. It also has the interior spare tire bracket behind the seat. Try finding one of those these days… $$.

    Like 1
  7. Scrapyard john

    I love everything about this Blazer. I’d get everything functional like the AC, etc (if it isn’t already) and just drive it. The cosmetics are good enough, in my opinion. An overdrive trans (700r4) would probably be a fairly straightforward addition and would make it more usable on the highway. Not sure if I’d go that route, but I’d consider it.

    Like 1

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