Two-Wheel Drive K5: 1978 Chevy Blazer

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

4WD Blazers and Broncos are seemingly a dime-a-dozen; less frequently seen are the 2WD variants, such as the red-over-white 1978 K5 Blazer located in California. Said to be lifelong West Coast truck in solid condition, it hasn’t run in several years but sounds like it’s not too far removed from daily duty. The seller has listed it with a reserve and bidding is slowly approaching $2K. Find it here on eBay located in Fresno, California. 

The smaller wheels and tires is a bit jarring at first, almost making you think someone installed the incorrect size. But as a 2WD model, this Blazer was more likely used for beach cruising than trail hopping. The paint is clearly weathered but it looks right; I wouldn’t change a thing about the outside, personally. The checkered-cloth interior is a fantastic look, though the seller says it needs some work. Overall, however, this Blazer looks clean for a truck that’s been off the road since 2007.

That optional “auxiliary seat” is a nice feature, certainly good for lugging some friends along. The roof is removable on these Blazers, although you’ll likely want said-friends there to help you with extrication. The back of the truck presents even cleaner than the front, which is nice to see given how many vehicles become portable dumpsters once they fall out of use (such as in the trunk of the junkyard find BMW convertible we recently featured).

The full wheelcovers and tatty paint are a great look; I’d leave the exterior as-is with the exception of maybe adding a layer of fresh clearcoat. The electric rear window works but sometimes gets hung up – I’d absolutely get that fixed, as it’s one of the few luxuries contained within. Obviously, this Blazer is far more suited for the warm-weather states, but it’d look good just about anywhere there’s a beach. Under $4K would seem like a good deal to me; is there a market for a 2WD Blazer?

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Comments

  1. Steve R

    I’d be worried about registration. It’s not in his name, he bought it in February, though it was last registered in 2007. That won’t be cheap it might also be problematic depending on how many hands it’s passed through.

    You don’t see the 2wd versions often, it would be a cool car if it can be bought at the right price and it’s condition is as represented in the ad.

    Steve R

    1+
    • Rodent

      $635 to register it in my city, plus $207 use tax (depending on final purchase price and assuming that he has a title. Also, I ASSume that the cat is gone due to having dual exhaust. Probably won’t stay in California.

      1+
    • Nrg8

      So if it leaves the state er is going to leave the state, it will need to be payed up at the dmv.?

      0
  2. Kevin Lee

    Nice to see one not chopped, dropped, and smoothed out. I’m pretty sure the wheels and ‘caps are original for this model.

    4+
  3. Walter Joy

    Wouldn’t it be a C5?

    12+
    • Mike H. Mike H. Member

      Yes, it would be.

      2+
    • eggsalad

      In theory, you’re right, of course. In that generation of pickup, C meant 2wd and K meant 4wd.

      For some reason, upon which we can only speculate, the Blazers all wore K5 badges, regardless of how many wheels were driven.

      The most common theory that I’ve run across is that so few 2wd Blazers were actually built that Chevrolet thought it too expensive to cast “C5” badges.

      1+
  4. jw454

    I like the hubcaps. They also came on my 1970 C10 stepside. I believe they’re correct equipment for this model as well.
    These two wheel drive square bodies are rare. I have one on my, “If I ever win the lottery”, list.

    4+
  5. Rube Goldberg Member

    I agree, it’s not too often one see’s these in 2wd form, or any of these type trucks that are usually 4wd. I mean, the whole idea of having a vehicle like this is for their 4wd capabilities. I suppose it did make sense for someone that wanted this size truck and no extra hardware spinning. Truth be known, most of the 4wd vehicles today never need it. ( but you might , that’s the selling point) These were great trucks, not the most efficient, and top heavy,( needs bigger tires, even for a 2wd) but great trucks, best ever, probably.

    .

    2+
    • KKW

      No, not the best ever.

      1+
  6. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Agree on the 4wd units being all over the place and few 2wd. In fact when I bought my truck I wanted a 2wd and only found them used in Calif, Texas and Florida. I ended up going to California to get the one I have. Pretty much all the 4wd units around here never get further offroad than the local parking lot.
    I’ve not had a problem with a 2wd unit here in the Midwest as long as you have proper tires and a limited slip differential.

    2+
  7. geomechs

    We sold a lot of Jimmys out of our dealership. Maybe one of those was a 2WD. Just not very practical in the Chinook belt. Relatively trouble free. The rear window problem is likely a bad wire harness. A new one is not too difficult to install. Nice unit. Sure puts a different slant on this type of truck.

    2+
  8. Mark Evans

    The Red appears to have been rattle canned on with overspray on the cap. Seems to be camouflaging rust on passenger rear fender at top. 2wd does seem less practical than 4. Don’t know why but I like the under sized tires on this. Arthritis makes a model like this that is not jacked up quite appealing.

    3+
  9. Joe Haska

    I had the later Tahoe 2WD, with a Whipple leather etc. Living in Colo. then allot of people didn’t know they even built them. These are the same, and I have seen some very cool ones. The bid is over 3K now, so it is obvious there are people who want 2WD, me included.

    3+
  10. RicK

    The few 2wd Blazers around years ago that I remember always ended up lowered and rodded, and stock ones were scarce and in high demand. Anyhow about 20 years there was a 2wd Blazer in the newspaper want ads (shows you how long ago) seller wanted $1500 and I called and he said his phone had been ringing off the hook and made him suspicious, anyway he told me that he had decided not to sell it (or at least not so cheap) His was a ’73 and had the more desirable full hardtop that covered the whole passenger area, that when removed resulted in a true convertible look (unlike the ’75 and later that have the half hardtop that only covers from the rear seat back). Anyhow, I’d still take this one with the half hardtop in a heartbeat for the right price.

    1+
  11. Henry Drake

    I don’t think those hubcaps were offered in 78. These are the only two I know of from that year.

    1+
  12. Scott

    Had 2 of these over the years, a 79 and 91. Being the last year of that body style I held the 91 for as long as I could. I found someone selling a convertible top kit and used it on both. My kids and I had a lot of fond memories. To this day I still cherish those out of all the trucks I’ve owned.

    1+
  13. Cary A Gay

    No, those are not the original hub caps for the truck. Those are from 68 to 72 models. That’s why they look so small. The truck is nice so far, and yes, they’re rear than hen teeth.

    2+
  14. JW

    In Illinois we saw few 2WD Blazers because of our harsh winters. Road salt ate them alive meaning they still ran but the bodies were long gone after about 7 years. I had a 4WD just like this one but rusty as hell in the early 80’s, my son came to visit us from Colorado pulling a car trailer and broke down on I-80 close to us and the only vehicle with a hitch was the Blazer. Went to get them and the trailer and his wife was scared to ride in it.

    1+
  15. BTG88

    Paint it golden yellow and white, slap an Amity Sheriff Department logo on the doors and call yourself Chief Brody.

    3+
  16. Chebby Member

    It has the G80 locking rear differential, that makes it a bit more viable in snow and mud. Sitting on BFGs and rally rims in a few pics, but I am guessing those are not included.

    0
  17. Ranco Racing

    I have 2 of these; a 1976 and 1981, and one in the same paint scheme.Being in the snow belt the older has more rust than steel.

    0
  18. Chris

    Back to the article, where are you that 4wd k5’s are a dime a dozen?
    Show me where and give me directions.
    Around here they go for top dollar.

    1+

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