Vintage off-roaders continue to climb skyward in the collector market with the values of various American and Japanese 4x4s reaching massive heights—remember, these were once considered to be everyday trucks. Now, however, first-generation Ford Broncos can hardly be had in good shape for under $35,000, and the same is true of classic Chevy Blazers. None have ever fetched as much as this 1972 Ringbrothers K5 restomod, though, as someone recently purchased the black beauty for a staggering $300,000 on Bring a Trailer.
It's unclear exactly how much this restoration cost initially, though the Ringbrothers are known for their superb work on previous builds such as the Ford Mustang "UNKL" and 1,000-horsepower AMC Javelin. This Blazer is undoubtedly more subdued than either of those examples, putting it more in-line with what people expect from re-done four-wheel-drives.
The K5's exterior is spotless and features a slew of subtle details that tell this is far from a factory stock roller. The impeccable black paint does a good job of hiding those details, especially when the upgrades themselves are incorporated in a way that Chevrolet very well could have some 48 years ago. You wouldn't know at first glance, however, that the body had been acid dipped, or that the bedside and tailgate had been raised one inch to better match the door sills. Likewise, you wouldn't notice the front fenders had been stretched by an inch or the rear fenders by three-quarters of an inch.
Upgrades to the interior are a bit more obvious, but they're nonetheless stylish and tasteful. The blue vinyl and houndstooth cloth cabin is vibrant without being shouty, and the dash is equally sharp with a host of machined metal switches and toggles. There is, of course, a more modern touchscreen head unit and Kicker speakers, which compliment the contemporary feel that's present throughout. The gauges were completely custom-made by Ringbrothers, as were the grab handles, door handles, and window cranks which shine with a perfect aluminum finish.
Oh, and don't forget the tooling that runs from the door panels to the tailgate.
Underneath, the Blazer sports a ton of new old stock parts with understated improvements. The engine is a 350-cubic-inch ZZ430 V8 and its topped with a Holley Dominator fuel injection system. Power is then sent to a four-speed 4L80 transmission, which can distribute twist to the rear or all four wheels through a two-speed Bowler transfer case. The Chevy rear differential has been rebuilt with Yukon 3.42:1 gears, which are suited for highway cruising as well as light off-roading. Not that you'd ever want to take your mid-six-figure, show-quality rig through the thicket.
The frame has been stripped, strengthened, and boxed, providing extra reinforcement to the steel architecture. The front and rear suspension have been rebuilt with brand new factory parts, though the shocks are Bilstein units for an improved ride. Lastly, a custom Ringbrothers-built front sway bar completes the OEM-plus platform mods.
Prior to this truck, the most expensive K5 Blazer ever sold on Bring a Trailer went for just $40,000. It was a factory-fresh example, also a 1972 model, that most people would nab up in a heartbeat. It simply isn't on the same level as this restomod, however, and it's doubtful that anything else truthfully is, at least when it comes to vintage Chevy metal.
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