Ringbrothers’ latest K5 Blazer build is a gorgeous green gem
When you think of Ringbrothers, your first thought likely concerns of the company’s Pro-Touring muscle cars with restyled interiors, modern powertrains, and track-ready suspensions. But Ringbrothers is also responsible for some very nice Blazers; this particular 1970 K5 will be given away as part of a sweepstakes that benefits Veterans Coalition for Vaccination as well as Team Rubicon, a humanitarian organization that mobilizes veterans, first responders, and volunteers to help communities during disasters and times of need. Since the Blazer was hanging around in Southern California, we got the chance to take it on a drive along the coast to see what one lucky sweepstakes winner will get to enjoy very soon.
This K5 Blazer uses a different recipe than the company’s all-out muscle car builds, hewing to a much more mild and focused brief that delivers a better weekend cruising experience than your average Pro Touring muscle car. Where this 4×4 shines is its careful selection of paint color, wheel and tire package, and the subtle emblems hinting that it’s more special than your average resto-Blazer. The paint, a custom mix of BASF dubbed “Growler Green”, is a perfectly appropriate hue for a vintage truck, except that it’s got a perfectly buffed finish you’d never see on a dealership showroom. Sunlight really brings out this effect.
The biggest mechanical change over the Blazer’s factory equipment was the installation of a Wegner LS3 V-8. The engine has a deep, healthy rumble thanks to its Flowmaster exhaust. The engine note is fitting for a rough and tumble 4×4 but not too noisy to drown out conversations at highway speed—impressive considering we had the top off. Well, mostly off. There’s no typical fiberglass hardtop on the Blazer, but a Bimini-like top secured to the roll bar seriously cuts down on wind buffeting, even with the windows down. When the temps drop a bit, the LS3 produces plenty of surplus heat to warm things up, but then again, we were in southern California in June, so even at sundown it wasn’t too chilly.
We found the LS3, which is paired with a three-speed automatic, enjoys a pleasantly broad torque curve. That abundance of torque allowed for some conservative axle ratios that keep the engine speed at a comfortable level on the highway even without overdrive and still allow the open-top SUV to accelerate easily. It’s a hot rod as far as Blazers go, but compared to most of Ringbrothers builds, it’s a kitten. Throttle response is so linear that no driver accustomed to the power of a modern pickup would have trouble hopping behind the wheel of this lifted, muscly Chevy. The only noticeable concession to vintage feel is the steering. Like a lot of vintage 4x4s, it has a lazy spot on-center that makes you anticipate your turns to take the slack out first. We were quick to adapt.
If you’d like to enter the sweepstakes to win this blazer, click here for ticket information. They’ll be on sale until September 17 and the winner will be selected on October 6. Whoever takes it home will not be disappointed.