Spicy Olive – 1972 Chevrolet K5 Blazer

GM Scene Magazine®

Dan Hogan's 1972 Chevy K5 Blazer

While the word ‘budget’ is a relative term in the world of building custom vehicles, there are many factors to take into consideration when qualifying as a low dollar, high-end finished product. Hogan Built’s most recent completed automotive project is this ’72 K5 Blazer that has been affectionately dubbed ‘Olive’. It has been strategically customized to bear some relief to builder Dan Hogan’s wallet. Yes, this truck features top shelf styling cues and a ton of unique characteristics, and contrary to believe, there are portions of the truck where Dan was able to save a substantial amount of capital. True creativity and attention to the most minute detail goes a lot longer than some might think. 

Now, it does help matters that Dan is able to complete a big chunk of the craftsmanship in-house. When he assessed the Blazer at first, he didn’t see much in it other than it being a carcass he’d be able to harvest spare parts from to assist with other builds. Considering the steady upswing in the Blazer market as of late, Dan decided to ditch that plan of picking at its bones and instead chose to bring it back to life. “I bought this truck from a local friend who happens to be a swap meet dealer”, Dan comments. “It sat outside our facility for two years, and we felt it held far more value as a full restoration project than to let it rot away any further.” 

Before things go much further, it’s important to recognize the difference in meaning between doing things within budget and doing things cheaply. Hogan Built carries a flawless reputation of quality execution—with absolutely no corners ever cut en route to the finish line. The K5 stood to be an intense, nut-and-bolt replacement restoration that would receive all required amounts of metalwork and bodywork in the process. 

The body was disassembled from the frame to give Dan the opportunity to first sandblast the chassis clean and then smooth and weld up any unnecessary holes before it was powdercoated in satin black. From there, Dan proceeded to lift the Blazer’s suspension in a way to give it an aggressive, taller stance while creating a cushy ride quality. In order to find that ideal sweet spot, Deaver Soft Ride 4-inch leaf springs packages were used to deliver the desired altitude adjustment and OE-like comfort. Fox 2.0 Shocks were also used at each corner to promote even more quality to the K5’s ride. 

Both axles were soon rebuilt, resealed and refinished in Graphite Gray paint, and were capped off with brand new 17-inch Black Rhino wheels that have a cool, old school utilitarian look that would soon fit the Blazer’s restyling perfectly. A set of capable 33-inch BFG tires were then selected to give the truck the ability to travel confidently across just about any terrain type. To bring the upsized rolling stock to a controlled halt, 4-wheel disc brakes as well as a Wilwood master cylinder have been assembled. The end results gave the K5 much better stopping power without overspending on much more expensive big brake kits that would’ve dipped too far into Dan’s bottom line with the project.

The next exciting, yet economical move was to lock down a freshly rebuilt 350ci engine and 700R4 transmission. Engine selection is interesting to examine with show-worthy classic truck builds. While it has become commonplace to run with an LS or LT powerplant, which are both great selections due to their availability and adaptability, but Dan chose to take an old school approach with the 350. The block and Chevrolet script valve covers have been finished in Hugger Orange paint, and it has been outfitted with a CVF serpentine belt front drive, a Holley fuel delivery system along with a set of Hedman headers and a full custom exhaust for an engine what boasts an attractive combination of classic appearance with modern performance. 

The next step of the build was to address Dan’s game plan for the K5’s exterior. He wanted to hang onto the truck’s original nostalgic styling while giving it a modern twist that would appeal to those with interests in exciting lifestyle sports—or at least look the part. After a good amount of necessary bodywork was complete, Dan applied two-tone Acid Green and Dover White paint selections. 

To save in man hours and supplies, the Blazer’s top portion was left out of the build equation and was replaced with something much more interesting in our opinion. A custom bead rolled metal floor was fabricated and then treated with carefully cut portions of marine-quality SeaDek teak wood that make for a truly unique floor surface. All Day Fab in Phoenix, AZ was asked to create a one-off roll cage that assists with the customizable E-track system that can be configured to hold just about anything but is currently housing a matching BMX bike, surfboard and rear bench seat. This highlight of the build gives the K5 a leg up on others out there that could only wish to flex this same level of utility.

The cockpit area was then treated to a Snowden bench seat, door panels and dash pad that have been upholstered in tan-colored vinyl and suede by Bell Auto Upholstery for a clean, classic appearance. A Vintage Air climate control system has also been added that will blow enough cold or hot air at those riding up front to keep them as comfortable as possible in non-extreme temperatures (it is currently a convertible after all). To increase the level of excitement, Dan asked Tanner Riedel at Soundwerks to wire in a Retro Sounds Long Beach head unit, along with Rockford Fosgate front and rear speakers, two 8-inch M2 marine subs and all the necessary amplification necessary to crank the volume up to the max. 

As with most of Dan’s projects under his Hogan Built moniker, the K5 was put up for sale as soon as it was completed and put through the paces. Dan has developed a tried-and-true recipe for the trucks that he builds, and this Blazer followed suit—to a point. The restyling of it strayed off into new territory with the development of the adjustable track system and one-off flooring that runs throughout the project. “It was definitely one of the most unique builds that our team is responsible for”, Dan comments. “I would like to thank those who helped it come together. Nick (hubcaps), All Day Fab, Filardi Fab, Bell Auto Upholstery, Tanner Riedel, Ike Morgan, Shane Mahan, Next Level Mats, Jake Hogan, Janee Hogan, Jake Faulkner, Victor LeBron, Darrell Heverly, Leo Sedillo, Ron Hernandez, Kurt Brown “Moose, Rad Fab, and everyone else who played a part—THANK YOU!” 

GM Scene Magazine®