Does it make sense to take a modern Chevrolet Tahoe and turn it into a vehicle that was found in the market several years ago?
The fact that the modern version of this big SUV is comfortable, filled with quality elements, and offers you the reliability you’re looking for during your drive. These elements are what we look for in vehicles that will carry our families around, making the question we need to answer, “why would a modern Tahoe be transformed?”
The K5 Blazer was Immensely Popular
The classic look and build of the Chevrolet K5 Blazer gave us a large, off-road SUV that was capable of taking on the wilderness and being right on the road. This SUV used a truck frame to give us the size and capability offered. The K5 Blazer was built in two different versions, one with two doors and one with four doors, to give us the wheelbase that would handle the challenges of every drive. At the time this SUV was prowling the roads and trails, it competed with several other off-road SUVs that were capable of adventures out on the trails.
Who Can Turn a Modern Tahoe into a Classic Blazer?
If you want the look of a K5 Blazer but you want the modern driving qualities and technology included in a Chevrolet Tahoe, the team to get the job done is Flat Out Autos. This team has expertly created the process to turn a modern Tahoe into a classic Blazer for a while, mostly transforming models that have the same number of doors, four, from one build to the other. This change is relatively direct because the Tahoe and a four-door Blazer have the same size platform to give customers a large SUV to drive with classic styling.
We would have to stop this article if all we were talking about was a simple body swap from one four-door, Chevy, to another. The most interesting aspect of what the team at Flat Out Autos is doing right now is turning a Tahoe Z71 into a two-door K5 Blazer. This transformation is much less direct than the four-door swap, making the change more challenging. The two-door version of the K5 Blazer has a shorter wheelbase, giving us the true topic of our conversation and the vehicle this team is taking to the SEMA show this year.
Taking on the Challenge
Rob Hester, owner of Flat Out Autos, chose the challenge of creating a two-door version of the reverse restomod that his team had been working on for a while. Creating a two-door Blazer would take a lot more work than the four-door model, but since he started creating this version, there have been several people asking for it. If the model he takes to the SEMA show is a success, this shop might be flooded with orders for the classic look that uses modern safety, technology, and quality for driving.
How Do You Make The Tahoe Shorter?
To fit a two-door K5 Blazer body on the chassis of a modern Chevrolet Tahoe Z71, the chassis had to get a lot shorter. The first thing for the Flat Out Autos team to do was to cut eight inches out of the middle of this vehicle, and then put it back together with everything in the right place. Several questions come up when considering a vehicle that’s been cut in half and then put back together, but most of those questions won’t be answered until the vehicle makes its debut at the SEMA show.
Cutting out eight inches of the vehicle wasn’t the only challenge facing this team. The gas tank had to be moved, the exhaust needed to be shortened, the driveshaft moved, and the rear AC lines were altered as well. The idea was to maintain the safety and useful features of the Tahoe while creating the right size for the Blazer body. In addition to moving all these parts, the front seats needed to be altered to swivel up, allowing easier access to the rear seats for the passengers in that area. This SUV would only have two doors, which meant everyone would be entering through the same doors.
From Three to Two Rows of Seats
The typical Chevrolet Tahoe has three rows of seats, but the restomod K5 Blazer version only has two. The team moved the rear seats much farther back to maximize legroom for passengers that will be seated in this area of the vehicle. Because this SUV is still a Z71 Tahoe underneath, it is made for comfort, cargo, utility, and fun.
Excellent Power, the Modern Approach
Using the Z71 Tahoe for the build means the powertrain offered gives you an incredible 5.3-liter V8 engine that makes 355 horsepower and 383 lb.-ft. of torque. This impressive engine is capable of handling the power you need if you want to tow a heavy load behind your K5 Blazer/Tahoe combination. The transmission used is an eight-speed automatic version, which helps you have the smooth ride you’re after.
The question you’ll have to ask with the powertrain is whether or not you feel that you could trust a vehicle that’s been cut in half and put back together. Considering the Flat Out Autos team has been completing resto-mods for quite a while, you should feel confident pulling a trailer if you ask them to build a two-door version of your favorite Blazer.
The Off-Road Items You Want to Enjoy
We’ve covered most of what the Chevrolet Tahoe maintains to give you an amazing drive in your new K5 Blazer, but we haven’t talked about the Z71 package. Why use this version of the Tahoe? The answer is simple; this version has the off-road features and credentials needed to make the K5 Blazer worthy of trail riding in the wilderness.
The SEMA show runs from November 2-5 this year. Even if you miss the show, you’ll be able to see videos and read about the impressive two-door K5 Blazer brought to this event by Flat Out Autos.