"Family Cruiser" by Miranda Kurpe

"Family Cruiser" by Miranda Kurpe

The K5 Blazer was first produced in 1969. Originally developed from the truck line as a full size competitor to the smaller Ford Bronco. Initially the Blazer was only available as a 4x4, but in 1970 they started offering them with 2WD. With a 104 inch wheelbase, 177.5 inch full length and only 79 inches width, the Blazer was equally as efficient off-road as it was in town.

There was 83,000 first gen Blazers made from 69-72, with less than 1% of them built with factory 2WD. Only 3,357 2WD Blazers were built in 1972, making them as rare as they are desirable. With custom built high end ones going for well over six figures. They are so popular that some companies have even started making replica full bodies. Jason Chute has always had a passion for Blazers, drawn to fact they can carry more than 3 people, are versatile turning into a roadster with the roof off and that fact that they are just fricken cool. So when his buddy imported a 1972 Medium Bronze K5 Blazer from North Dakota in 2002, as a business promotional piece, he made his interest  known and even had a standing offer to purchase it. In 2008 his buddy sold his business and Jason got the call he’d been waiting for. At the time Jason was building a Porter Built equipped 1967 Chevy short box that wouldn’t have the same room for a growing family like the Blazer would!

It has a Big Block 454, Turbo 400 and 3:73 factory post rear end. It has an Accuair full air ride system with Porter Built tubular control arms up front and custom built trailing arms out back. It has Slammed Specialties bags and disc brakes all the way around. It has new interior with a factory tach, factory tilt, with houndstooth and vinyl factory seats. Over the years Jason’s blazer has had many engines, a 327, 383, two different 350’s and finally the big block 454 it has now. The Blazer rolls on US Mag Ramblers with 22’s on the back and 20’s on the front. It even has an Accuair control panel hidden in the ash tray!

The air ride was plumbed and wired by Matt at Old Style Customs out of Red Deer. At the time his kids were too young but they help with day to day maintenance now that they’re older. At the time Jason may have paid more than what others thought was fair market value, but he doesn’t care, saying that it was “Hands down the BEST automotive purchase he’s ever made.” The roadster feel is one of Jasons favourite features of the Blazer. So as you’d expect, the roof hasn’t been on it while driving for the last 5 years. He enjoys taking it on cruises to Red Deer and spur of the moment trips for ice cream with the kids. In the summer the blazer is Jason’s primary mode of transportation, he says, “Nothing else moves.”

When Jason bought the Blazer it had 71,000 original miles on it. With the previous owner only putting around 6,000km’s on it in 6 years. Now he averages that each year with no plan to slowdown. 15 years later and the Blazer is still Jason’s favourite summer cruiser and is practically a member of the family. He will never stop collecting one of a kind rides, most will come and go but he says, “This One is Forever!”

In the future he wants to do a full frame off restoration, paint the chassis and attempt to get it lower to the ground! Jason has always worked hard to build his dreams and now he’s raising 3 fabulous children to pass the passion onto. We can’t wait to see what they build next, but one things for certain. When the suns out, the Chute’s will be about in their Family Cruiser.

For more info on Jason and his other rides grab yourself issue #5 of Cruise Culture Magazine or follow him on instagram at @ybnorml67.


Article and Photos by Miranda Kurpe (MNK Photography)


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