When opportunity knocks, you can’t ignore it. Two years ago, Alex Martinez had the opportunity of a lifetime: to own one of the best K5s out there. The measurement tech from Edinburg, Texas, learned the 1968 Chevrolet K5 Blazer was for sale, and he jumped at the chance to call it his own.
“I bought the truck built in late 2018,” Alex says. “Even though it’s frowned upon to buy a built truck, once I knew it was for sale, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to own one of the best K5s in the scene, even though I prefer to build them myself.” And looking through these pictures of Charlie Brown, you can see why he invested in it.
The K5’s exterior features Auburn Pearl paint with clear and basecoat from PPG, masterfully applied by Robert Meza Alamo Customs in Alvin, Texas. There’s also modern, sleek graphics in burnt orange with silver from Bobby Garza at Good Times in Alamo, Texas. One-of-a-kind Alamo Customs bumpers and grille, along with four extra headlights hidden behind the grille, decorate the outside. The wheelwells have bead-rolled tubs and firewall. Other custom bodywork includes a chopped top—1 inch in front and 3 inches in the rear—with custom glass and Kindig-It Design handles to match the filler gas cap and wiper cowl.
Under the hood, Charlie’s powered by a ’10 Chevy V-8 5.3-liter engine with new cams, headers and intake system. Zack Hammond of Daily Grind Fabrication in Alvin, Texas, built up the engine using a Brian Tooley Stage 2 camshaft, Holley intake manifold, Heddmend headers and 3-inch-diameter Magnaflow exhaust from both sides. The engine also features a fully polished street and performance pulley kit.
Zack worked on Charlie’s transmission and chassis, too. He installed a 2010 4L60E transmission. He cut down the driveshaft and installed some 14-inch Wilwood brakes, front and rear, along with a Wilwood master cylinder. The brakes were powdercoated to match the burnt orange and silver graphics. The Porter Built frame, powdercoated to match the wheels, has been tweaked to include a body-dropped triangulated three-link, and it includes Bilstein springs and shocks, front and rear. It cruises on air-ride suspension. The K5’s tires—Pirelli P Zero, 405/25R24—don’t rub at all, even when the Blazer sits an inch off the ground. They’re backspaced 5.5 inches in the front and 4.25 inches in the rear, and they’re wrapped around Raceline Wheels, Outbreak 5, in 22 x 15- and 24 x 15-inch sizes.
Alex says the interior is the most unique feature of the truck. Heath Moore Interiors of Prescott, Texas, did the work, and it really is something to behold. The one-off ultra-leather apricot seats come from a Honda Accord. The instrument gauges are from Dakota Digital, model VFD3-1011. The steering wheel is a Raceline Outbreak. And the stereo is an 8-inch tablet from Samsung.
“There’s just too many unique interior features to list,” Alex says. “From the perfect dash flow to the center console to fit the Vintage Air controllers and the e-level controller to the headliner. But like Heath Moore said, ‘Everything is made from grit, sweat and the love for automotive art.’”
Alex says he wouldn’t change a thing about Charlie Brown. “Everything that could be done has been done to it,” he says. “The easiest part about this was having it already build and avoiding all the headaches, thanks to the awesome work done by Ricky Holly and Robert Meza at Alamo Customs.”
If you’re thinking of building a Charlie Brown of your own, Alex has some advice: “Building something of caliber is always hard, but nothing is impossible. At the end of the day, it’s all worth it.”
Alex, who runs with r2r Truckings truck club, has taken this beauty to the Lone Star Throwdown, the Heatwave Tour and many other local shows, including the RGV Showoff. Keep an eye out for it during next year’s show season!