ADRIAN MCKITTRICK’S HEAD-TURNING STREET ROD-STYLED BLAZER
FOR MOST OF US, the path to owning, building and showing custom trucks was paved by someone we looked up to when we were young. In most cases, it was dear old dad who had a truck with an unmistakable exhaust note you could hear from blocks away. We have great memories of riding shotgun on the springy front seat, being surrounded by thick steel as the mechanical music lulled us to sleep. As a kid, when your dad took you to school or out for a day of fun in the old family pickup it was an experience.
For Adrian McKittrick, who hails from Little Elm, Texas, the memories with his dad in an old truck served as the launch pad for his automotive passion that still burns brightly today. When Adrian was a kid, his father had an old C-10 and the two would cruise, wrench on and bond over the truck together. Unfortunately, the truck was stolen when Adrian was 12, but he never lost sight of the great times he had in that old truck.
Fast forward 20 years and Adrian was ready to relive those cruising experiences with his dad. He chose a ’72 K5 Blazer as his build template. Plus, his dad has a ’55 Chevy two-door hardtop, so naturally Adrian wanted to build something to show right next to his pops. Since the Blazer was a 4×4, Adrian knew some pretty serious chassis mods would be needed to get it on the ground tucking 24s. After talking to his friend Mike Baldwin about who built Mike’s truck, Adrian was introduced to Jeremy Rice at Tre 5 Customs in Arizona, and the build throttle was cracked wide open.
Tre 5 began modifying the truck’s bones by narrowing the stock 12-bolt rearend, converting it to five-lug with new Moser axles, adding 3.73:1 gears and installing a limited slip diff. The rearend was centered and slammed with a parallel 4-link complete with a Watts link, rear-facing leverage bars and 2,600- pound airbags. All of the suspension trickery is chromed for extra show points. McGaughy’s rear brakes and KYB shocks increase stopping power and control rebound at the rear. Up front, a Porterbuilt Fabrication cross member, McGaughy’s drop spindles and upper and lower control arms with 2,600-pound airbags help the fenders close in on the 24-inch rim and rubber package. A McGaughy’s big brake conversion handles stopping power up front while KYB shocks team up with the airbags for a smooth-as-silk ride. AccuAir E-Level system, dual VIAIR 44C.
compressors and an AccuAir 5-gallon tank complete with AccuAir Exo-mount system take care of the suspension plumbing. Capping off all of Tre 5 Customs’ slick suspension work is a set of 24×10 Lexani LX-Nine wheels clothed in Sevizia SE-422 P255/30R24 tires.
Now that the stance was nailed it was time to put some power under the hood of this open-air beast. For throttlestomping, tire-blazing performance Adrian chose a 2000 Chevy LS1 engine set in place on Porterbuilt mounts. The engine was topped with painted Corvette engine covers and fed cool air with a polished cold air intake. Spent fumes are sent packing with a set of Sanderson LS conversion headers hooked to a Magnaflow hot rod kit that Jeremy fit and installed. A Vintage Air FrontRunner system with polished pulleys keeps things cool for those blazing hot Texas summer days. Ryan Parma performed the wiring for the LS conversion. A 4L60E ensures smooth power delivery to the 12-bolt.
To achieve the slick and smooth street rod look on the exterior, Jeremy busted out the big fabrication guns and went to town giving the Blazer more body mods than a Hollywood movie star. A stock floor body drop was performed and coupled with a new frame to enable the pinch molding to hit the Texas tarmac. A Grant Kustoms front roll pan seamlessly joins the front fenders while the rear was cleaned up with a Grant Kustoms Cali Combo that flows into the roll pan to delete the tailgate. The stock gas filler, emblems and turn signals were all shaved. The door handles were also shaved for the quintessential street rod touch, and out back the factory taillights were shaved and filled in with LED lights from AVS. A set of 7-inch round headlights from The Hoffman Group light up the road for spontaneous evening cruises. Additional radical metal mods performed by Tre 5 include leaning the windshield back, cutting down and capping the doors, capping the quarters and tailgate, shaving the cowl, fabricating a retractable license plate and installing a locking hood latch. The windshield was installed and shaped by James and Brad at Select Glass.
After the Blazer’s wild metal transformation was completed and the bodywork was finished to a T, the metal was coated in BASF Refinish Straight Red complemented by an airbrushed faux chrome stripe to resemble tri-five Chevy car trim. Dear old dad’s influence strikes again.
Setting off the inside of this rocking red roadster is interior artistry by Todd at The Interior Shop and Steve at Definitive Audio. Supple cream leather covers the four bucket seats, door panels, center console, under-dash panel and custom kick panels. Steve custom-built the door panels, center console, seats, quarter-panel pieces, rear enclosure and kick panels. LED lights illuminate from behind customfrosted panels and show off the Accuair Exo-mount air management system. A Dakota digital ’55 Chevy truck gauge cluster mounted in a smooth, custom sheet metal dash by Tre 5 Customs is underlined by a custom panel housing the Vintage Air billet oval AC vents. A billet steering wheel topping a billet steering column ties into other billet accents throughout the interior.
For hard-hitting jams, Steve at Definitive Audio installed an iPad head unit, Scosche wiring, Scosche Realm series 6-inch component sets, two Realm 10- inch eardrum-rattling subwoofers, a Realm four-channel and Realm mono block amplifier. For juice, Adrian relies on two Kinetik HC1800 batteries. Accumat sound deadener throughout the interior keeps the interior right and tight.
Adrian now has created one slick, smooth, head-turning custom K5 Blazer thanks to help from some of the finest fabricators in the industry, and every time he turns the key he relives the good old cruising days with his dad. The two are showing their rides together and bonding over their passion for custom rides, and that’s just flat out cool.