Chris Eshelman * Katy, Texas
'85 Chevy S-10 Blazer
Chris Eshelman, who is in his early thirties, has been building this Blazer since he was in high school. The truck has been done and redone a number of times. This little SUV has seen five-star-style wheels and fleck stone paint. It's had a body kit--heck, it's even had a competition-level audio system. As with most projects that get rebuilt, it keeps getting better as Chris's ability to customize improves. The latest version of the Blazer is fantastic, and the detail work is above and beyond what you would find in most minis.
Like most of us, Chris has acquired a lot of knowledge from his father, Bruce "Pops" Eshelman. Pops' gearhead roots go back to the '60s when building hot rods meant you did it all. There weren't many aftermarket sources to get custom parts from like we have today. The combination of Pops' knowledge and Chris's radical ideas and hunger to learn equals a team that can build vehicles like this. In fact, the two do such good work together that Pops has Chris work at his shop, Esh's Automotive Specialties, when he isn't at his day job as an engineer.
One of the shop's creations is this Blazer, and it's got some cool stuff going on like the frame, for instance. Not only does it have 'bags at all four corners, and a two-link, it has been back-halved with 2x4 rails. Now that might not sound like much, until you notice that every weld was ground smooth before being buried in silver paint. Not enough to impress you? Well then, you need to check out the interior. Besides being body-dropped 5 inches, the interior is all-metal. You won't find any plastic or fiberglass inside the cabin. Chris took the time to create a complete interior out of steel that is complemented with an early Suburban dash.
Impressed yet? If not, then you need to turn your attention to the exterior, where just about everything has been shaved off, including the bodyline, which is not an easy task to do right. The grille has been updated, and a front bumper from a fullsize Chevy has been scaled down to fit the proportions of the Blazer.
Are you starting to see what we see? If not, then you might need to have your eyes checked because you might miss the best part: the blown small-block sticking out of the hood. This is not just a stock mouse with a huffer sitting on top for looks. It has polished and ported big valve heads and a stroker crank. It takes a 950cfm Holley to feed this beast, so it will move this little Blazer without breaking a sweat. If that's still not impressive enough, then take into consideration the block, which has also been completely smoothed and painted silver as well.
Chris and his Blazer have gained our respect and hopefully yours. Trust us, if you ever get a chance to see this thing in person you will agree it is impressive. The last little bit of information that we want to leave you with is that Chris did all of this while keeping a wife and young daughter happy, and with one more baby on the way you know that this is one busy man.
'70 383ci small-block V-8 (350ci block with 400ci crankshaft) / forged pistons / roller rockers / smoothed and painted block / polished B&M 6-71 Blower (10 lbs of boost) and scoop / Holley 950 carburetor and electric fuel pump / ported and polished 2.02 camel-hump heads / Mallory HEI-style distributor / steel-braided spark plug wires / Advance Adapters headers / 2-1/2-inch Flowmaster mufflers / TH350 transmission / B&M 3,000-stall converter / custom one-piece driveshaft / 10-bolt rearend out of a '97 fullsize Chevy, narrowed 6 inches with 3.73 gears / Moser axles / Ron Davis Racing aluminum radiator / Summit Racing accessory brackets / Billet Specialties dress-up kit / Powermaster alternator / polished buttonhead Allen bolts
By: Lynn Walker (short-block), Bruce Eshelman of Esh's Automotive Specialties, Tomball, Texas (assembly and detail work)
Front: 18x8 Boyd Coddington Harm with 4-inch backspace
Rear: 20x10 Boyd Coddington Harm with 4-inch backspace
Front: 225/40R18 BFGoodrich G-Force
Rear: 285/30R20 BFGoodrich G-Force
Front: Owner-built tubular control arms / 2-inch Belltech spindles / 224C Firestone 'bags / street rod-style chrome shocks
Rear: Extensive Metalworks two-link / 224C Firestone 'bags / street rod-style chrome shocks
Accessories: 1/2-inch GC valves / Air Zenith compressor / 3/8-inch stainless steel air line / two 10-pound NOS bottles for air tanks / 15-gallon aluminum fuel cell custom made by Joe Garcia / disc brakes at all four corners / stock S-10 up front and stock '97 fullsize truck in the rear
Chassis: Entire frame boxed / 2x4-inch rear section / all welds smoothed and frame painted silver / all components painted, powdercoated, or chromed / motor mounts dropped 1-inch for transmission clearance
By: Owner and Bruce Eshelman
5-1/2-inch body drop / shaved roof seams, bodyline, mirrors, door handles, wipers, antenna, taillights, tailgate handle, and emblems / '90 grille shell / '98 fullsize front bumper narrowed, smoothed, sectioned, and pie-cut to fit around fenders / Sir Michaels rollpan molded in / LED brake lights under tailgate / smoothed firewall
By: Owner and Bruce Eshelman
PPG Ford Lightning Silver / PPG Dodge Viper Blue / airbrushed emblems and moldings
BY: Bruce Eshelman (base and clear), Patrick Reid at Mad Concepts, San Leon, Texas (graphics)
'02 Cavalier bucket seats covered in gray and charcoal leather / RCI four-point harnesses / '65 Suburban dashboard narrowed 8 inches to fit / Stewart Warner Wing gauges / all interior panels constructed from sheetmetal, molded in, and painted / rear cargo floor flips open to access the Optima battery and fuel cell / gray and charcoal leather inserts on doors / Lokar interior door handles / handmade sheetmetal console / B&M Star shifter / sheetmetal wheeltubs and bridge cover / Flaming River billet column / Billet Specialties Eliminator steering wheel / Lokar billet pedals
BY: Owner and Bruce Eshelman (sheetmetal)
"Brault's Auto Body & Paint for the materials, my father at Esh's Automotive Specialties, Patrick Reid at Mad Concepts, Severed Ties, and my wife Paige."