Life is often punctuated by missed opportunities. Opportunity knocks, but nobody answers the door. However, Mike Spagnola of Street Scene Equipment of Costa Mesa, California, is not one to miss any opportunity, especially if it involves getting his hands on something before his competitors do to develop new products. Such is the case with Street Scene’s wild ’02 Chevy TrailBlazer. Built around an original Todd Emmons rendering that appeared in our Aug. ’01 issue, the TrailBlazer is more of a street machine than the off-road people-hauler Chevrolet had in mind. With 270 horses under the hood and a short wheelbase, the TrailBlazer was a natural for a street-smart conversion.

Getting the four-door down to a respectable street cruising height was the first order of business, and being a new vehicle, some suspension R&D was in order. The folks at DJM Suspension wasted no time developing a drop kit for the ’Blazer. Since this particular Chevy uses a modified MacPherson strut suspension up front, it took some real engineering to lower the truck approximately 2 to 3 inches while retaining the stock coil spring. At the rear, the stock coil spring was replaced with a DJM drop coil, bringing the rear down approximately 4 inches. Rolling stock for the truck consists of 20x8 Center Line Lexi wheels wrapped with 255/45ZR20 BFG G-Force tires.

As the rolling testbed for new products, the Chevy was rolled into Street Scene’s R&D department for product development work. The easiest parts to develop were the electric Street Scene Cal-Vu mirrors. The front end proved a little more difficult. Making use of the strong design elements of the TrailBlazer, the company added its Speed Grille inserts into the factory grille shell. A new front bumper was fabricated out of urethane, complete with driving lights, and set off with two more Speed Grille inserts. Above the hood, the company designed and fabricated a new wiper cowl piece, also painted body color.

And speaking of paint, none other than the master, Pete Santini, in Westminster, California, was selected to give the truck its custom appearance. After hours of body prep, Pete applied the House of Color Tangelo Orange flames over the front end while also carrying the orange over the roof. If you look closely, you’ll see more flames ghosted into the hood.

Mechanically, the vehicle remains relatively stock, with the exception of a Stillen cold-air intake and new Street Scene high-flow after-cat exhaust to help the 4.2L straight-six breath a little deeper. On the inside, the stock seats were brightened up with Cal Trend Extreme Sport Bright Orange and White trendy tweed-look seat covers. And no self-respecting SUV of the new century would be complete without some form of entertainment, so Street Scene installed a Rosen DVD system complete with a flip-down overhead monitor.

The newly completed TrailBlazer made its first public debut at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas and was deemed a bona fide hit. It has all the right stuff to be street smart, with improved ride and handling characteristics, and a snazzy paintjob to give it that California Custom look. And if that doesn’t do it, the two surfboards on the Yakima roof will.