Back in 1997, Anthony Chiodo bought and began working on his '95 Chevy Blazer with every intention of putting together a clean, street-driven ride that he could be proud of and still enjoy driving on a daily basis. Anthony spent the first year lowering it a whole 3 inches (yeah, we're being facetious), then took his time deciding what move he'd make next.
Eventually, it occurred to him that in order for his truck to be different, it had to look different. This is when he dropped some coin on his first custom paintjob. Above the belt line, his truck remained its original maroon hue, but below, the truck was coated in oyster-colored paint, and both colors were separated by a tribal-graphic stripe. Anthony was all about his new paint scheme and loved the attention that his truck gathered in or around Simi Valley, California.
Unfortunately, Anthony was only allowed to enjoy this new look for about nine months: Someone who couldn't stand seeing a nicer truck than his own keyed Anthony's ride. As much of a pain as this was, Anthony still persevered and sent his truck in for yet another change.
This time, the truck was sent to Jerry at Jerk Designs in Simi Valley, who changed the two-toned truck into something beyond Anthony's wildest dreams. Not only was a new paintjob slated, but the truck was going to be shaved and smoothed out like the show-winning custom Anthony had always hoped for.
Once the Blazer was safely delivered to Jerry's shop, quick work was made of ditching the items that Anthony felt were unnecessary. Jerry eliminated the door handles in the Blazer, along with the roof racks, the hood squirter holes, the tailgate handle, and the antenna hole. He also smoothed out the rear bumper to allow custom paint to flow over it as soon as the rest of the body was blocked and ready for paint.
With the bodywork finished, Jerry handed the Blazer over to Jerome at Jerk Designs, who sprayed the whole body anew using PPG Fast Red as a basecoat. Once the red base had flashed over, he was ready to lay down the graphics that would give the Blazer its own personality. Using shades of red, orange, and yellow, Jerome laid out a sick course of flames that start at the nose of the truck and sear rearward. Jerome also pulled out his airbrush and moved inside with more flames, giving additional depth to the paint design.
After the Blazer's return delivery from Jerk Designs, Anthony focused on his ultimate goal and started nit-picking the truck. He turned his attention to making the truck lay firmly on the ground and entrusted the suspension tuning to Fabtech Custom Fabrication & Welding in Chatsworth, California. The shop installed Firestone air springs at each corner and outfitted the truck with a pair of Thomas compressors and a pair of air tanks to aid in the delivery of compressed air to each bladder, which would radically change the Blazer's ride height. The shop also installed a four-link rear suspension setup that allows the Blazer to fully drop out. The only thing keeping Anthony's truck off the ground these days is the huge rear frame section that all Blazer's are cursed with at birth.
With so much already completed, Anthony began showing his Blazer at almost every venue in and around Southern California. He also began taking trophies home from each event he attended. Because he was finding such great success at the shows, it seemed only natural to him that he should continue to change up his ride, ensuring that it would remain competitive. Most recently, Anthony replaced the '95 Blazer front fascia with the new-style front end from a '02 Blazer. There are still a few things Anthony wants to do to further distance himself from other show-hopefuls, and we're confident that he'll be tearing back into the Blazer in no time. Being somewhat of an audiophile and electronics nut, there's a huge area behind the rear Blazer seats he's dying to use to install a custom speaker enclosure. Updates on the Blazer will be forthcoming.
As for shows, Anthony has now taken home bragging rights from the California Spring Truck Jamboree, California Summer Truck Jamboree, Resolutions, Summer Madness, and many other smaller shows all over California. We'd say that Anthony has hit his mark, but isn't quite finished. He's proven a lot with the buildup of his Blazer, and we can't wait to see what dreams are to come for him.