Owner: Darrell Linebarger
Ride: 1988 Chevy Blazer
Hometown: New Market, TN
Having the lowest, brightest, wildest mini out there isn't always the thing everyone strives for. Sometimes just having a simple, clean truck with attention to every detail is what it takes to make someone happy.
In this case, that someone is Darrell Linebarger from New Market, Tennessee. Darrell set off 10 years ago to build what was in his mind, the perfect blend of new-school minitruck and old-school hotrod-style. Most full-show hot rods boast a slew of clean body mods, simple paint schemes, a clean interior and some performance upgrades, so that is the recipe that Darrell went with. After getting started on the 1988 Chevy Blazer, life started to get in the way and put a big slow down on the build. First, Darrell lost his job and could no longer afford to work on the truck. This didn't last long though as he soon found an even better job that provided the lacking truck funds, but with the responsibility of a better job came so much over time that he was exhausted and hardly ever found time to work on the Blazer. Then it was time to settle down and get married, which wasn't exactly a factor in the truck sitting idle, but with gaining a wife, there is a never-ending "honey-do" list which does tend to slow things down a little.
Once life finally leveled back out for Darrell, it was time to dive full force into the build and get it done. The truck was taken over to Darrell's good friend, Kevin Riffey's house, where the majority of the work was completed. It's a good thing he had a friend like Kevin that allowed him to leave it there but on the down side, Darrell couldn't just walk into his garage and tinker with it when he had a spare minute or two. The first thing the two of them attacked was getting the SUV frame planted firmly on the ground. This was done with the help of a full air suspension and a set of drop spindles and in the rear with DJM Ladder bars, a panhard bar and a new bridge and notch. While the suspension was apart, a four-corner set of Baer brakes were added not only for the extra stopping power, but to make the view through the two-tone Bonspeed wheels even more appealing.
Anything that stuck out of the factory sheetmetal was quickly welded up creating a smooth shell. Next came the bodywork and after some final sanding the Blazer was ready for the classy silver paint to be laid down. To make the paint really stand out, a simple blue graphic was added above the body line. Once all the windows and trim were reinstalled, Darrell also bolted on a '93 GMC grille with billet insert and a Goodmark cowl-induction hood to update the truck a little with even more classy, hot rod-style touches.
Now that the rolling attire, suspension, and paint were handled it was time to blow the dust out of the interior and add some new coverings to the mix. Keeping with the hot rod theme, Darrell opted for some gray tweed and allante, which together created a simple yet affective cabin. Now that the hot rod side of things were done, it was time to put in some new school additions. A custom sub enclosure and speaker pods were built then smoothed and painted to match the exterior complete with matching graphics completing a clean and classy interior.
Since the motor was all that was left to make this Blazer a show stopper, Darrell started looking up parts to swap his factory V6 for the highly sought after LT1. But when it came time to order everything, he noticed that where he once had money in his wallet, now only had a few cob webs. His first thought was to run straight to the wife and see if she had gone shopping for some new shoes and clothes, but after a short question/answer session with the boss lady, he was quickly informed that it wasn't her that used all the money, it was his Blazer that ate up all the funds. Knowing that the wifey is always right, he decided to opt for a couple shiny billet pieces and an Optima YellowTop battery to make the engine bay a little more presentable and hold off on the flashy V-8. When asked if he would do anything different, Darrell answered by saying "Yeah, I would bodydrop it and then do the motor." But even with the stock V-6 and laying frame, we feel that Darrell has built one of the cleanest Blazers around which is the purpose of this special Hot Rod minitruck issue, showing off all of the trucks that have done the simple and clean builds right. For more info on Darrell's Blazer, check out the Lowdown.