Kustom Werx Autobody’s ’81 K5 Blazer—Back & Better Than Ever
What does one do after building such an iconic custom truck—a Blazer that has developed its own cult like following behind it? Well, if you’re Cory Scott, you tear it all down to the ground. You may not be familiar with Cory’s name (you should be by now, though), but maybe you have heard of his shop Kustom Werx in Conroe, Texas. If neither of those ring a bell, then you have most definitely have seen his Hot Wheels styled ’81 Chevy K5 either out at a show or in any of the major truck mags since it was completed back in 2009. It has been a crowd favorite for nearly a decade now, but that has enough time for Cory to make the decision to break it all down and make something that was already killer to start even better.
STANDING OUT FROM THE START
In the fields of C10 pickups, Cory’s K5 has always stood as a beacon to classic Chevy guys for many reasons. First off, it’s a 2WD Blazer, which is somewhat hard to come by in the first place, let alone one that has been slammed and modified to the degree that it has been. Secondly, this truck was built to look like a life-sized scale Hot Wheel toy. Based on nostalgia value alone, it’s just hard to top that kind of cool factor. But Cory reached a point when the things that he didn’t quite love about the original build were starting to eat at him. There were also some things that he wanted to change up just for the sake of doing it all in the name of making a better Blazer, which is understandable and commendable.
“The body is the only part that is original from the first build”, Cory says. “Everything else was replaced”. Now, when word got out that he had completely ripped the Blazer apart, Cory started to hear lots of “whys” and “WTFs”, along with other similar questionings of his reasoning, but he had eyes on a vision, and he wasn’t about to loose sight of it. In the end, the Blazer received new paint, interior, engine, wheels and suspension. Yeah, it really is a whole new truck.
Cory started by tearing it all down to the bare body, which is when he started scouting around for new chassis ideas. “Ekstensive built the first suspension system, and there was nothing at all wrong with it. I just figured since I was changing so much of the Blazer, might as well get a custom frame made for it and start over from there.” Cory selected Acme Chassis Factory to join in on the fun. This would be the first full custom K5 chassis they had ever built, and they delivered as expected. “It was exciting to see what the guys at Acme were able to do for the Blazer, and I’m so glad that they were happy to participate in the project.”
While the chassis was being created at Acme’s Fresno, California headquarters, it gave Cory the opportunity to start on the bodywork. “I started with cutting the drip rail off the cab, installing KinDig It Design door handles, shaving the rear tailgate handle, and making a rear window access panel that resembles the door handles. The bumpers also got some love by sectioning, recessing and shaving the bolts on them.” To smooth out the glass situation, Cory recruited Chad “Glassman” Broussard to flush mount the glass in the camper and install a one-piece windshield—some of the little things that make a big difference in overall appearance, and items Cory wish he had done the first time around.
Now, one thing about the exterior of the truck that might throw some people off is the paint job. Cory gets asked all the time how he managed to alter the body that drastically yet still have the same paint on it. “The flame job is almost identical as the first one”, he says. “The only thing that changed was the blue color.” Once the bodywork was complete, Cory sprayed the PPG Atlantic Blue metallic paint, and had Pat Maxwell of Maxwell Designs lay down another set of tasty licks to grace the K5’s surface, which is really the definitive marking of this full scale Hot Wheels truck.
UNDER THE HOOD
When you see flames on a car or truck, you’d expect it to be a beast on the street, right? Well, the Blazer had a decent 350 setup under the hood compliments of its previous owner. Cory had replaced it before the whole tear down in hopes of increasing performance but that didn’t end up as well as he had hoped. “I tossed the 350 and threw a 5.3L in, but I had so many problems with that engine, so I upgraded to a 6.0L LS, and haven’t looked back since”. To get the most from the new power plant, Cory decked it out with a Fitech intake manifold with Spectre filter, Hedman headers, a custom stainless 3-inch exhaust system complete with Thrush mufflers, and topped it all off with a Vintage Air Front Runner drive system.
THE DREAM COMES ALIVE
“So far the attention the Blazer is getting now is incredible”, Cory admits. “It always has been an eye catcher but no matter how bad ass you build something, there is always going to be something better. All I wanted was my truck to be the best version of itself possible.” While Cory has yet to get any sort of sponsorship or even a thumbs up from Mattel, he’s pretty damn happy about the results of the rebuild. This longtime Hot Wheels toy collector now has the ultimate addition to his collection—a dream vehicle that he has no regrets about, that he can get into and take for a cruise.
THE END RESULTS
With this second version of the K5 officially in the books, Cory was able to look back at the long history he has had with this truck and give his take on the whole “building custom cars” thing, which is something that everyone should give a good listen to and let sink in. “This is what I wanted. I’m pleased with the end result. It came out like I envisioned. All I can say to anyone out there looking to build anything custom is to do it for yourself and nobody else. Create what you want and don’t let anyone tell you what you should or should not do. It’s impossible to make everyone out there happy anyway, so why even bother worrying about them?”
Chevrolet K5 Blazer
Cory Scott / Kustom Werx Autobody
Frame: Acme Chassis
Front Suspension: Acme Chassis IFS, Slam Specialties airbags
Rear Suspension: Acme Chassis 4-link, Slam Specialties airbags
Brakes: Wilwood 14-inch brake kits, master cylinders and proportioning valve
Steering: Mustang II Rack & Pinion
Front Wheels: 22x8 US Mags U500
Rear Wheels: 24x10 US Mags U500
Front Tires: 265/35/22 Toyo
Rear Tires: 295/30/24 Toyo
Gas Tank: 16-gallon tank
Make: 2005 Chevy LS
Machining/Assembly: Kevin Swatloski, Conroe, TX
Headers: Hedman Headers 2 1/2”
Exhaust/Mufflers: Custom 3” stainless exhaust, Thrush mufflers
Accessories: Griffin radiator, Fitech fuel injection, Spectre air filter, Vintage Air Front Runner system, Griffin radiator
Transmission: 2005 Chevy 4L60E
Shop: Kustom Werx Autobody (Paint by Cory Scott, graphics by Maxwell Designs)
Modifications: Shaved drip rail, mirrors, tailgate, custom tailgate handle, gapped panels, KinDigIt door handles, flush-mounted camper glass, One Piece Products windows, shaved side markers
Paint Type/Color: PPG Atlantic Blue Metallic
Headlights/Taillights: LMC Truck headlights and LED taillights
Bumpers: Shaved bolts, sectioned and shortened, one-off plate box
Shop: Brent Davidson of Sculpt Garage
Dashboard: Red leather dash
Gauges: Dakota Digital
Air Conditioning: Vintage Air
Wiring Harness: American Autowire by Cory Scott and Ryan Ruffin
Steering Wheel: B.A.D.
Upholstery By: Sculpt Garage
Material/Color: Red leather
Seat: ’06 Chevy Silverado
Door Panels: Red leather
Carpet: Red carpet
Insulation: Vibro insulation
Accessories: Rockford Fosgate head unit, amplifiers, front and rear speakers, and 10-inch subwoofer in custom enclosure, custom center console with Hot Wheels track and rear display