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Apicella Chevy

The Ultimate Family Cruiser


Most people have that one vehicle that they wish they could have back. You know the one we are talking about. The vehicle you loved but regretfully sold because of life struggles. Or sometimes these vehicles are sold off as we are on to bigger better things. Whatever the situation, we all have that one vehicle we have owned that had a special sentimental value.


For Joey Gonzalez of Tucson, he had always dug classic Chevy Blazers and he even had one. Life tends to get in the way of our hobbies and there is nothing you can do to stop it. However, you can always form a plan to get back into things. In these situations, things get even more involved and most times you have even more motivation to make things better than ever.


When Joey started his own business, money was tight, and he had to make a few cutbacks. He also had to sell off a ’72 Blazer he had in order to pay the bills. It was his favorite ride and it was a dream to have it customized. Years later, Joey’s business was booming, and he had the cash flow to afford the thing he wanted.


The search was on for a clean 2wd Blazer that could be tailored to fit Joey’s style. At first, he found what he thought was a good project, but it was not to be. When the owner found out about Joey’s plans, he told him it was too nice to be cut up. So, the search continued, which brought him back to square one for the time being.


Lucky enough, Joey found the perfect Blazer for his project. It was owned by Davie Brooks, who was only a few hours’ drive away. Because you can never really know a vehicle without seeing it in person, Joey made the haul to Yuma, AZ to check out this ’72 Blazer in person. When he saw it for the first time, he was taken back as it was in great shape and truly the vehicle as advertised. This is a rare occurrence as most people try to upsell what they have.


Joey soon found out that the truck was already laid out on the pavement thanks to the work of Jak’d Up Kustoms. Getting to this point, the original suspension was all removed and replaced by front and rear kits from Porterbuilt. Lifting the truck up from the ground is a set of AirLift ‘bags that utilize air provided by VIAIR compressors. The suspension was also upgraded with Classic Performance Products front spindles and disc brakes to improve drivability.


Giving this Blazer some extra go power, a 4.8L LS engine was swapped in along with a 4L60E transmission. This has been a proven combo and does the trick here. Keeping the engine cool is a Spal electric fan and new radiator. Releasing spent gases and giving off a deep tone if the Hooker headers and exhaust with Flowmaster mufflers. Providing fuel is a rear mounted tank from Classic Performance Products.


The Blazer had the right bones and Joey picked it up and made it his own. First up was to replace the simple wheels with more stylish HRX-4 billet wheels from Hot Rods By Boyd. The new rollers were then covered in low profile redline tires for a retro appearance. After changing the wheels and replacing the bumpers, this vehicle started to take a new form. The exterior was looking great but not everything was done yet.


Joey commissioned Eddie Salcido to improve the look of the interior with custom red upholstery. Starting from the base, Eddie made a custom carpet to cover up the floor that was modified for the large rear wheels and air suspension. For seating, the factory seats were upgraded with red vinyl and vintage cloth for the inserts provided by Ciadella Interiors. Other details include the seat medallions by Krist Kustoms and Clayton Machine Works door handles.


At the front of the interior is the original dash, which has many upgrades for form and function. For style is a Billet Specialties steering wheel and in front of it is a set of Classic instruments gauges to monitor the vitals. Next to all this is a Retrosound radio that controls the JL Audio stereo. To control the air suspension in a sleek way is and AccuAir TouchPad that is held on a CTP Concepts ash tray mount that tucks away when not in use.


With these subtle changes, this ’72 Blazer became personalized to Joey and represents his taste. After completion, he has toured the states while making many stops at big shows like Lone Star Throwdown in Conroe, TX. Things have now come full circle as Joey’s hard work paid off and he is now able to enjoy hauling the family in this wicked cruiser. Joey’s story with this Blazer also proves that sometimes you have to bite down and do what you have to in order to get the things you want.

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