Looking at Tom Swanson's '73 Chevrolet Blazer, you would never guess how it came about. Back in 1990, Tom began racing his '77 Jeep CJ-7 in the HDRA series starting with the Gold Coast 300 race. Unfortunately, after a few successful races in the books, the Jeep went into the garage. Fast forward to 1997, Tom pulled the Jeep out of retirement and started racing the Whiplash Racing series. This is where Tom met Randy Ellis, the future builder of this awe-inspiring Blazer. Randy was one of Tom's competitors in Class 3, always giving him a run for his money. Tom was so impressed at how well Randy's Jeep worked that he took his Jeep to Randy for an update after he rolled it in the 2002 Parker 400.
Impressed again by Randy's craftsmanship, Tom delivered his Chevy to Randy's shop, Randy Ellis Design out of Phoenix, Arizona, and asked him to build an old-school, reliable, low-tech, stout toy that would seat four comfortably. It also had to be fast and strong enough to chase for his friends who continue to race. A year later, this bulletproof beast pulled out of the shop and onto the trail.
Vehicle: '73 Chevrolet Blazer
Owner: Tom Swanson
Tom didn't want his truck looking like any other Blazer, so he asked Randy to custom build
Chassis: Stock with custom rollcage
Engine: 502ci V-8 GM crate motor, McCabe headers/exhaust
Drivetrain: Dana 60 front, Detroit locker, GM 14-Bolt rear, 4.56 gears, NP205, Turbo 400
Suspension: Alcan springs, King shocks
Steering: Randy Ellis Design
Tires/wheels: 37-inch BFG KM2 M/T, 17x9 Mickey Thompson Classic II
Interior: Auto Meter, Lowrance, PCI, Art Carr
Other Parts: KC HiLites, Warn winch/hubs
Favorite Off-Road Areas: Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada
One thing we always enjoy about trucks that come out of Randy's shop is how cleanly they a
Randy setup the suspension to provide 6 inches of lift using Alcan springs and custom shac
New bushings and custom shackles allow the suspension to articulate at extreme angles.
Tom had a 502ci Ram Jet GM crate motor stuffed under the hood pushing 502hp and 565 lb-ft
That big rear end is a full-floating, GM 14-Bolt rear end stuffed with 4.56 gears and a De
The rear suspension uses Alcan springs. Randy has this leaf pack custom built to soak up h
Parked behind the shock hoop, dual Optima Red Top batteries provide the juice. Although, t
The cage bolts down to the frame in six locations providing safety just in case Tom gets a
Randy built a trick lever release system to hold a full-size spare tire in place. A metal
Tom still spends a lot of time running around the race course, which is why two King 2.5 p
The previous owner of this truck did a great job of cutting the wheelwells to accommodate
The rear bumper matches the front in strength, looks and clearance.