“Overcast” 1961 Chevy Blazer
Owner: Rich Tillema
Location: Parker, Arizona
Rich Tillema is the proud owner of a 61 Blazer we call “Overcast”. Rich resides in Bakersfield California. Over the years, I’ve built many vehicles for Rich and his sons. We even built a 62′ Impala as a surprise for his father. The chassis on the blazer was done and it sat my shop for about a year. Myself and two technicians started on it in January 2016 and completed it in November for our debut at The Sema Show 2016. We were very honored to have a covenant spot at Sema in the Accuair Air management booth. And we were honored to accept a Top-Five Good Guys Gold Bar. 2017 is providing the blazer with a busy show schedule and a possible Road Tour to Nashville, TN. I’m truly honored and blessed that we were able to build this one-off creation and concept vehicle for Rich and we are excited to see where it will take us next!!
61′ Chevrolet Suburban turned Blazer. Rich Tillema approached me and wanted to build a 60’s style pick-up truck up. I told him everyone was building pick-up trucks, let’s do something completely different! So, we threw the idea around of building a suburban; one thing led to another and the blazer concept evolved. Conceptually, Chevrolet never made an early 60’s body style blazer. They were either suburbans, carryalls or panels.
We started off with about a $500 body. We sent it to Roadster Shop and had a one off cantilevered air ride suspension chassis built. Meanwhile, I contacted Don Hardy Engines to built us an 840 HP LSA backed by a phoenix 4L80 transmission, and Accuair air management for a New Endo- VT system, Baer 14 inch disc breaks. The body was cut, shortened 22 inches, chopped 3 with a 1 inch pancake in the roof. Full floor and firewall with wheel tubs to fit the massive 24×15 rear wheels, along with 22×12 in the front which Colorado Custom built one off styled from a 60’s hubcap. Glue set factory uncut front windshield, Glue set side windows, one piece door glass, completely refined and reworked the factory hood opening, Axalta overcast gray metallic basecoat summit white basecoat and Axalta clear coat. Ron Mangus Hot Rod Interior, State of the art Kicker sound, one-off Dakota digital dashboard, chrome and polishing was completed by Tim Blair out of Huntington Beach California.
Rich Tillema really gave me the rain to be able to create something that hasn’t been done before and we ran with it. Trying to give the illusion of something that could have been built in the 60’s yet came through the factory today with all the modern horsepower and amenities that it has to offer.