COAL: 1992 Blazer – One Special Blazer

In my last COAL, I shared that we were a Ford family, but that the Ford motor company was really failing out of favor with all of us.

So when we needed our next car (we drove a couple of older, used cars- one being a 1974 Caprice left to us from a family friend when he passed) Cindy and I decided to look at Chevrolet. We had more or less settled on an Astro van, but we were having a hard time finding one that we really liked.

We took an evening drive to Ed Morse Chevrolet in Fort Lauderdale to see what they had. And, after looking for about 45 minutes, we were about to “settle” on one that was very strangely optioned. It had two gray and silver paint, power locks but no power windows, and dog dish hubcaps.

So as we were circling back up to the office, Cindy pointed at a row of 4-door S10 Blazers. The salesman said he had one in particular that he could make a great deal on, especially since we wanted to lease it. The depreciation wouldn’t be as bad due to the fact that it was totally loaded.

He pulled up to the office in a dark carmine red Blazer Tahoe Sport. It was really sharp, with dark grey cloth buckets that had “Blazer” embossed in bright red at the top. It was loaded with everything but leather and had a new version of the Vortex 4.3 engine.

Interesting to me was that this engine was not officially offered in the Blazer that year. It wasn’t shown in the sales brochure and a check with the manager by the salesman confirmed that the unit had been a special order. For 1993 and onward, that was the standard engine, but this first year was only shown available in the Astro and Safari vans.

So a deal was struck and we were on the road. That vehicle drove very, very well. And little did we know at that time (end of July 1992) that it would be driven a bunch. The engine, though coarse, really had some great power. In fact, I could get it to squeal the tires shifting from 1st to second!

I mentioned that the Blazer would get pressed into service, and it really did. My dad passed away on New Year’s Eve day in 1992 and was to be buried in Ohio. We couldn’t get a flight, so my mom, Cindy, Jacob (our two and a half year old son), and I started off to Ohio.

After we the funeral we got back home to Fort Lauderdale and Cindy and I had an early February trip planned to Fort Wayne Indiana. Mom agreed to watch Jacob, and we were back on the road.

Trip after trip was made in that truck. Plus, mom didn’t drive, so we were fast becoming her only method of transportation. Thankfully she could walk to the grocery, but needed rides to the doctor and for other shopping.

Image from 1992 brochure. Author’s had the 4-spoke steering. 

We really enjoyed the Blazer. It was very nice on the road; it had an unusually loud muffler that was not easy to miss when we drove it, and it filled the void of a minivan. I especially liked the digital cluster. It was a family favorite, and it’s one we still hold in high esteem. In fact, my son (in the lede picture) cried when we sold it.

No vehicle is perfect. We did have issues with the ABS that Chevrolet covered. It also did burn some oil due to the valve guide seals being hardened, and it was repainted at the behest of GM. Apparently they had peeling issues and tried to take care of the vehicles before that happened. They didn’t do a great job and it netted us the promise that we wouldn’t have any fines or negative equity by the manager of Ed Morse.

At the three year point, we were at 56,000 miles in a 5 year 60,000 mile lease. So we moved on to our next car. I made a deal and then asked about the trade-in value. The salesman told us that we were about $1800 upside down. I mentioned Dan, the dealership manager. He went upstairs, told the man I was trading in my Blazer, and he was told to give us full value and not change the selling price on the new car, so a win!

We would have two more Blazers, both solid vehicles.

So, yes we finally got one that was well screwed together. And we had many more, which I’ll share in upcoming COALs!