Trucks are constantly advertising their ruggedness, toughness and how long they can last compared to their competitors. Just think of some of the most memorable taglines for trucks. “Built Ford tough!” “Like a rock!” These tough-sounding lines are usually accompanied with tough images of trucks or SUVs doing impressive things, like towing an airplane or climbing a mountain.
But there’s one truck-based SUV that seems to be living up especially well to its rock-like promises. I’m talking about the Chevy Blazer — and particularly the second-generation S-10 Blazer that went on sale in 1995. I don’t know if it’s a regional thing or if I only notice them more because I used to own one, but I still see these SUVs from the 1990s all over the place in the Midwest.
Mine was a hand-me-down, 2-tone black and silver 1998 Chevy Blazer LT. It was my sister’s before it was mine, and it was my dad’s before that. Like all second-gen S-10 Blazers in the States, it was powered by a 4.3-liter Vortec 4300 V6 that made 190 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque. It was surprisingly well-appointed, with heated leather seats, 4-wheel drive and even automatic climate control. It was sort of a precursor to the luxury SUV craze that’s happening right now.
I stopped driving the Brandt family Blazer and got a different car when I slid on black ice and slammed it into a tree way back in 2011 — but lots of people are still driving these things. A ton of them, in fact. I feel like I see them in traffic on a daily basis, as regularly as Dodge Grand Caravans — another favorite in the Midwest.
You might think it’s just because it was a popular SUV at the time, and there were a ton of them built, and that’s why they’re still everywhere. But I know I see the Blazer and its stablemate, the GMC Jimmy, much more often than the Ford Explorer or Jeep Grand Cherokee from the same era. What is it about the Blazer that still makes it so ubiquitous today? Is there a reason its drivers hang onto them for so long? Is it just tougher than its competitors? Does that rough and tumble Vortec V6 engine just refuse to quit?
Am I crazy, or are these old trucks really still all over the place? Is there an old car, truck or SUV that is mysteriously common on your local streets? Let us know in the comments! Find a used Chevrolet Blazer for sale