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Old 08-10-2018, 07:04 PM   #20
72 CO Blazer
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 7
Re: 3-Time Blazer Owner, 1st Time 1st-Gen Buyer - Thoughts on Real World Prices?

I've been closely tracking 1st generation 4WD Blazer values for a few years and I am also in the final stages of finishing up a restoration on my '72. I constantly have my eye on auctions, dealer listings, and individuals who have posted their own ads. It’s important to note that there has been a fairly wide spread in the quality of Blazers that have gone through various auctions. Note the ones with wildly high prices encountered scenarios where the vehicles were really well done and two or more driven bidders were in attendance.

Blazer values have steadily increased over the last 3-4 years (along with many vintage 4WDs) and have been identified as decent "investments" in a handful of articles.

At the bottom end of the market are the Blazers that need a full restoration and are either not running or not road worthy. Most of the time these Blazers have rust issues and/or they will have a plethora of "fixes" or modifications from prior owners that need to be unwound. Blazers in this category can be found across the country anywhere from $1,500-$4,500(ish). The exact value of these Blazers are largely determined by their completeness and the extent of rust issues. Many of the vehicles at the low end of this range are worth more if they are parted out.

The next level would be an un-restored Blazer that runs and is road worthy. You can find a lot of these in the $5,000 - $14,000(ish) range. These trucks will range anywhere from someone's off-road toy to a daily driver. The prices here will be determined by the Blazer's completeness, rust issues, panel condition, etc.

From the mid-teens to $25,000(ish), you can find a fair amount of Blazers that are either really solid and complete (installed parts-wise) survivors or have had some level of a restoration. When you inch higher within this price range, the Blazer should either be rust free or have had all the rust issues properly addressed. These Blazers are not perfect and the value will largely be determined by how well it fits the buyer’s needs. In most cases the buyer will be planning on putting some amount of additional money into it.

From $25,000 to $35,000(ish) you’ll begin to see more reputable dealer listings and you should expect a rust free Blazer with some higher level of a thoughtful restoration. These Blazers should be fully functional and complete vehicles. Within this range you begin to be a little more picky and start adding/deducting for specific items depending on the buyer’s desires.

From $35,000 to $220,000 (Barrett Jackson Palm Beach 2017) you have well done restorations with either correct parts or very well thought out upgrades (i.e. LS engines, etc.) with a very high attention to detail. Blazers at this level should not need anything additional done to them.

As far as adding or deducting, examples of things that folks who know Blazers well may place additional value in:
- Correct parts
- A/C
- Uncut dash
- Original interiors (Highlander interiors drive an even higher premium)
- Hickey (era-correct aftermarket parts)
- Tow hooks
- CST Trim Level
- Factory tachometer
- Other unique SPID combinations / related options

Items that really depend on an individual buyer’s preference (could add more $$ or could take away $$):
- Exterior and interior color combinations
- Manual vs. automatic transmission
- Wheel and tire combinations (factory vs. aftermarket)
- A suspension lift vs. factory height
- Radio (factory vs. aftermarket)

Areas that folks not familiar with Blazers should inspect closely and be fully aware of (red flags especially at higher levels):
- Rot/rust in the windshield frame (used rust free windshield frames are becoming hard to come by)
- Missing or rusted through torsion boxes

My learning lessons from being close to finishing a restoration:
- Either you need to have the time, tools, and expertise to do it yourself or be prepared to pay a fair hourly rate for a professional to do it.
- You’ll rarely have work come in below the estimate.
- Once you get into rust repair, you usually find more as you dig into it
- Parts add up quick. Shipping those parts (especially oversize) gets expensive as well.
- You’ll spend a ton of time staring at the factory assembly manual. There is a lot of information contained in this forum. It will quickly become your best friend.

As for the Blazer that you are looking at, and from the information provided it seems that it is priced appropriate for the Denver market. Looking at the pictures, and in my opinion it’s not in the $35k plus category. If you like the color of the single wall top, I wouldn’t consider the Linex coating a big deal. If you hate it, you could easily sell it for ~$1,500. As far as the original seats, it may cost you $1,000 for a set of sport buckets and a rear bench that need to be recovered. PUI covers will set you back ~$500 and it will be ~$400 for a professional to install the covers. I’m sure you could easily sell the existing ones in it to someone on the forum. I agree with the other post that gaps are a big indication of the quality of body work/paint. For Blazers in the highest category, they should be either perfect or close to it. When you look at a lot of the Blazers below the highest category, you will spot issues. Blazers are notoriously challenging to get the gaps right. So long as the gaps are not egregious, I wouldn’t expect perfection at that price point. I also agree that with what is listed as having been done to this particular, the owner likely has a fair bit of money in it and/or a lot of time.

Outside of all of this, the true test is seeing what else is in the market at the same price point. How do you think it compares to Blazers in the $25k-$30k range?
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