Electric 1977 Chevy Blazer Gives “Restomod” a New Meaning

Christian Wardlaw | Oct 30, 2020

If you’re a fan of wrenching on old cars, you undoubtedly know what a crate engine is. A crate engine is a new powerplant, fully assembled and delivered on a crate for repair and restoration shops, as well as do-it-yourselfers, to install into an old vehicle. They’re used to replace a failed engine, or to upgrade performance. Old cars restored with modern crate engines and other mechanicals are known as “restomods.”

Chevrolet Crate and Cruise Package 1977 Chevrolet K5 Blazer

In association with SEMA360, Chevrolet is showing a new restomod of its own. But the restored 1977 Blazer doesn’t have a direct-injected 6.2-liter V-8 under its flat-as-Kansas hood. Instead, it showcases the possibilities for the new eCrate propulsion package Chevrolet Performance will start selling soon.

Called the Electric Connect and Cruise Package, the offering converts a vehicle into an electric car, truck, or SUV by swapping in the battery, electric motors, and other components from the Chevrolet Bolt EV. Chevrolet has previously explored this concept with the eCOPO Camaro in 2018 and the restomodded Chevy E10 Concept in 2019. Now, the automaker installs the package that is soon to go on sale in this ’77 K5 Blazer.

Chevrolet jettisoned the Blazer’s 6.6-liter (400 cubic-inch) V8, which made a whopping 175 horsepower. The 3-speed automatic also hit the scrap bin, along with the fuel and exhaust systems. In their place, the Bolt EV’s 200-hp electric motor and a special Chevrolet Performance 4-speed automatic transmission are tucked into the bodywork, and a 400-volt Bolt EV battery pack lives in the Blazer’s cargo area.

The transmission marries to the original transfer case, driveshaft, and axles, and Chevrolet installs electric components for the steering and braking systems. A battery state-of-charge meter replaces the fuel gauge in the Blazer’s instrument cluster. Otherwise, this old K5 looks just like it did the day it rolled off the assembly line, right down to its steel wheel covers.

You can buy the Electric Connect and Cruise Package starting in the summer of 2021. Chevrolet is exploring more powerful eCrate solutions, and expects to offer the Ultium battery technology that forms the basis of the Buick Electra, Cadillac Lyriq, and GMC Hummer in the future.

Chevrolet is the source of information in this article. It was accurate on October 30, 2020, but it may have changed since that date.

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