1983 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer SUV

“Tough Chevy trucks are taking charge”

1983 was the first year for Chevrolet’s S-10 Blazer SUV (along with its sister, the GMC S-15 Jimmy). Intended as a smaller complement to the full-sized K5 Blazer that had been in production since 1969, the S-10 Blazer found a ready market. Styling was good—derivative of the K5, but clean and appropriate for the size.

For 1983, the S-10 Blazer’s standard power was provided by the LQ2 83 bhp 2.0 liter/122 ci inline four with a two-barrel carburetor. Optional power was quite a step up: the $243 LR2 110 bhp 2.8 liter/173 ci V6 with two-barrel carburetor was available (and very popular) and required power steering (an additional $247). Mileage with the V6 and the four-speed automatic transmission was 17 city/23 highway by the standards of the day (15/22 by today’s standards). With a 20.1-gallon fuel tank, a Blazer owner could expect a range of between 335 and 360 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.

The S-10 Blazer buyer had a choice of two or four-wheel-drive, with four-wheel-drive costing an additional $1,194. The four-wheel-drive versions came with the all-new “Insta-Trac,” meaning the driver could shift into (or out of) four-wheel-drive High at any speed. Selecting four-wheel-drive Low (for very slippery, rough, or steep terrain) required stopping the Blazer.

Three trim levels were offered: base, Tahoe, and Sport. Standard equipment on base version ($9,423 with four-wheel-drive or approximately $22,400 in 2014 dollars) included P195/75R15 tires on 15-inch wheels, a heater, high back vinyl bucket seats, and color-keyed rubber floor mats. For $576, moving up to the Tahoe trim upgraded the truck with chrome trim, wheel trim rings, carpeting, and a gauge package.

At $944, the top-of-the-line Sport trim included features such as a wheel trim rings, two-tone paint, color-keyed bumpers, reclining seat backs, console, a sport steering wheel, a gauge package, and additional sound insulation.

Optional equipment included air conditioning ($690), cruise control ($185), a tilt steering wheel ($105), the Operating Convenience Package ($300 for power windows and power door locks), and an AM/FM stereo cassette ($555). Mechanically, you could get the Off-Road Package ($571 with the Tahoe or Sport trim), the Heavy-Duty Trailering Package ($193), and the Cold-Climate Package ($69 with the upper-level trims and air conditioning).

All of these options meant you could make an S-10 Blazer rather pricey—I fairly easily configured a four-wheel-drive Sport with the V6 and the four-speed automatic transmission to $15,039 or about $35,700 in today’s dollars.

1983 Chevrolet S-10 commercial

First-year S-10 Blazer sales were quite strong, with over 106,000 sold of an all-new model that dropped over 1,500 pounds in curb weight compared to its big brother.

You rarely see S-10 Blazers for sale in the Hemming’s Motor News classifieds. They are more prevalent on eBay Motors, but it is unusual to see one that has not been modified in significant ways.


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