Wednesday, September 5, 2012

SUV Of The Day: September 5, 2012

Today's car of the day comes from Dean-O-mite's collection and is Maisto's 2002 Chevrolet TrailBlazer.

The Chevrolet TrailBlazer is a mid-size sport utility vehicle produced by the Chevrolet division of American automaker General Motors. The TrailBlazer nameplate was introduced in 1999 as an upscale trim line of the Blazer. In 2002, the TrailBlazer turned into a separate model. Production of the Blazer overlapped with the TrailBlazer until 2005, when the 2-door was sold at dealers while the 4-door was fleet only (until the 2004 model year).

For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Chevrolet Trailblazer

This version of Maisto's TrailBlazer was part of a 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics Torch Relay commemorative set.  I already really liked this casting, but the added tampos make this one even more interesting.  I got the set second-hand, so I don't know how they were marketed, if they were available at retail and I just missed them, or if possibly they were a special fundraiser or promotional item for the Torch Relay.  If anyone knows about the set, I would enjoy getting more information.

The first-generation TrailBlazer is based on a truck platform called GMT360, with all models having four-wheel drive as an option with both automatic engagement and the more traditional "4 High" and "4 Low" gearings, except the SS model which features an All wheel drive system. The next generation TrailBlazer was to be built on an upgraded version of the current GMT360 platform called the GMT361. It was scheduled to be launched in spring 2007, but in January 2006, GM decided to just refresh the current platform and call the vehicle a GMT360NG. However, in June 2006, GM announced that the GMT360NG program was also canceled due to the large investment. GM decided to keep the current TrailBlazer until the 2009 model year.  Buick instead got the Enclave, a GM Lambda platform-based crossover SUV to replace the Rainier (along with the Rendezvous and the Terraza minivan), while GMC got the GM Lambda platform-based crossover SUV Acadia to replace the Envoy. The Trailblazer, along with the Chevrolet Uplander minivan, were replaced by the Chevrolet Traverse. GM had closed the Moraine plant on December 23, 2008, ending production of all GMT360 products. The last Chevrolet TrailBlazer rolled off the Moraine line on December 16, 2008, a week before the plant's closure.

The Olympic torch relay is the ceremonial relaying of the Olympic Flame from Olympia, Greece, to the site of an Olympic Games. It was first performed at the 1936 Berlin Games, and has taken place prior to every Games since. The 2002 Winter Olympics torch relay was a 65 day run, from December 4, 2001 to February 8, 2002, prior to the 2002 Winter Olympics. The runners carried the Olympic Flame throughout the United States - following its lighting in Olympia, Greece to the opening ceremony of the 2002 games at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. The 2002 torch relay was also the 50th anniversary of the Winter Olympic torch relay, which was first run during the 1952 Winter Olympics.

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