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Best of 2020 SEMA Show? 2019 Chevy K5 Tahoe retro build

K5 Tahoe

This SEMA build of a K5 Tahoe certainly caught our attention. (Photo courtesy K5 Tahoe)

The annual SEMA show is well known for unique custom builds. Due to the global pandemic, the show could not be held in person this year, although many companies and builders still decided to show off their latest and greatest creations via the SEMA 360 virtual platform. A build that quickly caught my eye is this 2019 Chevrolet K5 Tahoe.

What is it supposed to be?

Built by the company Flat Out Autos in Arkansas, this is unlike any Tahoe you will find at the local Chevy dealership and is a different take on a body-on-frame SUV — like the one Chevrolet did themselves with the electric Blazer.  This 2019 Tahoe has been customized to resemble the 1968 Chevrolet Suburban and C/K series truck styling.  The 1968 model year was part of the 6th generation Suburban and 2nd generation C/K series Chevrolet trucks.  Even 52 years after their production, 1968 Chevy trucks are still highly sought after in the collector car market.

How is the K5 Tahoe built?

The builder’s website k5tahoe.com details the process which they go through to build the K5 Tahoe.  The build starts with a brand new off the lot Tahoe which then has it’s outer sheet metal stripped off.  The team at Flat Out Autos is able to use reproduction sheet meat which they modify to fit the rear quarter panels, fenders, and hood. The metal fabricators at Flat out Autos make the door skins in house.  The rear hatch which is made to look like a tailgate is made of carbon fiber.  Finally, the door handles are replaced with custom made ones that still can incorporate the stock 2019 Tahoe’s keyless entry and buttons.

K5 Tahoe

A pretty slick build turning this new Tahoe into a retro styled older version. (Photo courtesy K5 Tahoe)

The bottom line on the K5 Tahoe

In my opinion, the K5 Tahoe really combines the best of both worlds.  The classic style of the 1968 model with the modern conveniences and reliability of a new full-size SUV.  While trucks have always had tremendous aftermarket support for custom builds, full size SUVs have always had limited options when it comes to custom creations. 

Is this build for everyone?  Probably not.  You really have to like the classic style to fully appreciate this build.  Although we do not know the total price of the build, expect to spend quite a bit more than the $55k starting price of a new 2021 Tahoe. 

If you are looking for a unique alternative to a new full-size SUV, the K5 Tahoe may be for you.  You can actually order your own K5 Tahoe from Flat Out Autos at k5tahoe.com.

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