The Work Truck With a Heart of Gold
IT’S BEEN HIP TO BE SQUARE FOR DECADES NOW (THANKS, HUEY LEWIS), BUT THE SQUARE-BODY TRUCK SCENE HAS REALLY TAKEN OFF OF LATE. Why? Well, many truck builders tend to be guys in their late 20s and early 30s, and if you do some quick math, you’ll figure out that they were around when there were 1973-87 Chevy trucks all over the road. Heck, maybe even one of their family members owned one, and they’re nostalgic for the old Bow Ties. In the case of Dustin Adair of Mesa, Arizona, that was certainly the situation. Dustin’s dad owned a square-body back in the day. It was an ’86 work truck that he used for his plumbing business, and after putting several thousand miles on the clock, he passed it down to Dustin, and it became his first truck. He sat behind the wheel of that thing all through high school and even a little bit beyond, forming a bond along the way, as one does with their first vehicle, particularly one with a deep family connection.
WE’LL WISH BROWNSTONE A HAPPY LIFE WITH DUSTIN, AND HOPE TO CATCH IT CRUISING DOWN THE STREETS AS ITS OWNER TAKES HIS DAUGHTER TO SCHOOL OR HEADS TO THE OFFICE. THAT’S WHAT IT’S SUPPOSED TO DO, AFTER ALL. IT’S A WORK TRUCK.”
Let’s get something clear right off the bat: Brownstone is not that truck. No, his dad’s work truck went the way of the dinosaur years ago, and since then Dustin has been working on taking care of his daughter and building a plumbing business of his own, the appropriately named Plumbing 2.0. So even though having a square again was something he thought about a lot, it wasn’t anything that he could comfortably pursue until relatively recently.
That was when a buddy of his, Mason Wright, the owner of Nacho, introduced him to Del Uschenko of Delmo’s Speed and Kustom. We don’t have to go into the specifics about Del if you’ve been reading this magazine for more than a minute, but suffice it to say, he’s a pretty big deal. Not only are trucks built by Delmo’s exceptional, they also turn heads like nothing else. Because he’s picky about what he works on, Del won’t take on just anybody’s truck. So, would he build a square for Dustin? It took some convincing, but he agreed, and things were good to go. They just had to find the right truck.
A good one turned up in central California around that time, and Dustin flew out from Arizona to check it out. The thing was a real oddball, a C-20 with a 454 big-block. But it’s
also a standard cab short-bed without a ton of options other than the two-tone brown and cream paint. It ran and drove just fine, and the owner even discounted the price a bit to cover Dustin’s flight out. But what about the flight back? No need, because Dustin flew to California one-way, and knew he’d have to drive the truck sixplus hours back to Phoenix. The return trip, fortunately, went off without a hitch. After a brief stay in Arizona, back to Burbank, California, the truck went, and Del and his team at Delmo’s tore into it.
The thing that makes Brownstone so special is the truck itself. A standard cab short-bed truck with a 454 is pretty hard to find, much less in decent shape. The patina is just so perfect for a truck of that era, that, when combined with the two-tones, it creates a pristine package that wraps looks and style with one pretty bow. After Delmo’s team worked their magic, the truck was that much better. Sitting flat on 22-inch rollers, the Silverado gets plenty of attention on the road.
Ultimately what is so appealing about this truck compared to similar versions that you’ll find on Instagram is that it’s simple and clean. It could’ve been repainted to perfection, and the bed tie-down holes could’ve been welded up. But instead, it’s just perfect the way it is with its still-usable
body-dropped bed floor and faded door panels that are complete, even though dry rot should’ve claimed them in the ’90s. There are a million things that Del and Dustin could’ve done to this truck, but it was their sense of restraint that makes it a shining example to square-bodies everywhere. And that’s perfect.
As for Dustin’s future with the truck, well, that remains to be seen. He loves it and still drives it all of the time. In fact, he seems completely satisfied with its current state, and has no plans to change a single thing or move on to another truck. That’s probably a sign that he’s done something right, and it’s hard to disagree with that idea, so we won’t. Instead, we’ll wish Brownstone a happy life with Dustin, and hope to catch it cruising down the streets as its owner takes his daughter to school or heads to the office. That’s what it’s supposed to do, after all. It’s a work truck.
LEFT. THE 22-INCH DELMO SPECIALS COMBINE THE OLD WITH THE NEW, USING ORIGINAL CHEVY HUBCAPS WITH A SMOOTHIE FINISH.
OTHER THAN A STICKER FOR HIS COMPANY, PLUMBING 2.0, AND A DELMO’S BADGE, THE EXTERIOR OF THE TRUCK IS AS STOCK AS IT WAS FROM THE FACTORY.
ABOVE. THE ORIGINAL 454 V-8 WAS REMOVED, FRESHENED UP AND REPAINTED BEFORE REINSTALLATION, AND IT’S JUST AS RELIABLE AS EVER.
RIGHT. BROWNSTONE’S INTERIOR IS PRETTY SPARTAN, BUT THAT’S DECEPTIVE. VIAIR GAUGES ARE INTEGRATED INTO THE STOCK GAUGE CLUSTER, AND THE SWITCHES SIT UNDER THE DASH.