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A Working Man's Spin On A Clean AF '87 Chevy R10

by Fuelish Media

The story behind Dustin Scott’s 1987 Chevy truck build is probably one of the most relatable tales you’ll ever hear regarding a magazine-featured vehicle. He didn’t have a whole lot of money to throw at the truck all at once, so he drove it around in various phases of unfinished levels until he was mostly happy with how everything finally came together. According to Dustin, he built the truck sort of backwards and out of the common order of how show worthy trucks are usually done, but he was able to make it all happen in approximately 5 years, which isn’t all too bad actually.  

“I learned a lot from my dad and his friends pulling late nights in the shop to have a truck ready for competition the following weekend”, Dustin recalls. “My dad always taught me to take pride in my vehicles, and to keep them clean, well maintained and if I was planning to make modifications to take my time to do them right.” 

Dustin’s dad played a big role in his approach to custom car culture, as did his cousin who happened to be an active minitrucker back in the day. “He was involved in the car and truck clubs in the late 90’s and early 2000s”, Dustin says. “When I would go to his house, I’d always hang out with my cousin and his friends while they worked on their trucks. I remember looking at the custom paint, stereos, billet and tweed and thinking how cool it all was.” 

With the heavily influence Dustin’s family played on how he viewed building customized vehicles, as well as having the subscriptions to all his favorite truck magazines to fall back on, he was constantly shaping ideas on what types of trucks he’d like for himself one day, and just what kinds of mods he’d like to see done to them. 

As Dustin familiarized himself with vehicles, and being able to turn his own wrenches, he began buying and selling cars and trucks to help finance his own projects he had going. “I’ve met a lot of people in the custom scene doing this who have helped me a lot along the way”, he states. “A Facebook friend of mine posted a picture of his new project truck, and I knew instantly that I wanted it. Since he never seemed to get too attached to his new purchases, I figured I could buy it from him if I came to him with the right amount of cash.” 

The truck in question is the ’87 Chevy R10 seen here. That isn’t a typo – the R10 designation is one that was used in 1987 only to distinguish this fuel injected pickup from previous carbureted models. Within the first year of owning the truck, he started collecting parts for an engine swap, but after getting laid off from his job at the time, he was forced to sell the truck he admired so much. “At the time, it was tough to hand the keys over to someone else, but three years later, I was lucky enough to buy it back, Dustin exclaims. “As soon as I got my hands on the truck again, I jumped right into restoring and modifying it.” 

While Dustin had plans to touch on every aspect of his old Chevy pickup to make it worthy to show, he began the modification process by first having bodywork done in the way of a shaved cargo lamp, stake pockets, and tailgate handle before the truck went in for fresh paint. While the two tone, factory light blue and dark gray paintjob sprayed by Kevin Lee at Southern Shine Body Shop in Athens, Alabama, turned out great, Dustin soon realized that maybe be should’ve saved the paint phase for later on down the road. “The truck looked awesome from the outside but it just made the stock interior and engine bay look noticeably worn and dated”, he admits. 

Trying his best to make up for his jumbled timeline of modifications, Dustin quickly addressed the interior. Vinyl-covered OBS low back bucket seats covered by Burk’s Upholstery in Murfreesboro, TN were brought in, as was an original factory dash and gauges, fresh carpet by ACC, a Flashpower half wrap billet steering wheel, as well as a full lineup of Kicker audio components. While the cab is actually updated quite nicely, the color and material selections give the cab space a familiar, period correct vibe. 

Next, Dustin focused his attention on lowering the truck with Western Chassis static drop components, as well as Street Performance shocks from Belltech to assist in providing the smoothest ride possible. Little Shop MFG’s rear disc brake conversion was utilized to promote better stopping power, which was a big concern for Dustin’s since he had already placed an order for a much-larger-than-stock set of 22-inch Intro Retro XLR wheels and Lexani LX-Twenty tires. Active progress was being made to the truck, even though it wasn’t in the most traditional of timelines. 

The factory 350 SBC was then treated to a complete rebuild and upgrade session by Travis Quillen and Jonathan Day of Athens, Alabama, that left it equipped with a ton of impressive, top-shelf performance products. A powdercoated Edelbrock Performer manifold and Holley Sniper fuel injection were utilized to update the engine, and a replacement OEM alternator and water pump, as well as a stock GM radiator with a Jackson Fab shroud, help the 350 recharge and run efficiently, and damn check out how clean it looks under the hood!

“I definitely learned a lot from this build”, Dustin says. “If I were to go back and start on it again, I’d for sure begin with a custom air ride chassis and build the rest of the truck around it, but as for now, here we are. Don’t get me wrong, I love how my truck came out.” 

Molded by a family of car and truck enthusiasts, and spending a great deal of time studying the art of what goes into building a feature worthy pickup, Dustin can now relax and worry about keeping his ’87 Chevy nice and clean. Heck, he might even start planning his next build, which we would definitely be interested in seeing.


  • 1987 Chevy SBC 350ci engine
  • Comp Cams XR276HR camshaft 
  • GM Vortec cylinder heads 
  • Crower valves 
  • Dual Derale fans 
  • Jackson Fab shroud 
  • Edelbrock Performer intake powdercoated 
  • Holley Sniper fuel injection, HyperSpark ignition 
  • Taylor wires 
  • 1 5/8-inch stainless long tube headers 
  • 2 1/2-inch Dual H-pipe exhaust 
  • Magnaflow muffler 
  • 1987 GM 700R4 transmission 
  • PTC torque converter 
  • TransGo HD2 reprogramming kit 
  • Raybestos clutches 
  • Tru-Cool transmission cooler 
  • Factory GM chassis 
  • Western Chassis drop spindles and springs 
  • Belltech Street Performance shocks 
  • Little Shop MFG rear disc conversion
  • GM 8.5 10-bolt rearend narrowed 2 inches per side 
  • Yukon Dura Grip limited slip 
  • 22x8.5 and 22x10.5 Intro Retro XLR full polish wheels 
  • 255/30R22 and 305/30R22 Lexani LX-Twenty tires 
  • Shaved cargo lamp, stake pockets, tailgate handle relocator, K5 Blazer tailgate band
  • PPG GM light blue and dark gray paint 
  • Stock style LED headlight and taillight conversion 
  • Small stock mirrors 
  • OBS low back bucket seats w/ blue vinyl upholstery 
  • ACC carpet 
  • K5 Blazer console 
  • Flashpower billet half wrap steering wheel 
  • USA 1 replacement dash inserts 
  • Stock gauges w/ tach conversion 
  • Pioneer head unit, Kicker speakers, amps and subwoofer

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