The immortal shop truck: so simple in context, so mundane, and so many. Yet somehow they seem to hunt you down and pierce right through. For every rod, truck, and custom shop, each seems to have some sort of shop truck. What's even stranger is that each can hold their own among a sea of custom classic trucks. For Devlin Rod and Custom, in Wichita, Kansas, their shop truck maintains all the necessary ingredients. However, its coming of age was a little different.
Most shops set out to build their own rolling utilitarian advertisement, and Devlin Rod and Custom were well on their way down that path until a chance encounter came to the forefront. Shop owner Tim Devlin just happened to be out at a show when he spotted this '52 Chevrolet with a window sticker on it. "As a custom car shop owner, one might think it's a little embarrassing having a shop truck that you didn't build, but I found the truck at a local show and the price was too good to pass up," is exactly what Tim told us-and it's true, some deals really are too good to pass up! As it turned out, the truck was a perfect fit for what Devlin was looking for. The previous owner had done a heck of a job building the Chevy.
The previous owner built the truck much like Devlin would have built it: to be driven. For starters, the previous owner stripped the truck down to bare minimum. To maximize driveability and comfort he threw the idea of keeping the straight-axle out the door. In its place is a Total Cost Involved Mustang II setup. Along with an IFS suspension, the new disc brakes also provided some much needed stopping power, and the power steering is a nice addition as well. Besides all that, the 2-inch drop spindles and coilover shocks give the Chevy the desired stance when it's sittin' still. The stock rearend was swapped for a Camaro rearend, and sitting between the framerails up front is a 4.3L motor from an '87 Monte Carlo, with some Sanderson headers for a little more pep and sound, which has its pros and cons. On one hand, the fuel economy, dependability, and drivability of the V-6 are top notch, yet, on the other hand, it's well ... a six banger. Therefore, Tim already has plans in the works to drop in a V-8. Backing the V-6 is a 700-R4. Also pirated from the Monte was its fuel cell, which is now mounted between the framerails out back.
As for the exterior of the truck, its opaque contrast of black and gray give a unique feeling to the overall presence. However, before the truck was laid down with some hue, the driprail was shaved from the cab and the side vent was filled. From there, some strategic planning went into effect. Since the presence of chrome was thrown out, the previous owner devised a plan to maximize the look of the truck by carefully picking and choosing what to spray DuPont Gray and DuPont Black. Getting things started, the body and front bumper was sprayed gray. From there, the mirrors, door handles, grille, running boards, and side emblems were all shot with black. The only chrome left on the truck are on the headlight bezels and the front Chevrolet badge. Inside the bed is brand-new wood from Mar-K. However, even the skid strips were painted gray to carry on the monotone theme. Lastly, a set of American Racing Hopster 15-inch wheels were added. (Tim has a set of steelies and white walls in the works as well, for a more custom look.) Giving the truck even more character, and the official shop truck vibe, is the Devlin Rod and Custom logo Tim had painted on the door.