Everybody Wants Some Square Body: 1986 Chevrolet Pickup


Many people are unaware that David Lee Roth wrote nearly all of the lyrics to the early Van Halen songs that weren’t modern versions of old classics.  One of his most popular songs was “Everybody Wants Some,” which was sung by the claymation cheeseburger in the classic coming of age/car movie “Better Off Dead.”  In this song, Diamond Dave sings that everybody wants some, and that he wants some too.  For some reason (probably the cheese is slipping off my cheeseburger…), I thought of that song when I saw this truck.  Everybody wants a square body Chevrolet, and I am getting to the point that I want one too.  While pristine examples are getting hard to find, this 1986 Chevrolet Silverado pickup, found on craigslist in Atlanta, Georgia, has been tastefully modified into a pretty nice truck.  For those readers who are into these trucks, we have to ask if the $9500 asking price on this big block equipped truck is too high or just right here?

Before we go any further, I have to point out that the truck you see in the pictures just got hosed down and washed.  A close look at the pictures reveals that the truck was wiped down with a towel or chamois, so the shine you see is pretty close to the shine you would get if you bought it.  Too often, we see a clunker that was soaked in water to make it look like the paint had some shine left in it.  This one seems legit, and that is a relief.  This deceptive advertising only angers buyers who take the time and burn the gas to see a vehicle, only to see that a scam was pulled on them.  The color on this truck, Bright Red on the chart, looks to be a fairly well done re-spray on what was a solid truck.  The bottoms of the bed and fenders and the cab corners look solid on this Georgia hauler, and not every square body is so nice.

Inside, we see that some work needs to be done on the dash and the steering wheel.  However, the show stoppers here are the seats.  I am not sure what type of late model vehicle they come from, but they look to be quite the comfortable upgrade from the usual bench seat you see in these trucks.  The console does look to be blue, but that might be a lighting problem.  You can also see that some trim looks out of place by the passenger headrest, but the truck is equipped with an opening back glass.

Here is the part that I want some of: a 454 cubic inch big block V-8.  I’ve always wanted a big block car or truck, and my guess is that this one would haul the mail.  Given the relatively light weight of one of these compared to their larger and more towing oriented stable mates and the gobs of low end torque that these mills put out, this one is likely fun until the rain starts.  The power is handled by a 350 Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission, but we have no idea if the rear end is equipped with a limited slip differential to put all that power to the ground.  I am pretty sure this engine is not stock, and the fact that it has a 350 Hydra-Matic instead of the Turbo-Hydramatic 700R4 that I believe came with these trucks in 1986 kind of backs that up.  The lack of air conditioning would be an issue, at least until you stomped on the go-pedal at a light.

So, I know that I want something like this, and I am pretty sure that I can come up with a reason for needing one as well.  I have heard that everybody needs one.  How about you?





  1. jw454

    I started making a list of all this truck’s short comings to be asking this much but, there were too many of them. The seller was pretty clear he wants only serious inquiries… maybe he should get way more serious on the price. 3k is closer to reality.

    • Steve R

      Something is definatley off about the truck. I don’t know about where you live, but where I live $3,000 would be laughably low. I’d say $5,000-6,000.

      Steve R

      • Nrg8

        On the craigslist ad, in the 10th pic, you can see he has another shortbox with a suburban/blazer front clip on it. Looks like square bodies are his thing. I agree 5-6k. Looks like it was shot with nice and thick tremclad red. Buffed in places. Door jams weather stripping has over spray. Box has shopping cart molding only on the rear corners? Box sides little wavy. Totally be in for 5 but 6 would be a stretch. Too much tweeking for 9500

    • MadDig65

      I am a Chevy man pre 1987 and this price is not fair. You can find the same truck for about 3k. Also not knowing how many miles are on the engine I have to assume that it is the original and by looking at the shape of it from the pictures it was not garage kept so probably a lot of miles! Even if it were rebuilt big block still chang get same truck for way less!

  2. slickb

    I love these trucks!!!! they are modest in styling but still look cool. they are just an over all cool ride.

  3. Houseofhotrods

    I won’t ‘waist’ his time. :-)

  4. JW

    It is a nice example of the square body Chevy pickups being rust free, a short bed, a 454 but the only upgrade he doesn’t offer is a fully loaded gas card.

  5. Troy s

    Had an ’87 long bed which had the 350 tbi and 700R with very low gearing. That was a good running truck, ’till someone stole it,urrrgggg! What I remember not caring for was a lack of good leg room, felt kinda cramped, so I don’t know how these seats would work out. Overall not a bad little truck but that 454 will be impossible to smog for some people. 😥

  6. Todd Zuercher

    +10 for the ‘Better Off Dead’ reference. I wonder how long a Turbo 350 will last behind a 454.

  7. Tyler

    I love the square body series trucks, especially in red. Even though it has a few deficiencies, for the most part, looks like a nice one. But personally, I don’t care for the big block or the seats. Other than that, I could live with it. A 6.0 LS is nearly a bolt in affair, & is more practical than the 454, while factory buckets out of a Blazer or Suburban would be more to my taste. For that matter, the bench seats in this generation weren’t that bad.

    You used to see these on every corner, & for cheap. But cash for clunkers took a lot out of the market, & nice examples are starting to climb in price. I’ve got its twin, picked it up last year. Still has the original 305 & it came with a th350 also. 86 was the last year for it. In 87, you got either the700r4 or the th400.

  8. Ck

    I had a79 shortbox with a 305 3spd stick. They were all over the place at one time ,now trying to find a nice one is not so easy.This one is a little pricey, its a nice toy but with that big block its not a daily driver.Although I bet its a lot of fun to drive from gas station to gas station .

  9. Chuck Cobb

    Appears to originally have AC, the vents are in the dash. PLEASE, get rid of the cheap glass gas filter that is banging all over the valve cover. Fire waiting to happen.

  10. Joe Flannery

    I love the creative use of rubber fuel line. It looks to be about 3 feet. I see stuff like that and then question everything else he touched.

  11. KKW

    The new nickname for these ugly things says it all. There’s nothing attractive about a square. Lol.

  12. Mike

    Price comparison-
    My “77 GMC K10 4-spd w/350 and 350. Numbers matching, edelbrock intake and eddy quad. New shocks, big tires, Odometer says 36k and Its hard to believe it’s 136k but who knows. Pretty darned straight, nice orig interior with unripped seat, wheatland yellow (orange)

    $8500 (exactly what I have into it and worth every penny)

  13. Miguel

    These trucks are extremely common which is why they are so uninteresting to me.

  14. Fozbuzz Member

    Got a ’77 shortbed “Camper Special” Bonanza that has original 454, T-400, 3.73 posi, so they DID come w/factory 454’s but much beefier drive train

    • KKW

      Whoopty Doo.

  15. barry

    1979 was the last year for a 454 1/2 ton pick up,and they had a 400 turbo trans in,untill they brought out the 454 ss in 1990 till 93.

  16. Chris

    Yep I had one of the 79 GMC shortbed with 454 and 400 trans. Would run like a striped ape and won a lot of street races with it. And gas prices were only .80 so didn’t hurt like it would now.
    Wish I could get that truck back, a lot of memories in it.

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