Overcoming adversity is said to be an endearing quality in a person and one that is the epitome of what it means to tinker, turn wrenches or flat-out build custom trucks. That spirit is what led the crew from United by Trucks (UBT), a rapidly growing classic truck content creators from Georgia, to embark on not only a 45-day thrash to get their LS-powered 2WD square body Blazer roadworthy, but to road-trip it roughly 2,000 miles round trip to the land of trucks for the famed Lone Star Throwdown in Conroe, Texas.
The #UBTtoLST plan was simple: get the Blazer—affectionately named UBTK5—roadworthy, load the rest of the crew up in their trucks and meet up with trucks from Florida, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee in Georgia to head west to Texas. Sounds easy, right? Right.
On Feb. 19, once we finished putting the functional—not final—touches on our 2WD square body Blazer, we logged roughly 50 shakedown miles to make sure it would seemingly hold together for the long but highly anticipated trip. You see, this is what United by Trucks is all about: getting a group of friends together and building trucks that can withstand thousands of miles of abuse on the streets, roads and interstates of America. If only we’d known what we were in for the next day when we headed toward the Lone Star state.
The next morning, Feb. 20, we awoke to colder-than-usual temperatures, rain and darkness. At 6 a.m., we piled into our trucks and headed toward the world-famous Varsity in Atlanta to meet up with a host of other trucks. Before we made it a mile from the house, however, Two Trucks Ron, (UBT’s resident cut-man) began having fuel rail O-ring issues with his LS-swapped square body GMC, Pecos. After waiting an hour for a parts store to open, the issue was resolved, and we were back on the road.
After arriving at the Varsity about an hour and half late to roughly a dozen trucks waiting to roll west, we didn’t waste any time getting back on the road. And that’s when it happened: there was no throttle in the Blazer—and we were only half a mile from the Varsity. Can’t we simply get out of Atlanta? The group began to split up due to confusion, red lights and a general desire to get to Texas.
For the few who hung back with us to resolve our issues—namely Clay Guinn, Rick Cheeseman (SQRBDY), Two Trucks Ron, Rock, John, Wesley Hardin and Johnny—we jiggled a few wires, checked some sensors, said a few choice words and got it to fire back up. We were back on the road. Again.
Over the next few hundred miles, we enjoyed a ton of rain, some cold weather, a lot of laughs and a two-our delay when our friend Johnny’s main fuse went out in his LS7-powered ’57 patina truck. Once we rounded up another, we were back on the road headed toward Mobile, Alabama, and Denham Springs, Louisiana; however, it was in Denham Springs under a well-lit gas station awning where the real issue with the Blazer began to rear its ugly head. Again.
Remember how we said we jiggled a few wires and checked some sensors?
Well, it became pretty obvious that we had a fuel pump wiring issue. Enter Chaz Sosebee, C10 Club Georgia Head-of-State and Alex Walker of Walker Performance Tuning, who was actually eating dinner back in Georgia but willing to FaceTime us through the issue. After a couple of trips to the local parts store and a couple hours in the freezing wind, we came up with a lengthened and newly crimped fuel pump wire that would eliminate the intermittent connection. And we were back on the road.
A few hours later, around 4 a.m., we arrived at our AirBnB in The Woodlands exhausted, cold, wet and drained—but over-the-moon we made it with a fresh build and a crew of trucks. We spent the next couple of days enjoying some beautiful weather, great food, awesome trucks and building new friendships. Lone Star Throwdown 2020 was everything it was said to be and more. Much more.
WE ARRIVED AT OUR AIRBNB IN THE WOODLANDS EXHAUSTED, COLD, WET AND DRAINED—BUT OVERTHE- MOON WE MADE IT WITH A FRESH BUILD AND A CREW OF TRUCKS.
Once the show festivities concluded for us, we headed back toward Georgia—but not before a quick stop at the world-famous Buc-ees.
Amazingly, for the first couple hundred miles, there were no issues and it appeared to be smooth sailing—even through the rough and tumble of Louisiana roads. Then, just as we were all thinking we’d get home early, the brake pedal on the Blazer began to feel a bit different around Long Beach, Mississippi. After getting off the interstate, diagnosing the issue (cracked flare on the hardline at the master cylinder), Chaz Sosebee and I got a new brake line from the local Auto Zone, bent it up and installed it. We were now ready to roll and make it back home to our families.
All in all, the trip made memories that will last a lifetime. We documented everything via video for our YouTube channel, kept our cool (for the most part) and worked together to overcome the adversity that is a fresh build on a long road trip.
Would we do it again? I think you all know the answer, but in case you don’t: Every. Single. Time.
Writer Robbie Purser would like to give special thanks to his wife, Sarah, for embracing his passion, his dad, Mike Howe of Howe’s It Doin’ Garage, Jeremy Churchill, Wesley Hardin, Trey Ballentine, Phil Stroud, Alex Walker of Walker Performance Tuning, Zack Zimmerman & Kevin Smith of Hooks Detailing, Two Trucks Ron, Rick Cheeseman (SQRBDY), Rocky Wagnon, Evan Dobbins, John Padgett, Chaz Sosebee, Chad Rackley, Bryan Harrison of Harrison’s Rod and Custom, Ryan Akers, and all of the industry partners that helped him get this blazer on the road to LST.