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Five Deuce

by Scott Mason

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We met up with Todd Blicharz and his son, Austin, of Todd’s Rods Inc, earlier this year at Battle in Bama in Mobile, Alabama. We had heard a lot about them and their work from a mutual friend, Josh Mason (“Space Cowboy”, 9/20 CKTM), but we had never had a chance to meet in person. Josh had kept us up to date on the progress of this ‘52 Chevy and he assured us that we were going to absolutely love the finished product. The Blicharz crew and truck owner, Dustan Koger, showed up at ‘Bama to debut this stunner, and Josh was vindicated. We fell in love right then and there and corralled our good buddy, Brian Goude of Grinder TV, to do his thing and capture images so we could show the world.

It’s always great to hear the story straight from the horse’s mouth, so I’ll shut up and let Austin do the talking…

“We started this project in 2006 and it was the first full build project that Todd’s Rods Inc took in as a business. At that time, this ‘52 was owned by it’s first “customizer”, so to speak. We started with just a cab, which someone decided to chop and needed a revamping. The roof was held up only by 2×4’s. That created the initial goal for the truck – one cut up drastically but (in our eyes) tastefully. We cut the top off and started over, which snowballed to doing the same process for every panel around the truck. Almost near completion in 2008, economic hardships hit around the United States, and the project got pulled and placed in storage for many years. The truck had an injected big block Chevy in it and was painted an orange/copper color at this time. 

Years later, Dustan Koger started hanging around the shop, allowing us to work on other hot rods he had owned through this time. One afternoon, he mentioned to us that he had been on the hunt for a ‘47-52 Chevrolet truck, and that he had one in mind. Next thing we know, Dustan made the deal with the owner of the orange ‘52 and we were headed to drag it out of storage. 

We started the process of making the truck fit the way Dustan envisioned it. We pulled out the big block and replaced it with an LS. He wanted to be able to reliably drive it anywhere and everywhere, so it was the logical choice. We changed the color from copper to a dark metallic blue, and also repainted the frame and components a slate gray to try to modernize the build. We made the call to RSV Forged wheels and picked out a set of wheel to fit the new look. We kept all the body modifications that we had already finished, as they complimented the truck so well. Our goal was to chop up a ‘52 Chevrolet extensively, but make it very subtle at the same time. With that being said, the appearance still completely resembles the original truck, but it will take someone a quite a while to point out all the modifications. 

Upon completion, we called up Christopher Tisdale of Big Body interiors to finalize the build. We entrusted his creative eye to pull the truck together on the interior. Dustan wanted the interior to pop, and we feel he nailed that exactly. They decided on a two-tone distressed interior and Chris took that decision and ran with it. We feel the interior is a huge component of a full project and the final result from Big Body Interiors reflects the truck perfectly. 

At Todd’s Rods, the completion of this truck couldn’t make us happier, especially with this truck being one of the first vehicles to ever roll in to the shop for a ground up build. Thank you Dustan (aka ‘Lil Daddy) Koger and your family for trusting us with building this one-of-a-kind truck and building a great friendship along the way.”

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Dustan Koger • ‘52 3100
  • LS2 6.0L/4L80E
  • Comp Cams custom grind cam
  • Factory LS2 rotating assembly
  • Factory LS2 heads
  • GM EFI
  • Holley Hi-Ram intake
  • Vintage Air front drive
  • Griffin radiator
  • Aeromotive in-tank pump
  • Custom stainless fuel tank
  • Howell standalone harness
  • GM ECU tuned by Clyde Carlson, Hazel Green, AL
  • Todd’s Rods Inc custom built headers
  • Full 3” stainless mandrel bent exhaust built by Todd’s Rods Inc
  • Flowmaster mufflers
  • Full exhaust system coated by Jet-Hot
  • 9” rear end
  • Moser center section with 3:73 gear
  • Moser axles
  • Factory boxed ‘52 truck rails
  • TCI Mustang II front suspension
  • Ridetech bag control arms
  • TCI rack and pinion
  • Ridetech universal 4-link modified to work
  • Ridetech bag mounts
  • Ridetech shocks front and rear
  • Ridetech air bags front and rear
  • Ridetech air management, compressor, and tank
  • Wilwood disc brakes front and rear
  • Wilwood master cylinder (under the dash)
  • Todd’s Rods Inc stainless brake lines throughout
  • RSV forged wheels 18×9 front, 20×14 rear
  • Mickey Thompson tires, 245/45R18 front, 29x15x20 rear
  • Body work and paint by Todd’s Rods Inc
  • Late model Nissan dark blue metallic paint with all Sikkens materials
  • Factory dash smoothed completely
  • All interior fab and wrapped by Christopher Tisdale at Big Body Interiors, Lebanon, TN
  • Moore and Giles distressed leathers
  • Teas split back bench seat
  • JL Audio throughout
  • Vintage Air climate control
  • Ididit tilt column
  • Custom gauges
  • A and M Hot Rod glass tinted windows
  • Shortened wheel base 3”
  • Smoothed tail gate with latch installed on inside
  • Pocketed custom taillights
  • Rounded bed corners, custom top rails
  • Extended the height of bedsides for proportion
  • Smoothed and extended stake pockets
  • Widened rear fenders 2” per side with 2” tub inside bed
  • Smoothed 1-piece running boards with added material to fit
  • Top chopped 2.5”
  • Pancaked hood
  • Modified bumpers and brackets
  • Filler panels made for bumpers front rear
  • Bear claw latches
  • Removed door handles
  • Full custom firewall, trans tunnel, floorboards
  • Fabricated inner fenders

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