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Silver Surfer

by Will Rogers

Jordan Kudsk's '77 Cheyenne

Kids today don’t care about cars, or so the narrative goes. You read everywhere about how horsepower and internal combustion are going out of style. Well, fear not there’s still hope for hot rodding. Jordan Kudsk of Puyallup, Washington is a beacon of that hope. Kudsk’s stepside is an impressive truck, with clean lines, the perfect stance and a nasty small block with the power to shred the drag radials out back. The truck is an accomplishment anyone would be proud of, but it’s all the more impressive because Jordan is only 23 years old.
The truck’s story with Jordan began when he was in 4th grade. His father Jeff, who happens to own a JCK Restorations in Ferndale, Washington, bought the truck from a neighbor in rough shape. By the time high school rolled around, the two had restored the Stepside to respectable drivable condition. After high school, Jordan and the truck departed for tech school. After gaining solid employment as a heavy duty diesel tech Jordan did the wise thing and invested… in his truck!
Jordan showed true dedication in finishing the second round of improvements on his truck. He had to travel 2 hours to his dad’s shop every weekend to work on it over the course of almost 2 years. The father-son team started with the chassis, which ended up being a cut-down long bed frame the pair fully boxed. Up front they turned to GSI machine for a front clip that got the truck in the weeds where it belonged, but also made it handle better than it ever did from the factory. The rear suspension is a Ridetech four-link grafted into the frame with a custom built C notch to allow for plenty of travel. Ridetech coilovers handle the bumps at all 4 corners. The magic doesn’t stop there; Wilwood brakes front and rear inspire confidence when it’s time to throw out the anchor. In order to fit 20-inch wheels with 245 tires up front without rubbing, the pair fabricated custom inner fenders using 2 sets of stockers. A beefed up 12 bolt sends the power to the pavement through an Eaton limited slip differential.

In today’s world, the LS motor has become ubiquitous, so it’s a breath of fresh air to lift the hood and find an honest-to-goodness small block Chevy motor fed by a good old fashioned carburetor. Jordan turned to Davidson Racing Engines of Puyallup, Washington to build the engine. Davidson started with a 400 cubic inch Dart block and worked their magic on it. Without revealing all of the secret recipe, we can say it was bored and stroked out to 424 cubes and puts out over 600 horsepower and 585 lb ft of torque on the dyno. More than enough to vaporize tires and the occasional transmission, which brings us to Jordan’s biggest regret of the build; not starting with a strong transmission. Since the truck’s completion, the engine has already eaten up a helpless 700r4. Jordan replaced it with a stronger unit and things have been ok since then.

With the foundation out of the way Jordan and Jeff turned their attention to the finishing touches. After shaving the marker lights and stake pockets, the pair made sure the bodywork was straight and sprayed it with Matrix quicksilver paint. One might argue that silver is a subtle choice in the custom world, but it suits the truck perfectly. Custom 20-inch US Mag wheels give it that extra visual pop while also allowing Jordan to run enough rubber to hook, specifically 245s in front and 295s in the rear. The pair went to the trouble of powder coating the custom exhaust to match the gray on the wheels. Details matter!
In the cab things are mostly factory, but pristine. The truck retains the original factory tach in the dash for a subtle appearance. Jordan went with a Vintage Air system to keep things cool in the summer and warm in the winter. A Retrosound head unit plays tunes through a set of Kicker amps and speakers.

Jordan’s Stepside is one cool truck, made even better by the fact that he drives it often. Not many of us can say we still have our first vehicle, or that we’ve been able to take it to such heights. When it debuted in its current form at Good Guys in Puyallup, WA, back when we still went to shows, it won a “Chevy Truck Pick” award. This all goes to show that, there’s hope for our hobby in the future, we just need to start them off right and help along the way.

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