Probably the last thing Robert Kurhajian expected to see at the Grand National Roadster Show was his own truck. Robert, from Huntington Beach, California, bought the ’58 Chevy pickup almost 29 years ago from a gas station employee in Barstow, California. In the years that followed, the truck was treated to various levels of bodywork, engine swaps, and drivetrain mods—and has been stored in backyards, garages, alleys, and a couple of shops. After Robert’s disappointing experience with a shop in Bakersfield, California, his wife Dava secretly tried to arrange for a rebuild on Chip Foose’s Overhaulin’ television show. Instead, an Overhaulin’ representative recommended Brian Wheeler at Wheeler’s Speed Shop, right there in Huntington Beach. Dava had the truck transported from Bakersfield. (Robert thought it went to the junkyard.)
The Chevy was in the shop for three years until completed in December 2009. Now the truck rolls on a TCI frame, boxed and extended 2½ inches with ShockWaves at all corners. The wheels are 17- and 18-inch Budnik Illusions. The eye-catching GM ZZ383 engine runs a Barry Grant “Badman” inline 4V carb and is backed by a 700-R4 and 3.75:1-geared Ford 9-inch. External customization includes a 2½-inch chop, frenched ’46 Ford taillights, and black walnut bed wood. Mick Jenkins prepped the sheetmetal and shot the ink black paint. Pete Engel of Westminster Auto Upholstery finished the interior with beige leather upholstery.
“The first time I saw it was at the 2010 Grand National Roadster Show,” Robert said. “These photos are the result of the hard work of the shop and my wife.” CCT
Editor’s Note: Getting your truck into Readers’ Trucks is a snap, of the camera, that is. All it takes are a few good-quality photos of your ride that are in focus and well lit. High-resolution digital photos can be sent in via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Traditional prints are also acceptable and should be sent to: CCT, c/o Readers’ Trucks, 1733 Alton Parkway, Suite 100, Irvine, CA 92606. It is important that you include a detailed description of the modifications you have made to your truck, including any interesting stories behind it. Due to the volume of mail we receive, we regret that we cannot return photographs.