It takes a ton of guts to do something that no one else will. But going places others won't or taking chances that others deem too risky has a reward all its own. It's called starting a trend, and you are looking at a truck that just might start one of its own. It must have been pretty scary to be in Joe Meloni's shoes when he rolled his '86 Mazda B2000 mini onto the show field at Blood Drag 2001. If you're wondering why it was so scary or what possible trend Joe might be starting, take a look at his interior and the answer becomes painfully clear. Did you ever in your wildest dreams think that anyone would put plaid in their mini's interior? That's right -- Joe went there. Joe turned his back on one of the longest trends in mini-trucking's history; the most famous and most played-out trend ever -- Tweed. Joe pulled a 360 on the whole scene and put plaid canvas not only inside of his ride, but on his sliding ragtop as well. So what payoff did Joe receive for such a righteous endeavor? How about earning a First Place trophy at the first show he entered the Mazda into as well as a shot in this issue of Mini Truckin'? While plaid might never be as popular as tweed, Joe's mini is sure to prompt enthusiasts everywhere to start rethinking their mini's style and start searching out other avenues of coolness. Think about it. If Joe can pull off having plaid in his ride, then there has to be 100 other crazy things you can do to yours that will make people trip. For an inside look at what went into building this '60's surf-inspired mini, check out the pictures and the spec box.


the lowdown


Suspension

Lays frame with Firestone 25C airbags, Belltech drop spindles and shocks, and a four-link. The fast bag system is composed of 1/2-inch air line, 2-175-psi Thomas compressors, a 9-gallon reserve tank, and MAC valves. The suspension mods were made possible by Rick and Mike at Wicked Customs in Hollywood, Florida.


Wheels/tires

Rolls on 17x7-inch Budnik Tiller 6 rims with 205/40ZR17 tires. Interior John Pellicone from Creative Trim in West Palm Beach, Florida, went all out in redesigning the interior. Honda Civic bucket seats replace the factory bench seat. A one-off dash was built that houses custom air-conditioning vents and Auto Meter gauges and flows into a custom center console. Everything is covered in bone-colored leather and tweed, and plaid canvas was thrown into the mix to provide a bit of the '60's surf flavor. A Billet Specialties' steering wheel keeps the Mazdawg pointed in the right direction.


Audio/video

A Sony CDXM600 head unit is the brains of a system composed of equipment from Orion, MMATS, and Infinity. A 1,200-watt Orion HCCA250 amp pounds a trio of MMATS 12-inch subs, while a 600-watt Orion HCCA225 amp powers Infinity components in the doors. The Infinity 6- and 4-inch mids are custom-installed in the doors and produce mids and highs that make dogs howl. Matt Ginther of Audio FX in West Palm Beach is responsible for the install.


Custom paint/graphics

Rob Knealing of Pompano Beach, Florida, did all the bodywork and sprayed the PPG Deltron Lapis Blue paint. Body mods Shaved doors, a tailgate, cowl vents, and a gas filler with a molded steel roll pan. A fuel filler is relocated in the custom stainless steel bed floor. A billet grille and a Toyota 4x4 bumper conversion smooth out the front end.


Owner's quote

"I was on vacation in Key West, Florida, and took off for Daytona to catch the last day of Bloodrag 2001. I don't go to that many shows, but I was really hoping to get my truck featured in MT that day. It worked out perfectly. I built this truck to have the nostalgic '60's surfing theme that seems to be sweeping through the street rod scene these days."