MT: 'Sup, Alfredo? Are you surprised to have been picked for the cover of Mini Truckin'?
Alfredo: Yeah, this is a dream come true. I've dreamed of just being featured. Getting the cover, hell yeah.
MT: When you began working on your Mazda, what were your original plans?
Alfredo: My original plans were to just get it nice enough to go to shows, look good, and hang. But when I started going to these shows, I realized that nice enough wasn't going to be good enough, so I decided to let it all hang out.
MT: How long did it take you to realize that your were going to go off with your ride?
Alfredo: It was probably right after my first season. Back then, it was blue and white when I started showing. Then I met Charles Armstrong who told me that blue and white were cool, but bright colors would get me a lot more attention at shows. Soon he was painting my ride, and then I had the stereo system done, and now check it out.
MT: So, what was the first thing you did to your ride after you decided to build it custom?
Alfredo: We tore the truck all the way down to the frame, blasted it, and painted it orange. Then we focused on chroming and detailing the parts that we tore apart. We also 'bagged the truck while it was apart, which kept everything cleaner than most 'bag installs.
MT: That's one awesome stereo system you have installed. Have you always been a bass head?
Alfredo: Yeah, I've always had to have a loud and killer system. I believe you can drive a Pinto, but if it has badass beats in it, you'll pick up lots of women and roll in style.
MT: Tell us about your system. How much power is going through the system altogether?
Alfredo: I've got six 15-inch Fosgate Punch DVC subs and they have six Fosgate Punch 1000s pushing them. I also have two Fosgate Power 225s running all the speakers in the doors and the kick pods. Altogether, I've got 6,500 watts in the truck, six batteries for the system, and one battery under the hood that runs the truck.
MT: Damn, that's a ton of power you got rollin' through that system bro. Why on earth would anyone want that many dBs thundering behind his head? Has California called you to sell off any of that power to relieve its energy crisis?
Alfredo: If it's too loud, then you're too damn old there, Grampy.
MT: Who built that friggin' monstrous speaker enclosure? And how long did it take the shop to complete all of the stereo work?
Alfredo: Justin Judd Webb out of Wichita, Kansas, at Street Beat built all of the door and the kick pods, the sub enclosure, and the amp rack in the back of the truck. It took him two and a half months to get it all together. He even had it painted body color and installed in that amount time. The enclosure was painted inside the truck; it was the hardest part of the stereo buildup. The only way to get that enclosure out of the truck would be to destroy it in the process.
MT: What would you say has been the hardest part of building your Mazda?
Alfredo: Probably building the suspension was the hardest because no one in Liberal has a 'bagged vehicle. I tack-welded parts, tested them, and when they broke or didn't work, I tried something else. Looking at other rides at shows helped to determine just where to weld certain parts and what to do. Eventually, Shane Schaeffer and Alfredo Zapien figured it out, and, suddenly, the first 'bagged ride in Liberal existed.
MT: What would you say has given you the most satisfaction about building your Mazda?
Alfredo: Well, there's actually two. The stereo is kick-ass, but without my paintjob, many people probably wouldn't even stop to look. The paintjob stops them in their tracks, but the stereo system keeps them looking around long enough to see everything else that has been done.
MT: If you had to thank one person who was instrumental in bringing your ride to the point it's at right now, could you single them out?
Alfredo: To be honest with you, I could name one. If it wasn't for Charles Armstrong who fixed my truck after it rolled unexpectedly off a trailer before Slamboree, it probably wouldn't have come this far at all. He worked on my truck in the summer heat with a fixator screwed into the bones of his leg and a tube running into his heart for his medicine. He was out there bustin' his ass so I could show it. He didn't have to go the extra miles it took, but he did.
MT: Charles just moved his operations in Oklahoma City to Prescott, Arizona. That's one hell of a long drive to make if you need a touch up, isn't it?
Alfredo: Oh yeah, but it would be well worth it. He's the man.
MT: Do you think you'll build another custom in the near future?
Alfredo: Yeah, I'm definitely building something else soon.
MT: What do you think it will be? Another mini-truck?
Alfredo: Yeah, it'll be another mini. Fullsizes are cool, but mini-trucks are the thing to build. I'm lookin' at doing a Nissan Hardbody or an '89-'94 Toyota soon.
MT: Anything special you want to achieve with the next ride that you didn't do to this one?
Alfredo: Yeah, I want the bottom of the bed and the cab done fully in graphics, along with everywhere else. I also want to have an external method of getting the door open so I don't have to break any more windows in the middle of the Arizona desert while getting my ride photographed.
MT: Thanks for bringing your ride all the way out to Phoenix for us to shoot it for Mini Truckin', and thanks for trusting me enough to literally break into your ride. Thanks a ton, brother.
Alfredo: No problem, it was way cool getting my vehicle shot for Mini Truckin'.
MT: Hey brother, we're out of time, but we'll see you soon, right? You're coming to Resolutions at the end of December, correct?
Alfredo: You got it. I'll see you there.