Kirk Miller has worked on customizing the vehicles he's owned for the past eight years. After building an '88 S-10 Blazer and then a '94 Toyota, he had plenty of ideas to put to good use when he picked up his newest vehicle, a '97 Tacoma Xtracab. Soon after buying his Tacoma new in Dec. of 1997, Kirk went to work making some drastic changes to his ride. He did all the suspension modifications himself, being careful to spend time with his wife Catherine and his two kids so they wouldn't feel neglected from his work on his new plaything.

Over the course of the next couple of years, the Tacoma turned into an extremely clean showpiece that's gathered plenty of acclaim. When the MT staff has traveled to various shows on the East coast, we've seen Kirk, Catherine, and even Kirk's kids at just about every one of them. His commitment to building a trick ride while keeping a balance of family is just as amazing as his vehicle. For more information on Kirk's accomplishment, check out The Lowdown.

The Lowdown:


Wheels/Tires:
17x8-inch chrome Arelli Vetta custom wheels with P205/40R17 Super G/T tires.


Body Modifications:
4x4 Toyota Tacoma front fenders, grille, and front bumper/valance combo; shaved door handles, tailgate handle, hood squirters, and fuel door; a smooth, steel roll pan; relocated taillights; and turn signals placed in a retractable panel that is easily flipped down for legal driving.


Paint:
After all of the body mods that Kirk required were completed and the truck was body-blocked and perfect once again, Ken Sherrill at Kustomz by Ken in Mooresville, North Carolina, sprayed the truck completely anew using PPG Lavender Steel metallic paint.


Chassis:
Laying his Tacoma flat with airbags also meant that Kirk needed a C-notch in his truck's rear frame section for rear axle travel. Once the notch was welded in place, Kirk 'bagged the truck using another pair of Firestone airbags, and he used a monoleaf setup for rearend stabilization.


Suspension:
First, Kirk flipped the ball joints in his Taco's front suspension for a little free lowering. Next, he pulled out the factory coil springs and replaced them with cups and airbags to allow the frontend of the truck to be adjusted for ride height at will.


Interior/Stereo:
Probably the most thought-out area of the Tacoma, Kirk packed in enough stereo equipment to host a rock concert. With a Sony CDX-7850 head unit controlling most of the action, a total of eight 12-inch Sony X-Plod subwoofers draw power from a platoon of Sony XM-3001 D-class amplifiers. Additionally, you'll find Orion 6.2 separates in the doors serving to render mid-and high-range music powered by an Autotek SS-325 amp. Custom Audio & Accessories in Troutman, North Carolina, did all the work on the stereo system in Kirk's Tacoma. To give his interior a clean and custom flair, the '94 Honda Prelude seats that Kirk installed -- along with everything else -- was wrapped in dark- and light-blue tweed by Statesville Custom Auto Trim in Statesville, North Carolina. Finishing off the interior is a highly polished Billet Specialties Psycho billet aluminum steering wheel. Under a flush-mounted Checkmate fiberglass tonneau, you'll find the power reserves for Kirk's stereo system: five SVR deep-cycle batteries. Details Kirk broke the bank with his frequent trips to his local chrome chop. Everything he could pull off his Tacoma four-cylinder was dipped in a bath of permanent shine.

Special Thanks To Kenneth Sherrill, Goodridge Hoses & Fittings, and Kirk's wife Catherine for her patience.