Chris Keown knew exactly what he wanted out of his mini and his favorite hobby. He was so in tune with his wants and desires that he even formed a club that would coincide with his idea of the perfect lifestyle and the appropriate friends to spend it with. The club, Lesser Degree, was his idea of what mini-truckin' could be to a group of mature, married couples who get down and dirty with their trucks, just like the rest of us. What Chris knew in terms of forming his club he lacked in dreaming up the perfect graphic scheme for his truck. That's where his better half, wife Nicole, picked up where he left off. It was her idea to layer his shiny black mini in graphics that would include a trend-setting blue snakeskin print and silver prismatic paint. Slaughter House of Tomball, Texas, had already nailed down the suspension work, leaving his mini lying hard on the tarmac. The bodywork by Phat Rides, also of Tomball, had left his mini smooth as silk with a plethora of custom touches. But one of the most important aspects of this project that would determine how his ride was viewed by the mini-truckin' world was conceived by Nicole and executed by Maxxed Out Paint Wurx. Oh yeah, did we mention that, up until this point, Chris had a hell of a time getting his truck rollin' the way he wanted? If you see him at a show this summer, say hello and take a moment to listen to his tale. We're sure that it will mirror some of the trials and tribulations that you've gone through in building your truck.
In just less than two years, with the help of good friends, family, and some awesome custom shops, Chris' mini went from bone stock to an original work of art, snagging First Place trophies at Texas Heat Wave, Dustoff, and Toppin' It All Off.
And now, for what you've all been waiting for, the who's who and what's what of Snake Bite, a ride whose time has come.
The LowdownChassis/Suspension Slaughter House began the lowering process by installing a pair of Belltech 2-inch drop spindles in place of the stockers. A pair of Firestone #2600 airbags then replaced the factory coil springs, and KYB Gas-A-Just shock absorbers were relocated to the outside of the front control arms. A few lengths of air line and a set of ARO solenoids later, and the front suspension was dialed. The rear suspension has been extensively modified by removing the leaf springs and replacing them with a two-link/Panhard bar suspension system. Slaughter House then installed a tribal step notch, KYB shocks, and another pair of Firestone #2600 airbags. Three compressors, a 7-gallon reserve tank, and another set of ARO solenoids actuate the rear suspension.
Wheels/Tires Eagle 201 rims roll in at 17x8 inches tall and are stuffed into P245/45ZR17 Falken GRB rubber.
Body Mods Sean at Phat Rides began the metal surgery on Chris' mini at the rear of the truck, shaving the taillights and the tailgate handle. After relocating the tailgate handle to the inside of the bed, Sean then molded in a custom roll pan and a pair of LED taillights. Phat Rides also revamped the front end of the mini with an East Coast Customs Ram Air SS hood, clear front corner lenses, and Street Scene mirrors.
Custom Paint/Graphics Maxxed Out Paint Wurx used House of Kolor paints to liven up the factory black base of Snake Bite. The graphics were laid out using Onyx Black, Silver Prismatic, and Porsche Riviera Blue hues.
Interior Moonlight Customs of Houston, Texas, gets the credit for Snake Bite's awesome interior. The mods include chopped headrests on the seats and billet aluminum pedals, window cranks, a billet shifter, a billet rearview mirror, and APC Indiglo gauges. Whatever interior panels didn't receive Maxxed Out Paint Wurx' touch were covered in gray tweed and three-dimensional tribal graphics. The factory carpet was also replaced with new graphite-colored material.
Audio/Video System CJ Sounds of Houston constructed the enclosure that houses the four Rockford Fosgate subwoofers the sound system revolves around. Their low-end punch is joined by the Pioneer mids and tweets generated from the door panels and the dash. An Alpine CD head unit provides the signal, and a Pair of Rockford Fosgate amplifiers, a Punch 400x4, and a Punch 800x2 power the system.
Engine/Drivetrain Save for the Flowmaster exhaust system and the AIRAID Intake, the engine upgrades are purely cosmetic. Billet oil filler, power steering reservoir, and radiator caps add polish to the otherwise dirt-free factory powerplant.
Owner's Quote "After having my truck 'bagged and shaved, it was brought to my attention that a black truck would never get into any magazine. Obviously the next mod was going to be the graphics. I had a bunch of ideas, but none of them were original. Lucky for me, my wife Nicole already had the graphics in mind. I'd like to thank her, Aaron Laube, Sean Ornduff at Phat Rides, Maxxed Out Paint Wurx, and my club, Lesser Degree."