Back in 1999, Ryan Westcott had a buddy who owned a '91 Mazda B2600i Cab Plus, which he drove back and forth to work for several years. One night, Ryan's friend had enough of the Mazda and offered it to Ryan for only $900, telling him the truck's transmission was trashed.

Ryan knew the deal was a good one, despite how bad the transmission was. When Ryan took the truck back to his house, he pulled the tranny pan down and found it contained less than a beer can worth of transmission fluid. He reinstalled the pan, filled up the tranny, and went to work on the truck's appearance, inside and out.

Soon, he had a show-winning ride. Would you believe the total cost involved for turning this truck into a winner was only $5,500? It's true, and you're about to find out how this casino employee turned a grand into something truly incredible.

the lowdown

Wheels/Tires

18x7.5-inch KMC Gnome wheels with 215/35ZR18 Falken GRBFK451 tread.

Suspension

'Bagged using 2,500-pound Firestones up front and 2,600s in the rear. Up front, the suspension was completely rebuilt using a miscellaneous homogenization of Mazda and Toyota parts. The upper and lower control arms are still Mazda, but the ball joints, tie-rod ends, brake components, and bearings are all Toyota parts. In the rear, the original leaf springs were tossed in favor of a cantilever four-link setup and a '85 Toyota rearend, all of which Ryan installed. The adjustable suspension is controlled via ARO 3/8-inch NPT electric valves and four switches installed on the driver-side just under the dash. Full rear suspension travel is accomplished with a stepped section of rear frame and a new chassis back half. Up front, the truck's inner fenderwells were removed to allow the truck full use of its ability to lay body.

Engine/Performance

The original '91 B2600i engine still sits in the engine bay, but it was rebuilt before Ryan bought it with 80,000 miles on the clock. Today, the engine sits pretty much the same as it did then, with the exception of a modified Honda intake, some show polishing, a touch of color to the suspension components, and a few engine accessories. Body Modifications

Ryan performed all of the chassis and bodywork on the Mazda. First, he body-dropped his truck 3 inches by raising the floor of the cab and bed. He took matters into his own hands and shaved the truck's door handles, emblems, antenna, wiper cowl, and fuel filler door. The rear of the truck was modified using an FBI skin combo that serves to smooth the rear of the truck in one step with a roll pan lower section. The combo also houses a pair of 8-inch LED brake lights installed in the roll pan area. Additionally, a '99 Ford Ranger front bumper was installed to put a unique spin on the appearance of the Mazda.

Paint

Painted by Steve Van Morkhoven in Santa Maria, California, using House of Kolors Tangelo Pearl over a PPG Omaha Orange (Caltrans) basecoat. Custom Craft came in afterwards and sprayed a new 2600i hood, a wiper cowl, and the tops of the fenders to match when Ryan decided at the last minute to change things up a bit before a show. Custom Craft is also credited with painting the dash, the center console, and other miscellaneous interior parts. Ryan painted over a spray-in bedliner using the same color paint.

Interior

Inside the truck, a pair of '95 Honda Civic bucket seats, sans headrests, was reupholstered using Malibu Sand tweed by a coworker of Ryan's for $100. Adam's Upholstery in Santa Maria installed the carpeting. Ryan built the truck's dash and center console at home using fiberglass. The center console houses an array of Auto Meter gauges for airbag air pressure, fuel, oil pressure, water temperature, and voltage.

Miscellaneous

Extras include kickass tribal window tinting by Chris "Body Drop" Artiaga. Much of the visible areas in the Mazda's chassis were painted in matching orange for maximum show effect. Special Thanks To Steve Van Morkhoven, Custom Craft AutoBody, Chris "Body Drop" Artiaga, Brandon "Lugnut" Akers, Dan and Phil at Fender Bender International (FBI), and Ryan's dad Larry for "letting" him paint parts of his truck in the shop at their home.