When you hang out with your friends and their badass toys, it's easy to become jealous of their good fortune. That was the case for James Seat from Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. Once he saw what his friends were rolling, he knew he had to have a badass mini for himself. The one truck he had in mind to begin his quest was a '95 Ford Ranger.

James paints trucks every day, so he just needed to learn a few tricks to have himself a killer custom in no time. Using advice from his friend Josh Long at Wicked Kustoms in Lavergne, Tennessee, he picked things up fast.

James planned to go around the stock-and-drop route, so he immediately began tearing into the suspension of his truck. He also decided that he wanted to use hydraulics, so he began by reinforcing the truck's frame. James built a boxed rear frame clip for the truck to add strength to the chassis, and he built new, tubular crossmembers to increase the truck's rigidity even more. Next, a four-link was added to allow free movement, and a pair of CCE hydraulic cylinders was installed. Once the bed was reinstalled, two CCE hydraulic pumps, complete with accumulators, were installed inside the bed, then everything was plumbed. Up front, the work was much simpler. After installing the new CCE hydraulic cylinders, lines were routed to the rear of the truck where the pumps were installed inside the bed, and the whole system was given power. The truck runs Belltech shocks fore and aft.

Next on the agenda were bodywork and paint duties to make the truck truly stand out. The truck was smoothed of protrusions, such as the emblems, door handles, roof seams, the fuel-filler door, and the tailgate handle, and the rear bumper was removed in favor of a steel roll pan, which was molded into place. When the body was smooth enough for James, he turned the truck over to Carlton Hunter in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, who did the final body massage on the truck's surfaces before spraying the whole truck using Spies Heckler '94 Porsche Riviera Blue.

Finally, James payed special attention to the detailing of his truck. He decided that the chassis should match the color he'd chosen for the exterior, and he sprayed the rear frame clip accordingly. Other detail items he chose to take on included the interior of the truck, which was upgraded with a smoothed and painted dash. Other pieces were given the blue treatment as well. Gray tweed was used to upholster the seats, and the headliner and door panels were livened up with embossed flames.

With everything completed, James took off for some of the biggest shows in the Midwest and East Coast during the 2002 truck show season, and that's where we finally caught up with him. Even though he goes to shows, James isn't one to hang around for awards ceremonies because there's always another show he's dying to go to. In saying that, we can't tell you how often he's won because he doesn't even know himself. We can guarantee, however, that this Ford will be seen by many and admired by all.

The Lowdown
Wheels/Tires 18x8.5-inch ICW Spyder Tuners / 215/35/18 rubber

Chassis/Suspension Work by owner / custom front hydraulic mounts / boxed rear subframe / tubular rear crossmembers / CCE hydraulic pumps / Pete & Jake's parallel four-link / '02 Nissan Xterra fuel tank

Body Mods Shaved door handles / shaved emblems / shaved roof seams / shaved fuel filler door / shaved tailgate handle / molded steel roll pan / smoothed front bumper / ram-air hood

Custom Paint Spies Heckler '94 Porsche Riviera Blue

Engine/Chassis 2.3L four-cylinder / '95 Honda Civic air intake / 2.5-inch Flowmaster exhaust / aluminum Hooker headers / electric fan conversion / stainless braided lines / removed inner fenderwells

Interior Smoothed painted dash / upholstered and embossed door panels in charcoal gray tweed / tweed headliner / tweed upholstered seats

Stereo Emerson monitor / Sony PlayStation console / DVD player / two 10-inch Orion XTR subwoofers / stereo powered by an MTX 300-watt amplifier

Owners Quotes James wants to thank his family and friends, including Carlton Hunter, as well as Josh Long for teaching James to weld.