Owner: Chris Call
Ride: '97 Toyota Tacoma XtraCab
Hometown: Temecula, California
Club: Negative Camber

Have you ever had a friend you couldn't help but tease until they were ready to kill you? Chris Call is that kind of friend to many of us in Southern California. For years now, just about everyone who knows Chris "Slapper" Call hasn't been able to resist messing with the guy at one time or another.

For Chris, customizing trucks started about 13 years ago. Since then, Chris has built no less than four custom rides, each of which has won its fair share of trophies in competitions. His last truck, a '93 standard cab Toyota, was brought to show status a few years ago but shelved in order for Chris to begin working on his Tacoma XtraCab. We're glad because the Tacoma is one of the finest daily driven rides you'll see, and Chris has the gas receipts to prove it. We've seen Chris and his Tacoma at every major show we've been to within a 500-mile radius of his home in Temecula, California. There's no trailer to carry this ride to the locales, just plenty of good old-fashioned gas- it-and-go.

When we first saw this truck, we could safely say it was a beater. The truck was a not-so-gorgeous shade of beat-down green. Sure, it was an XtraCab, but not one you'd want to take to a show or have a date in for fear of being recognized. Soon after Chris got the truck in June 2002, he began the work with the help of his friends in Negative Camber, and he quickly made great strides toward building a true custom. He had the truck body-dropped and cut in half, and he rebuilt the rear frame section in no time with the help of Ben Wood and Brian Jendro (originator of the airbagged custom vehicle).

About a year ago, we ran into Chris and his NC brethren to see the chassis work freshly completed. Over the year, Chris continued to work on his truck, and it evolved into a show-stopping ride. At the same time, he fully enjoyed the fruits of his labors as he drove his truck all over. His friends were amazed at how he could put so many miles on it and still see it changing all the time. The naysayers kept telling Chris throughout the process that he couldn't build a show-quality truck that would go as fast as it looked and take trophies day-in and day-out, but Chris was going to prove every last one of them dead wrong.

During this time, Chris dragged his truck around so much that he broke it in half. Since Chris isn't the kind of guy to simply throw his hands in the air and give up, he decided to get down to business. When he got his truck back into the shop, the fun and games were over. He made one final push to turn his often-driven ride into the show-winner it always had the potential to become. Over the course of six months, Chris' truck did a 180-degree turn and became something most mini-truckers fear when they seek a trophy in California.

For almost 90 days, Chris and his friends worked feverishly to detail every aspect under the hood, interior, and chassis. Nothing could be found wrong with the truck -- we tried to find something, believe us. As Chris readied for our shoot, he made sure that we here at Mini Truckin' knew exactly what was going on. Chris was so aligned with keeping us up to speed on the progress of his truck that we knew the moment he got his new Intro Wheels, BAD steering wheel, Gibson exhaust, TRD supercharger, and the hundreds of other items that went into making Chris' pro-built Taco' stand tall among other customs.

Today, Chris owns one of the finest examples of a quality built, daily driven truck to be found -- anywhere. Now that every last detail has been painstakingly attended to, he's been busy running around Southern California and beyond. What could be better than owning such a truck and gathering admiration from all who gaze upon your masterpiece? Chris recently got a "get out of marriage free" license, and he is now on the lookout for a new passenger for his killer Taco'. Ladies be warned; Slapper is one freaky dude. Just look at the truck he drags daily for the proof.

the lowdown

Wheels/Tires:
18x7.5-inch Intro Twisted Vista fully polished with custom backspacing / wheels wrapped with 215/35R18 Nitto 555 Xtreme tires
Chassis/Suspension:
Back-halved rear frame using Chris Alston framerails / triple-chromed reverse cantilever four-link suspension by Steve Butts and Ben Wood / custom lower A-arms / chrome Doetsch shocks / Firestone 224C airbags all the way around / modified driveshaft carrier 2 inches up / relocated gas tank 2 inches up / painted brake components / stainless-steel brake lines / painted entire chassis, suspension, and rear end
Body Modifications:
4-inch body drop / shaved door handles / shaved hood squirters / shaved antenna / shaved tailgate / shaved roof hump / shaved third brake light / shaved gas door / relocated gas door inside bed / Trenz billet grille / custom-frenched license plate box angled in front / triple-chromed bumper / molded Sir Michaels steel roll pan / Innovation tonneau cover / Britax sliding ragtop / blue Lexan rear window with angled license plate box
Custom Paint:
PPG Porsche Rivera Blue base with silver and white flames covering the entire truck by Gabe Perez, Ben Wood, Steve Butts, and Chris Call
Interior:
Smoothed and painted dash / smoothed and painted most interior panels / Corbeau RX2000 Racing seats upholstered with blue and black vinyl / RCI five-point seatbelts / Auto Custom's blue carpeting / silver-vinyl headliner / Billet Accessories Direct (B.A.D.) Inferno billet steering wheel / Silver Star Custom's Tacoma steering wheel adapter
Stereo:
Alpine CVA-1005 in-dash TV head unit / Alpine DVD player / custom enclosure to house two 12-inch reverse-firing Hollywood Digital subwoofers / Hollywood Digital amplifiers for both subwoofers, mids and highs / Scosche wiring
Engine/Performance:
2.4-L 22RZE / TRD supercharger / 10-pound boost pulley / Nitrous Express 55hp nitrous system / E.L. Prototypes power pulleys / polished custom-built header by E.L. Prototypes / estimated 300 hp by owner / Gibson Performance Exhaust / Red Top Optima dry cell battery with polished Rage battery holder / chromed valve cover / painted and polished accessories throughout

Special Thanks:
Ben Wood at Woods Fabrication / Ron at Temecula Valley Paint / Gabe Perez / Curt Cal / Intro Wheels / Gibson Exhaust / Mufflers West / Steve Butts / Eric from E.L. Prototypes / Randall from Nitrous Express / Flex-a-Lite / Pat from Mother's / AEM / Hollywood Digital / Flash Optics / Auto Custom Carpets / Rigid Graphics / the NC brotherhood / Line-X / Tint Man Temecula / Nu-Image / Loud and Clear / MGM Plastics / Billet Accessories Direct (B.A.D.) / Silver Star Customs / Chris at Kinetic Customs / Brian Jendro / Alex Anderson / Joe Helm / all the people who backed Chris up when everyone else said, "you can't build a daily driver like that"