Terry Averitt's involvement in the mini-truck scene dates back to 1989, when he began working on his first custom mini-truck project: a '77 Datsun. After a few years, he upgraded to an '89 Nissan Hardbody ("JST 2 SIC"), which he spent a lot of time learning the tricks of the trade on. He spent every spare hour - not to mention, every spare penny - to mold his Nissan into a true custom truck he was proud to drag wherever he went. Terry has learned a lot in 16 years as a mini-truck veteran and continues to pass on his knowledge and experience to the next generation, particularly through the buildup of his latest creation, his bright-blue '01 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab.

Being a family man, Terry was ready to trade up his mini for more space and convenience, but didn't want a huge fullsize pickup. He decided on a midsize Dakota, which had plenty of interior room yet wasn't too big to park in a compact parking space. Since Terry had been around the block before, he already had a fully mapped-out plan in mind: 'bags, a body drop, and a cool solid-color paint scheme were the keys to his plan of attack. With some cash in hand, Terry began the process of turning his Dakota from stock to badass over the course of 2-1/2 years.

Terry started the project by finding a shop that he could trust with the suspension work, as well as performing a stock-floor body drop. He got a hold of Suspension Dimension in Grand Terrace, California, and drove his truck down from Vegas as soon as the shop was ready. Terry bought a set of 18x7-inch Eagle alloys, which was bolted up to setup the suspension and body-drop clearance accordingly. The truck's entire suspension was reworked in order for it to lay out when the airbags are completely deflated. Out back, a triangulated four-link replaced the leaf springs to help keep the rearend in check, while allowing the frame to sit flat on the floor. Once the air system was plumbed and the suspension was complete, it was time to go even lower.

Terry wanted the stock floor left intact for more head and interior room, so Suspension Dimension rebuilt the frame to allow for a 4-1/2-inch stock-floor body drop. After many days of measuring, cutting, and welding, the Dodge's rockers were soon at home on the pavement. In cleaning up the final details, Suspension Dimension went to work smoothing out the exterior by shaving the door handles, molding the tailgate shut, and installing a set of '03 Dodge Ram taillights to really set the truck apart. With all the body modifications taken care of, Terry contacted Taylor Custom Paint to spray the truck with a few healthy coats of Dupont Intense Blue.

After the truck was painted, Terry wanted to keep the ball rolling, so he grabbed the bull by the horns and started on the interior. He wrapped the seats, dash, door panels, and headliner in a combination of blue and tan tweed. He also installed a full stereo and entertainment system to keep him company on the road. When the interior was complete, we asked Terry if we could shoot his truck for a feature at Octoberfest. Unfortunately, he blew a head gasket on the way to the show, which kept him from being shot for the feature. Good things do come in disguise, though. While the engine was torn apart to replace the blown head gasket, Terry was able to have most of the engine and accessories powdercoated, polished, or chromed. This added a lot to the overall detail of the truck and makes for a much more complete package. Scope out the Lowdown for all the details.

The Lowdown
Wheels/Tires 18x7-inch Eagle Alloys with 225/40R18 tires in the front and 235/40R18s in the rear

Suspension/Chassis All suspension modifications by Suspension Dimension / stock floor body-dropped 4-1/2 inches / SSBC disc-brake conversion / 'bagged all the way around / custom four-link / fuel cell

Body Modifications Shaved door handles / shaved tailgate handle / shaved taillights / molded roll pan / tailgate welded shut and smoothed over / '03 Dodge Ram taillights custom-molded to fit contour of bed and tailgate / shaved gas door / relocated gas filler to inside bed / custom color-matched spray-in Line-X bedliner

Paint Entire truck painted by Taylor Custom Paint with Dupont Intense Blue

Interior Upholstery by owner / wrapped dash with blue and tan tweed / wrapped seats in same tweed combination / black carpet / tweed headliner / custom tweed door panels with flames

Stereo Wiring and installation for stereo system by owner / Alpine CD player / Rockford Fosgate amplifiers / Boston 10-inch subwoofer mounted in custom fiberglass enclosure between the rear seats / mids and highs mounted in front doors / Accele Vision TV monitor / PlayStation 2 for gaming and DVD enjoyment

Engine/Performance 4.7L eight-cylinder / Mopar cam / Mopar intake manifold / ported and polished heads / limited-slip differential / shortened driveshaft / Gibson header and exhaust / 300-plus horsepower / chromed, polished, and powdercoated every-thing unboltable

Special Thanks Suspension Dimension / 360 Air Intakez / Powder Coating / Terry's very understanding wife / Taylor Custom Paint

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