Five years ago, Nathan Bagby from Fenton, Missouri, picked up an '89 Mazda B2200 for $1,700 as his first project. Since he was about 10 years old, he's attended truck show after truck show with his dad. He eventually became completely addicted to minis, which forced him to buy one of his own. His dad had a custom S-10, and Nathan and his pops have been avid readers of Mini Truckin' for years. It was only a matter of time 'til Nathan's creation would make its first appearance in these pages.
Nathan works at Schaeffer Auto Body in Missouri, where he decided to tackle the Mazda buildup and prove to his friends and himself that he could build one badass mini with his own hands. He began with the chassis and suspension, with hopes of laying the frame on the ground. First things first: Nathan did a five-lug conversion so he wouldn't have a problem finding rims to tuck. After the hubs were converted, he picked up a set of 17x7-inch chrome Polo Projects to bolt up and took all the necessary measurements. Nathan then installed drop spindles up front and began to build the front 'bag mounts for the Firestone airbags. He also cut out the old shock mounts and relocated a pair of Doetsch shocks to stabilize the ride.
Once the front was laid out, Nathan moved to the rear. Using a CanDo Specialties four-link, Nathan reworked the rear suspension to allow the Firestone airbags to deflate and lay the frame flat to the floor. With the frame on the ground, Nathan wasn't quite satisfied. He wanted to go much lower, so in his spare time he began to chip away at the 3-inch body drop. Since this process was so labor- and time-intensive, Nathan just took it day by day and did what he could, making sure not to rush the process. The result was well worth the patience: The body drop came out perfectly, laying the rocker flat to the floor. With the truck kissing pavement, Nathan was ready to get down to business and put his autobody skills to the test.
Nathan decided to suicide the doors, but he also wanted to build his own hinges and mounts. After the doors were set swinging backward, he started to smooth the exterior by shaving the door handles and wiper cowl. With the handles gone, Nathan liked the smooth look so much, he decided to shave the entire bed of the truck. He accomplished that task by capping the bed with 1/8-inch steel and molding the rear shut using a tailgate combo with Toyota Supra taillights. After massaging the exterior and blocking it smooth, Nathan enlisted help from Sherwin Williams Paint for the Porsche Riviera Blue and clearcoat. He sprayed a two-tone paintjob using Sherwin Williams' Porsche Riviera Blue and House of Kolor's Snow White Pearl.