Owner: Jeff Strout
Ride: '95 Toyota Standard Cab
Hometown: Banning, California
Club Affiliation: Severed Ties - Inland Empire
A few years ago, we began seeing a truck in the Southern California show scene that consistently grabbed our attention. Each time we saw it, more had been done. The truck was soon painted and looked great, but it was always missing some element for it to be considered immaculate. We could already see that this ride wasn't going to be feature-worthy -- it would be a cover truck. Still, no matter how many hints we dropped for Jeff Strout, he kept taking his sweet time getting things done. We'd nearly given up hope of ever seeing everything accomplished giving the Toyota its month of fame on the cover of Mini Truckin'.
As this past winter rolled around, we were tired of waiting and approached Jeff Strout after the showfield cleared out at Resolutions. We wanted to find out just how much longer it would be until his Toyota was ready to be photographed. As it turned out, even though we thought the truck looked great, it wasn't good enough for Jeff. He still wanted to revamp his interior and change the fuel tank that was sitting in his bed into a fuel cell. A few months later, at Forbidden Fantasy's annual show 'n' shine, we noticed that Jeff's interior had been given a complete makeover and looked far better than ever. As far as we were concerned, the truck was ready to go into the studio. We'd just needed to call Jeff and set up the day and time to shoot, right? Uh, no. He still wanted to replace his fuel tank with a fuel cell. Oh, the monotony of waiting for a cover truck to develop! It was at this point that we recommended Jeff call Devious Customs in Ontario, California, to work directly with owner Jeff Davy and have a custom fuel cell built and installed for the Toyota.
Was it time yet? Would we actually get this incredibly detailed Toyota into our studio, giving everyone who can see and appreciate a fine custom the chance to check out Jeff's fine ride? Finally, it was time to set up the photo shoot and hire a model to stand alongside the Toyota. Just before the shoot, however, Jeff decided to pull his compressors and swap them out for VIAIR models. No, this wasn't weeks before the shoot. We're talking mere hours before the truck was due to arrive at the studio. Not only that, but the truck was supposed to be loaded onto a trailer for the trip to the studio the night before. Luckily, it wasn't. The night before the shoot, another trailer backed over Jeff's trailer, which would've destroyed his Toyota if he'd been overly responsible and preloaded the truck. Fortunately, it all worked out, and we don't have to bug Jeff "Bobby Hill" Strout any longer about when his truck will finally make the cut. Now, we need to find someone else to bother about their truck and keep us busy wondering if it will ever get done. (On a side note, we've also nearly given up on Chad Lucas' Pathfinder.)
In all, it has taken Jeff a grand total of five years to get his Toyota to the point its at today. Even though we've whined to Jeff more times than we can remember, the wait was well worth it. We think Jeff is more than excited to see his truck finally make the cover of MT, but not more so than we are. It's about time!
18x7-inch chrome KMC Fives wrapped in 215/35/18 Falken rubber
TRD camshaft installed by Brett Oakes / custom air intake / chromed valve cover, intake manifold, hood support bar, water pump, water-pump pulley, water-inlet housing tube, firewall bracket, fuel filter clamp/bracket, charcoal canister clamp/bracket, hood-latch assembly, hood hinges, battery hold-down bracket, exhaust heatshield, and engine hooks / all chrome by Alex Acosta at Palm Springs Plating / painted fuel filter, throttle body, distributor cap, and magnetic spark igniter / polished mass airflow sensor and radiator cap / chrome, red, and black wire loom was added throughout the engine compartment / Line-X coating sprayed underneath the hood / polished-aluminum custom fuel cell by Devious Customs in bed / Flowmaster muffler 2-1/4-inch exhaust tubing / Magnecor spark-plug wires / all hoses have been steel-braided and reattached with ideal polished clamps and red-anodized covers / all vacuum lines have been changed out to red vacuum hose
Everything wrapped in Cardinal Red and Black tweed / door panels and '95 Honda Civic seats are red and black with silver carbon-fiber flame to match exterior / seats and door panels by American Auto Upholstery in Corona, California / dash upholstered using tweed fabric / Jeff's dad made the center console / Jeff's mom made the headliner / everything else by Jeff Strout / Hack Shack chrome switch box
2-1/2-inch body-dropped cab by Custom Creations in Yucca Valley, California / bed body-dropped by Jeff Strout and his brother Kevin / Summit wheeltubs / Line-X bed coating / body shaved of door handles, rock guards, windshield squirters, cowl panel vents, antenna hole on front fender, third brake light, tailgate handle, tailgate body line, taillights, and gas filler door / molded steel roll pan with 11-inch LED taillights / tailgate welded shut / frenched license-plate box in tailgate / bodywork by Jeff Strout, Kevin Strout, Robert "Brown Eye" Ardy, and Ben "Benji" May / 4Runner headlight / grille and front bumper conversion / 4x4 fenders
Four-corner Pacific Air Technology airbagged suspension by FED Customs in Yucca Valley / 'bag job includes two VIAIR 380 chrome compressors, two ARO air solenoids, two Hack Shack chrome air tanks, and 3/8-inch double-wall Furon air lines / 3/8-inch-od chrome hard lines run from compressors to air tanks in the bed / frame notched and bridge added / triangulated TCI four-link in the rear / Jeff used Bell Tech 3-inch drop spindles painted red / Ryan Fogus helped fabricate a new transmission crossmember, making the truck lay flat / additional solenoid and switch installed to run an Off-Highway Caterpillar dump-truck air horn
Pioneer AVH-P6500DVD in-dash DVD multimedia A/V receiver / Sony XPLOD door speakers / system slated for updating with all Kicker components
Final bodywork and paint by Ed Warren (Fast Eddie) of FED Customs in Yucca Valley, California / Spies Hecker Permacon, '02 Audi Lazer Red, and Midnight Black paint with a metallic-silver flame outlined in bright yellow / DuPont clearcoat. Before the flames continue down the side of the truck, the scheme starts out as a straight line along the bottom of a Toyota 4Runner valance, skipping over a chrome-and-red 4Runner front end and onto Toyota 4x4 fenders.
More than 30 trophies, from Best of Show to Best Paint and Best Interior, fill Jeff's garage from every event he's attended with the Toyota.
Jeff's mom and dad / Fast Eddie / Randy Ellenson / Joe Cernie / Kevin Strout / Jamie McBride / Ben May / Robert Ardy / Doug Johnson / Summer Bullock / Shawn Canela / Sarena Hill / Brett Oakes / Chad Lucas / Chris Nelson / Steve Meads / Alex Acosta / KMC Wheels / Suspension Dimension / Devious Customs / Universal Air / VIAIR Corporation / The Hack Shack / Aftermath Designs / FED Customs / Custom Creations / Severed Ties
Model: Amanda Lee