OWNER: Adam and Sarah Rhodes
RIDE: 1996 Honda Accord
HOMETOWN: Williamstown, NJ
This month's special feature shows just how creative minitruckers really are. Adam and Sarah Rhodes from 'Jersey are truly a force to be reckoned with.
After dabbling in what Adam calls "his import days" (hey, forget about it!), he decided to take this Accord to the next level of custom and introduce some minitruck-style inspiration. As a proud member of Negative Camber, Adam wanted to ensure that it would be a show winner and still drag with the best minitrucks out there. To get this done, he enlisted help from a crew of guys who all dedicated a ton of weekends to the cause because after all, this was still his daily driver.
To get things rolling on a lower level, Eric Powers installed shocks on the car and tubbed the strut towers to lay lower, but that wasn't where the suspension would stay. Meanwhile, the license plate box, trunk seam, door handles, and molding holes were all shaved smooth. With a watchful eye from Eric, Adam fashioned a hood bubble from a Mitsubishi Eclipse hood to help with engine clearance. Shortly after, the 35x42-inch sliding rag top was installed. The next big project was to get the suspension even lower, which is harder to accomplish on these cars than you might think. After many hours of measuring and planning, and little cuts here and there, eventually the strut towers were gone. Eric cut the factory towers out, built the tubing clip, and raised the motor in just over week. Another huge obstacle was out of the way. Next would be the body and paint. Adam dropped the Accord off with a "friend of a friend" that could paint. After many sleepless nights and tons of cheddar wasted, Adam learned a valuable lesson that many of us learn along the way: "Good paint ain't cheap, cheap paint ain't good." The car was supposed to be a "new penny" copper. In the end, it turned out more of a "dirty penny" with mismatched panels and imperfections all over the place.
At the end of the 2004 show season, Adam met up with Mark and John at Blue Collar Customs. They took on the task of stripping the bad paint, and perfecting all the body panels and gaps. While there, they shaved the urethane bumpers of the fog and marker lights. During the stripping and disassembly process, Adam had time to decide on a final paint scheme for the car. He knew he wanted something that would stand out on the show field, so after some research he hit up Fred at Killer Kreations of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to apply the graphic layout and handle the airbrushing. With the paintwork in good hands, Adam began to hunt for the right upholsterer to help complete his interior. After dropping his seats off to three different upholstery shops, Adam finally found the quality that he was looking for in Mike Lipincott. Mike also shaved the passenger airbag, flush-mounted a Sony PS2 in the dash, and rewrapped the dash, door panels, and center console. The Accord's interior is cleaned up even more with the addition of two-tone Katzkin leather seats, a Billet Accessories Direct steering wheel, and various tweed, painted, and billet pieces. The stereo consists of custom fiberglass and loads of Clif Designs gear. Inside, you'll find four Clif Designs CD60.4c components. For the bass, Adam wanted to go big and opted for two CD1500c 15-inch subwoofers, all powered by four CD10.11x amps, and two CD20.21x amps. The amps are mounted to the rear ceiling in a custom billet amp rack built by Eric Easterby. To manage the tunes, an Alpine CVA-1005 and Alpine six-disc changer were installed. Once everything seemed to be coming together, Adam finally found a set of wheels that he knew would be the perfect complement to the paint scheme: a set of 18-inch Niche F-16s, powdercoated to match the car's charcoal body color. With the slammed stance, killer exterior and interior work, and more mods than plenty of trucks on the show field today, this is one tough trunk that demands respect!
The Accord debuted at Layd Out at the Park in Morristown, Tennessee, almost three years ago. Since then, it's been sweeping the Best of Show and Best Paint categories, nationwide. Adam would like to thank Mini Truckin' magazine for stepping up and showing the world that there are definitely some sick mini-inspired vehicles out there. Together we can try and open people's minds and opinions that share the same love for this sport that we do. Minitruckers are truly some of the most creative automotive customizers out there, and as such, they enjoy seeing and working on all different types of vehicles! We would also like to thank Adam for giving us this opportunity. For more information on this killer ride, scope the Lowdown.
Wheels: 18-inch Niche F-16s custom powdercoated
Tires: 215/35/18 Sumitomo tires
Suspension Front: Full-tube front clip, Slam 'bags, lays unibody pan
Suspension Rear: Redesigned rear suspension with Slam 'bags inside the trunk with adjustable camber and toe
Shocks: Chrome shocks all the way around
Compressors: Two Air-Zenith compressors
Air Accessories: SMC valves, slim 5-gallon air tank
Shaved: Squirters, tag box, trunk seam, body molding holes, fog lights, taillights replaced by Precision Rodware tri-color LEDs
Body-dropped: Lays unibody pan
Body Mods: Suicide hood, Mitsubishi Eclipse hood bubble, Inalfa electric sliding rag top
Bolt-ons: Billet Arlen Ness mirrors, Trenz billet grille and valance inserts, black one piece halo headlights
Performed By: Eric Powers, Blue Collar Customs, and owner
Colors: Red and charcoal with skull graphic
Performed By: Blue Collar Customs and Killer Kreations
Seats: Two-tone Katzkin seats with shaved headrests wrapped in bone and sandstone leather
Dash: Wrapped in bone vinyl
Gauges: Stainless overlay with old-school faces
Misc.: Colorado Customs flame billet steering wheel
Performed By: Mike Lipincott and owner
Head Unit: Alpine CVA-1005 and six-disc changer
Mids and Highs: Four sets of Clif Designs CD60.4c components
Subwoofers: Two CD1500c 15-inch subwoofers
Amplifiers: Four CD10.1lx amps for the subs and two CD20.2lx amps for mids and highs
Misc.: All digital distribution and fuse blocks, terminals, braded power cable, and interconnects from Mobile Spec, skull switch box, Dakota Digital gauges
Custom Fab: Aluminum amp rack built by Esterby, Sony PS2 flush-mounted into dash, shaved airbag, rebuilt and wrapped visors, ragtop trim painted
Performed By: Blue Collar Customs, owner, Eric Easterby, and Mike Lipincott
Engine: 1996 Honda F22b2
Alternator: 160-amp high output
Header/Exhaust: Custom header and exhaust with Magnaflow muffler
Detail Work: Polished aluminum engine pulleys, polished short ram intake, polished steering reservoir covers, cool flex hoses with polished ends, matching cool flex radiator overflow, custom engine and tranny mounts to raise motor
Battery: Optima YellowTop
Special Thanks From Owner:
"My wife Sarah, my parents, Pozzi, Steve, and anyone else that put in the long hours. I'd like to thank Mark and John from Blue Collar, Fred from Killer Kreations, and Matt from Haggard Fabrication. Also Mini Truckin' magazine, Slam Specialties, Air-Zenith, Optima Batteries, Sumitomo Tire, Clif Designs, Mobile Spec, and Purebred."