After looking at a custom truck for the very first time, people fall into one of two categories. The first is the "Why would anyone do that to their truck?" category. The second category is the "I need to do that to my truck!" group. Jimmy Neeld Jr. from New Waterford, Ohio, began to see 'bagged minitrucks at his high school and the switch went on. From the looks of his truck today, he definitely fell into the second category and learned a little something along the way. Jimmy began by purchasing a '79 Chevy Luv. With some high aspirations from the very beginning, he knew it wouldn't take long before he was draggin' frame down the highway.
During the next few months, Jimmy found himself searching all over the internet for missing parts and meeting a lot of people who shared his new passion for older minitrucks. As it turned out, this was his most enjoyable part of the build. Jimmy dove into the buildup and tore the truck apart, finding out it was going to be more work than he expected. He began with the suspension, knowing that an adjustable air system was the essential backbone for reaching his goal of laying the frame flat on the floor. He used the factory components in the front, along with a set of Contitech airbags and Toxic shocks up front. For the rear setup, Jimmy decided to use a Suicide Doors adjustable four-link setup with a C-notch and another set of Contitech 'bags to get the rear suspension up to par. After the air system was plumbed, a set of 17x7-1/2-inch Cadillac Escalade wheels were painted black and bolted up to finish off the rolling chassis.
The attention to detail on this truck is impeccable. As paint is one of the main staples of Jimmy's place of business, no excuses were made. However, before painting the Luv in white and green, the truck received the royal shave treatment. Everything from the door handles to the gas hole and taillights were stripped and shaved smooth. To complement the truck's smooth appearance, a custom roll pan was welded into place before the final bodywork and paint were finished. After the truck's exterior was completely remade, it was time to do the same thing to the interior.
The inner confines of Jimmy's Chevy feature a creative blend of gray tweed and vinyl sewn over a set of Celica bucket seats. A custom center console, which flows between the bucket seats and back to the massive audio system, was covered in gray tweed and vinyl to mold seamlessly with its surroundings. The floorboards and the headliner were also given the tweed street rod feel with a boatload of the gray textured material above the head and below the foot.
Since its completion, Jimmy has decided to tear his truck apart and take it to the next level. The love of minitruckin' is why Jimmy keeps improving his ride when it easily could have been left alone and been another average minitruck. "Normal" is just not an option in the mind of a minitrucker, and pushing the envelope in every way is how a true minitrucker gets it done.
Rolling AttireWheels (Front/Rear): Painted 17x7-1/2-inch Cadillac Escalade
Tires (Front/Rear): 205/40R17 Ventus HR2
Chassis ModificationsSuspension type: AirSuspension (Front/Rear): Modified control arms, four-linkAirbag/cylinder type and size: (Front): Contitech 2500lb air spring (Rear): Contitech 2600lb air springControl arms: Modified stockKShocks: Factory S-10Valves: Four 1/2-inch HeroinCompressors: Two Viair 450cAir line: 1/2-inch DOTAir/hydro accessories: Two switches for air controlFrame mods: C-notch>Gas tank15-gallon aluminumBrakes: Stock disk front, S-10 rear drumDetail work: Suspension and frame painted blackPerformed by: Owner Jimmy and his father Jim NeeldCity/state: New Waterford, Ohio
Body ModificationsShaved: Bumper, front and rear marker lights, wiper cowl, door handles and locks, side vents, taillights, and rear bed seemsBack end: Molded in tailgateTaillights: '89 Cadillac taillightsExterior bolt-ons: Hot-rod side view mirrors, Buick fender ventsPerformed by: Owner Jimmy and his father Jim NeeldCity/state: New Waterford, Ohio
PaintBrand and colors: PPG 3800 GM White, House of Kolor Planetary Green, pinstriping black, green, and silverStyle: white With green scallopPinstriping: Guy Shively of Guy's GraphicsPerformed by: Jim NeeldCity/state: New Waterford, Ohio
InteriorSeats: '82 Celica bucketsMaterial: Black tweed with green tweed inserts and green pipingDash: Stock covered in black tweedLDoor panels: Black tweed with Maltese and Chevy emblemsCenter console: Custom-made fiberglassFlooring: Black tweedHeadliner: Black tweedGauges: Stock, Auto Meter, and ViairMisc.: Billet Maltese cross steering wheel, Maltese cross rearviewPerformed by: Owner Jimmy and his father Jim NeeldCity/state: New Waterford, Ohio
StereoHead unit: Dual CD/DVD flip out 7-inch touch screen monitorMids and highs: 5-1/2-inch and 6x9-inch Sony XplodVideo: 5.6-inch Legacy monitorPerformed by: Owner Jimmy and his father Jim NeeldCity/state: New Waterford, Ohio
Engine/PerformanceDisplacement: 231 ciModel/Year: '82 3.8L 3800 Series IINumber of cylinders: V-6Head type: OHVTransmission: Turbo 350Header/exhaust: Custom-made header and exhaustDriveshaft: Custom-madeRearend type: 2nd Generation S-10Battery: Optima RedTopLocation: StockDetail work: Chrome valve covers, air cleanerMisc.: Aluminum radiator and transmission cooler, painted brake lines, four-barrel Holley carburetorPerformed by: Owner Jimmy and his father Jim NeedCity/state: New Waterford, Ohio
Special Thanks By Owner:I would like to thank my dad, Jim, for all the long hours and being just as dedicated to the project as me. I would also like to thank my friends for putting up with me during the build, and my mom and girlfriend for being supportive throughout the entire build. Matt, who kept telling me that this truck is one-ofa- kind, and all the guys on luvtruck.com for all the information that I needed to find parts and build the truck.