These days, there isn't much that hasn't been done before. Sure, there's plenty of crazy front-end conversions, taillight and motor swaps, and tons of mods that haven't been tried, but for the most part, it's probably been done in one way or another. That's where the tale of these two killer minis comes into play. You see, a little style and proper planning go a long way to really pull off the right look. Ya, old school has been done before, but not quite like this. This month's cover features two very unique minis that have both been built to pay homage to customs of the past. Both owners found themselves battling the clock for the SEMA crunch, but with an amazing group of friends, both Tom McWeeny and Mike Bach more than pulled it off-they nailed it! What's old has certainly become new again, but not every truck can pull off the old-school look quite this perfectly. The masterminds between these two builds have both built previous custom vehicles and they spent countless hours planning the entire package on these two builds. So sit back and enjoy this trip down memory lane, and pay attention to all the key details that it took to create two of the baddest "Kustoms" around!
Owner: Tom McWeeney
Ride: 1988 Chevy S-10
Hometown: Downey, CA
Club: Relaxed Atmosphere
Under The Gun
We've all been there before. Staring at a newly purchased truck and swearing up and down to ourselves that any modifications made to it will be few and modest.
But since Tom McWeeny, better known as "T-Mac", has a Mini Truckin' cover truck and a few other notable feature trucks under his belt, this first generation S-10 didn't stand a chance against becoming yet another custom-built notch on T-Mac's belt.
One day, Tom was spending some quality time in the garage with his S-10, and he happened to put a little too much force on the lug nuts and snapped a few of them. With no other option but to go visit a full-service fabrication shop, Tom looked to IMZZ Industries in La Habra, California to make the repairs. While at IMZZ, the shop's phone rang and it so happens that Line-X was on the other end frantically searching for a truck to customize for the upcoming SEMA show. Since Tom was already a known custom truck builder, and given it was common knowledge that his '88 Dime was already on the chopping block, he was easily roped into changing his mini's mild transformation to balls-out wild, in a matter of three weeks. You heard right, THREE WEEKS!
With roughly 21 days to turn his truck into a full-fledged showpiece, Tom dug down to the frame to start building up the suspension, while a group of his friends scrounged up enough sheetmetal to fabricate a few one-off parts. With what seemed like a gusty whirlwind of pages flying off the calendar and a constant blur between day and night, the S-10 was taking shape as the full air suspension, bodywork, and paint began to come alive. Although Tom doesn't recommend building a custom ride in this fashion, he didn't have much of an option with the hands of time robbing him of valuable hours with each and every passing day.
With the nightmare finally behind him, Tom was able to take a step back, catch his breath, and relish in the sounds of admiration that surrounded his truck while at SEMA. Who knew three weeks filled with stress and temporary insomnia could look so good? More than 13 years have passed since Tom's first MT cover truck back in 1996, and being the old-school minitrucker that Tom is, he still continues to build some of the baddest minis in SoCal. For more information on Tom's candy-colored Kustom, check out the Lowdown.
Wheels: 15-inch Astro Supremes
Tires: 205/70R15 with 11/2-inch whitewalls
Suspension Front: 'bags
Control Arms: Airbagit.com arms
Compressors: Viair 450s
Air Accessories: Airbagit.com Plug 'N Play
Performed By: IMZZ Industries
Shaved: Door handles, tailgate handle
Mods: 1964 Chevy taillights, 1968 Chevy front bumper (took 19 inches out of it), 1961 GMC truck headlights flipped and molded, custom-made stainless grille
Bolt-ons: Lake pipes
Performed By: Owner, Marcel, Mike Bach, Mike McWeeney, Jay LaRossa, Mike Sutton, Jim Imzz, Bill Sedvedge
Brand and Colors: House of Kolor Sunset Orange, Limetime green stripe, Kandy orange mixed with Bittersweet Pearl with old-school orange flake on top
Performed By: Owner at Kustoms Inc.
Seats: Stock bench with a bit of old school
Dash: 1964 Chevy truck (12 inches out of the middle)
Gauges: Stock 1964 Chevy
Misc.: Metal door caps, 1964 Chevy truck wheel inserts in the seat are from a 1959 Buick
Performed By: Owner, Marcel, and 714 Motorsports
Head Unit: Sony
Mids and Highs: Sony
Performed By: Owner
Header/exhaust: Lake Pipes
Detail Work: Owner painted and striped
Special Thanks from Owner:
"My wife for putting up with all the long nights working on the truck; Justin, Jenna, Marcel Venable, Mike McWeeney (my bro), Jay LaRossa, Jim Imzz, Mike Bach, Mike Sutton, Jeremy Cook, Chris Daily, Chris Sully, Bill Sedvedge, Serifino, the Serna brothers Ricky and Armando, and also to Airbagit.com, Imzz Industries, and Kustoms Inc. for all the help."