Life doesn't get much better than Brian Smith's. To start with, he's only 18 and is already finished with his first feature truck. Add to that the fact that he did all the work himself and learned a lot along the way. There is something special about the work you accomplish with your own hands, and Brian knows this all too well. He has always loved working on trucks, cars, and motorcycles - pretty much anything with wheels. That's why he wanted to build his own mini-truck - for the love of the work involved. With the help of his dad, he had a '95 Isuzu pickup before he could even drive it, and as soon as it was home, they began to tear into it.
The duo started with the suspension. From the start, Brian wanted his truck slammed, so he went to work laying the truck's frame flat on the ground. Up front, he installed a set of Chassis Tech 2-inch drop spindles and welded in 'bag brackets that he built for the Firestone airbags. In the rear, he notched the framerails and built a bridge with 'bag brackets over the axle. He also ditched the leaf springs and built a custom triangulated four-link to keep the rearend in place. Brian plumbed the air system with 3/8-inch Parker valves and 3/8-inch air lines. After the suspension was fully functional, he mounted his new 18x7-inch Budnik wheels tucked into Nitto rubber, and laid the Isuzu out to check clearance. Even with the bed and fenders cut to clear the tires for the new drastic low, Brian still wanted to go lower. To eliminate the gap between the body and the ground, Brian body-dropped his truck 3 inches. This definitely gave Brian the slammed look he had sought from the beginning.
ONWER: Brian Smith RIDE: '95...
ONWER: Brian Smith
RIDE: '95 Isuzu Pickup
LOCATION: Glendale, Arizona
Once the truck was low enough for Brian, it was time to smooth out the body. He used Isuzu Amigo fenders and a Toyota Tacoma front bumper to switch up the pickup's appearance. He then welded in a Sir Michaels steel roll pan and got down to smoothing out the body. He ditched the handles, the corner lights, the third brake light, the gas door, and everything else that interrupted the natural lines of the vehicle. After the body was completely re-worked, Brian sprayed the entire truck using a custom-mixed Dupont Green with metallic flake. When the basecoat was set, he airbrushed Pearl ghost flames, flowing from the nose of the truck to the doors. Since Brian had a pretty good idea of what it takes to build a complete mini-truck, he was ready to transform the inside of his truck just as he had the outside.
Brian swapped in a pair of Rodeo bucket seats, covering them in gray tweed. He also wrapped the dash and the door panels with the same gray tweed. Brian built a custom center console to house his air switches and air gauges, then painted it, along with a few other pieces, to match the exterior of the truck. He bolted up a Budnik billet steering wheel, and then got to work on his stereo system. Brian installed a Panasonic CD player that feeds 6-1/2-inch Infinity Kappa separates. When Brian was completely finished with his creation, he couldn't help but be amazed. He'd built an entire feature-worthy truck with his own hands by the time he could legally buy a lottery ticket.
Wheels/Tires 18x7-inch Budnik Fontana 6 wheels mounted to 235/40R18 Nitto rubber
Suspension/Chassis Suspension modifications performed by owner / 2-inch Chassis Tech drop spindles / airbagged all the way around using Firestone 'bags / custom-built front 'bag mounts / over-the-axle rear 'bag setup with a custom triangulated four-link / 3/8-inch Parker valves / 3/8-inch air line / three Thomas compressors feeding two 3-gallon air tanks
Body Modifications Body modifications by owner / 3-inch body drop with A/C and stock hood / shaved corner lights / shaved hood squirters / shaved door handles / shaved third brake light / shaved tailgate handle / shaved gas door / relocated gas filler inside bed / frenched license plate in tailgate / molded Sir Michaels steel roll pan / Drag Specialties flamed billet mirrors / Isuzu Amigo fenders / phantom grille / '95 Toyota Tacoma front bumper / bed smoothed with 3-D sheetmetal flames, then sprayed with Line-X / steel Mini Truckin' logo painted and mounted in rear of bed
Paint Owner painted entire truck with a custom-mixed Dupont Green and metallic flake / airbrushed Pearl ghost flames also performed by owner
Interior/Stereo Interior by owner / dash wrapped in gray-and-tan tweed / Isuzu Rodeo bucket seats wrapped in gray tweed / custom hand-built sheetmetal center console to house air switches and air gauges painted to match exterior / Panasonic CD player / 6-1/2-inch Infinity Kappa separates in the doors / Budnik billet steering wheel
Engine/Performance Chrome intake / chrome valve cover / custom sheetmetal engine shroud built and painted by owner
Special Thanks Brian's parents / Brian's brother / all Brian's friends