Owner: James Penwell
Ride: '93 Isuzu Pup
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Club: Freaks of Nature
Some things are just meant to be, and for James Penwell of Las Vegas, Nevada, falling into minitrucks was one of them. At the age of 19, James went to finance a new car. After being told that he couldn't afford the car, he was stuck between either a Toyota pickup or a crappy car. Of course, James made the smart choice and drove off the lot in his new 'Yota mini. No more than two weeks after the purchase, James found himself at the '95 Spring Splash show in Havasu. Bound by ideas for his brand-new truck, it didn't take long before he found himself with a static-drop and entering a new lifestyle.
It's always nice to see trucks that have been in the minitruckin' family since the beginni
After 11 years of going through the many ups and downs of building a minitruck, it was time to move on. He sold the Toyota, pocketed some cash, and on August of 2006, he purchased a '93 Isuzu from Mike Oxen, a life-long friend that had been building the truck for a period of 10 years, and had decided it was time to pass on his creation. James gladly stepped right up to take ownership.
With an already clean mini in James' hands, he continued to drive the truck and show it. After about a year, he decided it was time to add a few touches of his own. He rolled the truck down to Shannon VanDer AA at Paint Masters Art Studio out of Las Vegas, Nevada, where Shannon laid down the custom-mixed Matrix Blue that gives the Isuzu a personality of its own. Shannon complemented the solid paint with some Baby Blue and Royal Blue pinstriping, for an appeal sure to turn some heads. But James wasn't finished just yet. It was time to move on to the interior of the truck. With the help of Friends Upholstery out of Henderson, Nevada, they gave the interior a complete makeover. They added the blood-red carpet, then rewrapped the entire interior with a perforated red vinyl that really added some contrast to the blue exterior.
It's always nice to see trucks that have been in the minitruckin' family since the beginning and still hit the shows harder and cleaner than ever. As for James and his Isuzu, that's the case, and we know we'll see more from this very dedicated Freak. The 13-year journey has been well worth it. Since he's been a part of the notorious Freaks of Nature 9-1/2 of those years, without a doubt, there will be more to come. There is even word of James' wife building a Mazda B2600, and his father building a B2200, we'll definitely be keeping our eyes peeled for those!