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.

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!

Rolling Attire
Wheels: 18x8-inch Boyd Coddington Rodders
Tires: 225/40R18 Toyo Proxes

Chassis Modifications
Suspension type: Airbags
Front suspension: 2500-pound Contitech
Rear suspension: 2600-pound Contitech
Spindles: 2-inch Belltech drop spindles
Shocks: Toxic shocks
Valves: 1/2-inch SMCs
Compressors: Viair 380
Air line: 1/2-inch air line
Air accessories: Six switches, 5-gallon tank
Frame mods: Sub-framed from the cab back with a cantilever four-link setup
Frame material: 2x4-inch box steel
Gas tank: Relocated to the back of the frame, between the framerails
Performed by: Zack Airth of Limitless Fabrication

Body Modifications
Shaved: Hood squirters, antenna, door handles, tailgate, body seams, and back window from an '86 Toyota extra cab, and rear bed sides are rear quarter panels from an Amigo
Body-dropped: 2-1/2-inch traditional body-drop
Front end: Front fenders are from an Amigo, headlights are from a Rodeo
Back end: California combo tailgate skin and roll pan, bed floor raised 5-1/2 inches
Taillights: Aftermarket clears
Exterior bolt-ons: Toyota 4Runner bumper and valance, Arlen Ness side mirrors
Performed by: Bodywork by Mike Fisher at Fisher's Autobody and Shannon VanDer AA at Paint Masters Art Studio, body-drop done by Ron Nelson of Lower Level Fabrication

Paint
Brand and color: Custom-mixed Matrix Blue
Pinstriping: Baby Blue and Royal Blue
Performed by: Shannon VanDer AA at Paint Masters Art Studio
City/state: Las Vegas, NV

Interior
Seats: Isuzu Rodeo buckets with no headrests
Material: All red vinyl and perforated red vinyl
Dash: Custom-made dash wrapped in red vinyl
Door panels: Isuzu Rodeo door panels wrapped in red vinyl and perforated red vinyl
Center Console: Custom-made center console wrapped in red vinyl
Flooring: Blood red carpet
Headliner: Perforated red vinyl
Gauges: Dakota Digital gauges in center of dash
Performed by: Friends Upholstery
City/state: Henderson, NV

Stereo
Head unit: Kenwood mask CD receiver
Mids and highs: Boston Acoustics
Amplifier for mids and highs: Precision Power three-channel amp
Subwoofer: 10-inch Rockford Fosgate sub
Amplifier for subwoofer: Precision Power three-channel amp
Custom fabrication: The head unit was housed in the center console backwords, the sub is located behind the passenger seat, and the amp is behind the driver seat
Performed by: Steve Platt of Platinum Car Audio
City/state: Las Vegas, NV

Engine/Performance
Intake: Weber carburetor
Transmission: Five-speed
Exhaust: Flowmaster
Battery: Optima YellowTop
Location: Under the rear of the bed
Detail work: Chrome air filter and heat shield
Performed by: Mark Johnson put on the carburetor
City/state: Las Vegas, NV

Special Thanks From Owner:
I would like to thank my wife, Samantha, for the patience, understanding, and sacrifices she has made to make sure this happened for me, the members of Freaks of Nature Vegas Chapter, as well as worldwide; the staff at Paint Masters Art Studio and Friends Upholstery, as well as Lisa and Ben at SRC Paint Wholesalers.

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