Eli Griffin is the man because he doesn't sweat the small stuff. Like the time he finished completely rebuilding his Mazda only to have an inconsiderate motorist demolish the front end of it two weeks before Assorted Miniatures' Showfest 2001. This should have been a devastating setback that would have been tough to recover from. What made the accident such a raw deal wasn't so much that it happened right before a good show, but because the front end of his Mazda was sporting factory Mazda B-2600I 4x4 sheetmetal at the time. Those are rare and expensive parts to be sure. No matter; Eli is a young man with skills that he puts to good use as a hot rod builder by day and mini-trucker by night. He quickly straightened out his pride and joy and made sure all the wrinkles were ironed out with new sheetmetal. He also took advantage of the extra shop time to switch a few things up. You might recognize this truck from the feature on it in the Aug. '01 issue of MT. Though the body mods and paint have changed considerably, and the wheels have grown an inch and become much shinier, one thing is clear: this truck is clean. Go ahead and spread the chips and salsa all over the engine and eat like you just don't care. You won't have to worry about any grease getting on your Tostitos. Check out those smooth sidemarker lights that Eli flush-mounted into the 4x4 front fenders. It's the details that count. The side marker lights match perfectly with the new LED taillights that replaced the stock pieces. Eli has been hard at work, perfecting this mini since his 16 birthday, and it shows.
Eli and his brother Justin planted the frame of his mini firmly on the pavement after boxing in the framerails and performing a step notch. When the chassis was strengthened, Firestone airbags were installed at all four corners. Up front, 2500 'bags were used along with a pair of lowered control arms. In the rear, the Griffin brothers constructed a custom two-link with Panhard bar and mounted a pair of 2600 'bags on the bars for a cushy ride and maximum adjustability. Carerra chrome-plated shocks were also relocated front and rear to damp the suspension. Ekstensive Metalworks electric solenoid valves control the air flow.
Ace Racing 18x7-inch rims tuck cleanly under the fenders of this Mazda and are enveloped in 225/40ZR18 Yokohama Parada tires.
This severely modified mini is fully shaved and has suicide doors, Mazda 4wd sheetmetal, and a custom, smooth, steel inner bed floor. The tailgate has been molded shut, the taillights have been shaved, and LEDs have taken up residence in the rear end. That gas filler was relocated underneath the bed floor after the fuel filler door was shaved along with the door handles, cowl vents, antenna, and emblems. Eli performed all of the work on his mini.
Eli sprayed the PPG Sherry Orange and custom cream hues that adorn the body of his mini.
Southern Upholstery re-covered the Mazda 626 bucket seats in tan tweed and leather. Eli's brother Justin re-covered the rest of the interior and built the custom center console. A Billet Specialties Indy steering wheel was polished and painted to match the truck.
Justin Griffin also installed the killer audio system in Eli's mini. The custom enclosure houses a pair of Alpine ZR 12-inch subwoofers that is powered by a Phoenix Gold ZX500 amplifier. Another color-matched ZX 500 amplifier powers the MB Quart midbass drivers and tweeters that are mounted into custom kick panels and the A-pillars. An Alpine CVA-1005 head unit and an Alpine ERA-6190 equalizer clean up the beats before they hit the amplifiers and speakers. Hooker Audio provided the wiring for the system and an Optima battery provides the voltage.
The highly detailed engine is outfitted with a K&N air filter and a lot of polish and paint. Eli performed all of the detail work on this clean powerplant.
"I'd like to thank Sherry Goldman, Justin, my parents, Andrew Post, Alex Pizketa, David Kinard, and my club, Relaxed Atmosphere."