Owner: Robert Harris
Hometown: Naugatuck, Connecticut
Ride: '87 Mazda B2200
Club: Creative Style
Robert Harris has always been into trucks and his track record of lowered minis proves it. Since 1994 Robert has owned a total of five Mazda B-Series mini-trucks, each one lowered and modified differently from its predecessor. Somewhere along the way, a Nissan 720 mini even made its way into Robert's garage and it too fell victim to the wrath of his mig welder. Each one of Robert's minis was a lesson in patience and the ins and outs of lowered truck ownership and fabrication. Obviously Robert learned a great deal by working on so many projects, but it wasn't until 1998 when he purchased Sic Dawg that he pulled out all the stops and learned the art of 'bagging and body dropping. Make no bones about it, Sic Dawg became Robert's guinea pig.
During its buildup, Robert clipped the rear framerails of the truck on three separate occasions, each time building new crossmembers, shock locations, and 'bag mounts. For three years he tweaked and tuned his rear suspension setup until he was satisfied with the ride quality and amount of travel. Upon busting his truck out at East Coast shows, Robert was besieged with requests for work from other mini-truck owners thanks to the cleanliness of Sic Dawg. These days, Robert's plate is full; he has his day job as an autobody technician and the side work that he performs at night. We are still trying to figure out how he finds time to build all of these trucks and play dad and husband at the same time.
The Low Down
Chassis/Suspension To get his Mazda to lay frame, Robert installed a set of Chassis Tech 2-inch drop spindles and Firestone 2500 airbags in the front suspension. The rear suspension required more effort. Robert cut the rear framerails off at the back cab wall and then constructed his own rear frame clip from 2x3x3/16-square tubing. Robert also swapped the stock rearend for an '84-model Mazda rear and then installed a Pete & Jake's triangulated four-link to locate the rearend and provide lots of travel. Firestone 2600 'bags were then mated to custom mounts off of the step notches and Robert creatively used a sway bar from a Saturn to truss the mounts together. Toxic shock absorbers have also been relocated to all four corners of the truck. The air source is a cylinder charged with compressed nitrogen that feeds a full complement of 3/8-inch Parker electric valves.
Wheels/Tires Robert chose Intro's Twisted Blade rims in an 18-inch diameter. The 8-inch-wide wheels have a 5-5/8-inch backspacing to ensure that the 215/35R18 Toyo Proxes tires will tuck.
Body Mods Robert used his talents as an autobody technician to slice and dice his way through the body of his Mazda. The result is a wave-free body devoid of door handles, emblems, door locks, an antenna, a cowl, and a fuel filler door. Further smoothing out the look of this Mazda is the 4WD front fenders that have been molded to the cowl and rockers. The hood also came from a 4WD Mazda. The rear end of this truck is just as clean, with a molded tailgate and '91 Cadillac Sedan Deville taillights replacing the stockers. Setting this Mazda apart from the pack is the one suicide item on the body: the driver-side door.
Paint/Graphics Robert covered his mini in Dupont's Phoenix Yellow, which is a factory BMW color.
Interior Ron at Sound Works shaved the stock dash and then stuffed it with auto meter gauges. The Honda Prelude bucket seats and most of the interior have been covered in Heather Gray tweed. Auto Custom Carpets provided the factory black carpeting that covers the floor and the body-dropped portions of the cab.
Engine/Drivetrain Robert wasn't satisfied with stock Mazda power, so he upped the anti by outfitting his truck's 2.2L powerplant with some choice accessories. First he added a Weber Outlaw carburetor and a Pacesetter header. Then he rerouted the exhaust system through a 2-inch straight pipe and out of a glasspack muffler. Because Robert had switched rearends, he contacted Fleet Pride to have them fabricate a custom two-piece driveshaft to connect the high-power motor to the narrower rearend.
Owner's Quote "I want to thank my wife and kids for putting up with the 18-hour days that I tend to work and for supporting me all these years. I also want to thank Dave at Gravels, Dupont, Dave at Sound Works, and the guys from Creative Style."