Owner: Chris and Becky Starr Ride: '86 Mazda B2000 Cab Plus longbed Hometown: Paducah
When Chris Starr first purchased his Mazda nine years ago, it was a standard-cab longbed pickup. Yes, you heard that right. It was a typical work truck, with nothing special to speak of. He bought the truck for a mere $3,500 in 1995 and drove it as a standard cab for five years. He'd always wanted to make something truly custom and felt he could do a lot more with a truck that had more interior room.
One night, he was sitting around with Kevin Williams from Williams Body Shop when they decided that the truck should be a Cab Plus. It took Chris no time at all to find a cab at a local junkyard specializing in mini-trucks. He soon had the new cab sitting at Williams Body Shop, ready to be transplanted. Once he had the cab and truck together, he made plans with Kevin to cut the truck in half and add 22 inches to the length of the chassis. This allowed him to pull off the standard cab permanently and replace it with the Cab Plus cabin. With a much-changed ride, Chris began to make all kinds of plans for the truck that was now almost 2 feet longer than its original length. The scope of customization was unlimited, now that Chris had the truck he'd always wanted to build.
Kevin Williams then took matters into his own hands and started to body-drop the truck 3 inches, just as soon as the chassis was lengthened to accommodate the Cab Plus cab. He even trimmed the pinch molding for an additional 1/2 inch of drop with the completed body drop. Once Chris got his B2600i hood, he found it had been shipped in a crate with nails, which had beaten the very rare hood to a pulp. Just when Chris thought he had a simple upgrade to make, he had to have the hood saved by Williams Body Shop. The crew continued the work and 'bagged the Mazda for 15-inch wheels before painting the truck solid orange. When Chris took the truck out of the shop, he had a bright custom that was something closer to what he'd always wanted.
Soon after, Chris became too complacent with the Mazda and asked Dustin Haven to do a rendering of it, keeping the bright-orange color as a basecoat. Chris immediately fell in love with what Dustin came up with and took his truck to Kustomwerks to have the shop do even more bodywork. The Kustomwerks crew also prepared the truck for graphics, which Dustin would lay down. Just before the truck went into the paint booth for the second time, new Cadillac taillights with LEDs were installed. When the truck came out of the paint booth, Chris was eager to show off all that had been done since the last time he had the Mazda at a truck show. Never wanting to miss an event, Chris has always made sure that whatever he's working on is somewhat buttoned up before heading to Showfest in Greenville, Mississippi, or the Indy Truck Bash every year. Although Chris was really happy with the way his truck was turning out, he was far from done with it.
Once show season closed for the year, Chris was eager to get his truck back into the shop for more work. This time, he pulled the suspension apart and had Dustin Haven repaint all the components to match the various colors used on the graphic scheme. More than any other mod, having the suspension detailed to the hilt with crazy colors to complement the graphics did tons to make the Mazda stand out. Around the same time, the truck was rebagged to be able to lay with the new wheels Chris had decided his truck needed to stay competitive. His new wheels were 19-inch KMC Suicides tucked tightly into Pirelli high-performance radial tires.
The hardest thing about building the truck was the amount of time it took to get to this point. The truck has had three suspension systems since Chris has owned it. The most impressive modification was the addition of the Cab Plus. Nothing since, aside from the graphic scheme Dustin Haven created, has made as much of an impact for Chris Starr. Chris was stoked that he got the truck ready for show again and showed the truck in that exact state for a full season before diving back into it. This last time that Chris worked to further hone the look of his truck was the stroke of genius, in our opinion, that it took to make the Cab Plus a cover truck. The interior was completely reworked with fiberglass and paint and was treated to a superior sound system using Alpine, Audio Control, and Memphis Car Audio components by Kustomwerks.
With so much time and effort having gone into making this Mazda what it is today, you'd think Chris would relax some and enjoy the fruits of his long labors. If you think that, then you obviously don't know Chris. By the time you read this, his newest project, a Toyota 4Runner, will have made its initial debut at the 2004 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. We can't wait to see that one done, either. You can be sure you'll see it here first - just as soon as Chris stops messing with it long enough for us to shoot it. Special thanks go to Chris Starr from the Mini Truckin' staff for having faith in Mini Truckin' and allowing us to help make some of the dreams you've always had come true.
Wheels/Tires 19x7-inch chrome KMC Suicide wheels with 42mm backspacing and 215/35R19 Pirelli radial tires
Suspension Belltech Nitro Drop shocks at all corners / Firestone 2,500-pound airbags up front / Firestone 2,600-series airbags in the rear / Pete & Jake's reversed four-link rear suspension setup / suspension by Kustomwerks in Union City, Tennessee / nitrogen tank / 10mm SMC electric valves
Chassis Five-lug conversion from Mazda six-lug / raised fuel tank for ground clearance / frame stretched 22 inches / bridge notch / several suspension systems over the years for larger and larger wheels
Body Modifications Longbed conversion / frame lengthened 22 inches / 3-inch body drop by William's Body Shop in Paducah, Kentucky / shaved door handles / shaved emblems / shaved windshield wipers / shaved cowl panel/ shaved fuel door / shaved tailgate handle / shaved corner lights / shaved antenna / shaved taillights / smoothed pinch moldings / Mazda B2600i hood / smoothed inner bed floor / Sir Michaels steel roll pan / Cadillac taillight shape with LED lights / Toyota 4WD front bumper / chrome Mazda grille with billet inserts / bodywork by Kustomwerks
Paint/Graphics Chassis components all painted to match graphic scheme / graphics by Dustin Haven / House of Kolor's Tangelo Pearl basecoat / several other House of Kolor paint hues used for graphic scheme and elsewhere on truck to color-match
Interior Smoothed, 'glassed, and painted dash / Billet Specialties' Revolver billet steering wheel / custom center console / flamed door panels and headliner / tan tweed- and tan vinyl-upholstered Honda Prelude bucket seats / tweed-upholstered flooring / interior work by Kustomwerks
Stereo Ported fiberglass enclosure built by Kustomwerks / Alpine head unit / Audio Control EQ / Memphis Car Audio Belle amplifier / Memphis Car Audio 1000D amplifier / four Memphis Audio high-performance 10-inch subwoofers / Memphis Car Audio M-Class 6-1/2-inch speakers and tweeters / wiring for stereo system by Chris Starr
Engine/Performance 32-36 DGEV Webber carburetor / Vitek plug wires / Super Turbo catalytic converter / Thrush exhaust / ceramic-coated Pacesetter header / Optima Yellow Top battery / chromed extensively throughout engine compartment / painted
Miscellaneous Completed as of ITB 2004 / shows won include Showfest, Texas Heat Wave, Mini Truckin' Nats, Import & Truck Bash (Indy)
Special Thanks Memphis Car Audio / KMC Wheels / Pirelli / ViTek / Eric & Matt at Kustomwerks / Dustin Haven at Kolorkreations / Chris' wife Becky / Kevin Williams / everyone who helped with the buildup of the Mazda in its various phases