1987 Mazda B2200
Delray Beach, FL
At the age of 16, Cory Richmond's sister was dating a minitruck enthusiast. Young Corey latched onto him and began learning about customizing a mini step by step.
After a couple of years of observing and helping, he bought his sister's boyfriend's truck and began using the techniques he learned to create a mini in his own style. Later on, Cory moved from his hometown of Burlington, Ontario, to the warmer climate of Delray Beach, Florida. After a couple of months in the Florida sun, he began searching for a new mini project. He noticed a stock Mazda sitting at a shop near his house. With ideas already forming in his mind, he inquired about the truck, and after several months the owner finally agreed to let it go for a thousand dollars.
The rebirth of that 1987 Mazda B2200 began when Cory started work on the suspension. After researching several options, he chose a hydraulic suspension based on the height it would give him and the smoothness of the ride he was after. He began by clipping the back-half and building a frame out of 2x3 tubing to hold the new Mazda RX7 independent rearend. Since the Mazda rear was a four-lug, Cory redrilled the front hubs to match, adding a set of 20-inch KMC Tramps loaded with Sumitomo rubber. A Pro Hopper competition hydraulic setup was installed using 10-inch cylinders in front and 6-inch versions in the rear. To achieve maximum lift, the rear cylinders were mounted high up on the control arms. In the front, Cory created tubular upper control arms, and the lower arms were changed to stamped A-arms. The system was given the hard-line treatment so no rubber would be visible. Batteries to power the system reside in a rack hidden away under the bed. The final chassis mod was the gas tank, relocated between the framerails with a new custom gas door.
Once the suspension was in place, Cory set his aim on the body. The Mazda was brought into his shop and stripped, sandblasted, and had the cab removed, then it was bodydropped 3 1/2 inches to lay rockers. The shaving process included the door handles, gas door, fenders, tailgate, rollpan, and mirrors. Cory chose a Camaro cowl hood, molded in place for an aggressive look, teamed up with Ford Ranger headlights behind a phantom billet grille. An Inalfa electric sunroof transformed the Mazda to an open-air, suntan machine. With the body mods complete, Cory replaced the stock four-banger with a 350 V-8 from a 1975 Camaro. A little extra zoom-zoom came from a new Edelbrock carb and intake. Exhaust flow was expedited thanks to a MagnaFlow package tailored to fit the Mazda. Cory's uncle, Tim Richmond, rebuilt the transmission and added a shift kit to handle the new horsepower. With the horsepower handled, it came time to make some real decisions.
Choosing the proper color for any custom truck is the most critical aspect in any build. Cory pulled the truck into the paint booth and shot his first ever paintjob, using DuPont Cloisonne Blue. The tintable bedliner in the bed and engine bay was painted and cleared to give it a grainy feel. After stepping back and admiring his handiwork, he decided to pull off some more tricks in the interior. The new interior pampers the driver and passenger thanks to the Honda Civic seats featuring cut-down headrests. Pods built into the doors hold JL Audio component sets, while the new center console houses the 10-inch Diamond Audio subwoofers. A B&M shifter rounds out the interior modifications.
It all started with observation and learning, but Cory clearly overtook his teacher and created a custom mini that has taken many top awards at shows. He learned that when he puts his mind and heart into something, nothing can stop him. "I always strived to have something that would stand out among the others," Cory tells MT.
It may have taken years, but his creativity and ideas have reached new heights with Maz2Low. Check out the Lowdown for the rest of the details.