Some of you may recognize this Mazda, as it was featured here exactly one year ago. If you have last year's May issue, flip through it and check out the improvements that have been made since then. Fresh paint, new wheels, a killer dash swap, reworked suspension-long story short, the truck was taken back to the bare frame just after it was shot the first time. Why? For a spot on our cover, of course.

Now, there is a thin line between a feature truck and one that's worthy of the cover. Don't expect a specific guideline to be emailed to you because it varies from truck to truck, but there is an unofficial make-or-break point. Instead of itemizing things and risking the chance of confusing anybody, let's just say that equal parts quality, execution, and originality make for a tasty cover cocktail. There are occasions when we recognize a truck's shortcomings, and then there are times when the owner/builder has concerns of his own. In this case, Jason Lekvold knew his Mazda was riding the borderline when it was first shot for MT, and he told us straight up, "I needed to change some stuff that I wasn't happy with right after the last feature, so I ripped the truck back to bare frame and started all over." Jason made it clear very early that he was thirsty for a cover spot, and as you can see, he didn't take any half steps.

To start the regeneration process, Jason cut the back half and changed the geometry of the rear suspension, and once the frame was back together, the rest of the truck was torn down and reworked. The 12-month period spent building on an already solid foundation, wasn't as bad as starting over from scratch, but it wasn't short on being labor intensive either. Since its second completion, Jason's newly fashioned Mazda has become somewhat of a celebrity with its appearance on Powerblock TV, and now with its much-deserved cover spot. What a difference 365 days (give or take) can make.

We haven't heard any comments or complaints from Jason about not being completely satisfied with the outcome of his truck, so it's safe to assume that this time next year, it will still look just as immaculate as it does today. Even if it does evolve, it can only become easier on the eyes.

The Lowdown
1987 Mazda B2200
Jason Lekvold Mtn. Home, ID Severed Ties

Rolling Attire
Wheels: 20x7.5 Status Fang S820
Tires: 225/30zr20 Hankook

Chassis Modifications
Suspension (front): Toyota five-lug with 2-inch drop spindles
Suspension (rear): Ford 7.5-inch IRS from a Super Coupe
Control Arms: Front by Kustom Werks, rear by owner
Shocks: Toxic
Compressor(s): Dual Viair 480C's
Air/hydro Accessories: AccuAir e-Level, two VU2 manifolds, 5-gallon aluminum tank, 3/8 hardline
Frame Mods: 3/4 frame out of 2x3 tubing, painted with airbrushing front to back, top to bottom by Fabian Zepeda
Brakes: Stock Toyota and Ford with custom stainless braided lines
Misc.: Everything painted
Performed By: Frame built by John Yoakum in TN, rear suspension designed by owner and Aaron Morris, paint and assembly by owner

Body Modifications
Shaved: Door handles, locks, emblems, taillights, tailgate, gas door, top bodyline, underhood shaved with another 2600i hood skin
Bodydrop: 3-inch stock floor
Body Mods: Clean and simple, ditched top bodyline, and sheetmetal inner bed
Bolt-ons: Chrome front end
Misc.: LEDs and license box in Cali Combo with taillight fillers all from Grant Kustoms
Performed By: Owner and friends

Paint
Brand & Colors: PPG Fiji Blue, custom mixed silver flames, blue and green pinstriping
Misc.: LEDs molded and cleared into the paint flames go onto the dash
Performed By: Flames laid out by Chris Mull from Billy Bob Customs, sprayed by owner

Interior
Seats: Stock with headrest removed, recovered in suede grey with blue inserts
Dash: 1964 Ford Galaxie narrowed 4 inches, shaved speaker hole and accessory holes, custom gauge cluster
Gauges: Six-piece Aurora
Misc.: Grey carpet with blue floor mats from ACC, rest of plastic interior panels smoothed and painted, one-off metal door panels with se5 top trim smoothed and molded with shaved lock hole, shaved suede headliner (no mirror or lights or visors), sheetmetal console with AccuAir dimple from Sisco's Fab and billet buttons for power windows and lights, Billet Specialties Vintec steering wheel, chrome Helix steering column
Performed By: Seats by Heather Tugby, headliner by Mike Stoecker, rest by owner

Stereo
Head Unit: Soundstream 7-inch dual-DIN DVD player
Mids & Highs: Soundstream 6.5-inch components and 6x9s
Subwoofers: Two Soundstream 12s
Amplifiers: Soundstream 800-watt four-channel for mids, 600-watt mono block for subs
Misc.: Fiberglass speaker box painted to match
Performed By: Provided by Andy and Chere at Sound Media of Idaho, install by Owner

Engine/Performance
Engine: 2.2L
Intake: Weber 32/36 carb
Header/exhaust: Ceramic coated Pace Setter header with custom bent exhaust
Transmission: Stock painted
Rearend Type: Ford 7.5 IRS
Detail Work: Everything painted
Misc.: Motor rebuilt
Performed By: Owner

Special Thanks From Owner
"Most importantly, my wife Robin for putting up with me tearing a finished truck apart, my dad for all the help, Dave at Tech Auto Body, Ron and Kevin at PPG, Erik at Kinetik, Ronnie P at Hoffman Group, Chris from Billy Bob Customs, everyone that helped last minute to get it finished, and everyone in the ID ST Chapter for believing in me, and of course Matt Baker!"