There are many of us in the minitruckin' community who sit in the garage, dreaming of what our truck could one day become. Of course, the ultimate goal is to be picked as a cover truck, being asked to roll it into the photo studio, and then seeing it there on the newsstand in your hometown—that is the dream. But what if I told you there is a dark side to building a cover truck? A type of bad voodoo, ill-fated fortune, a straight-up curse?

We call it the "cover truck curse," and while I don't have any solid numbers to back up my claim, you have my word that it's as real as the Madden NFL curse. Grace the cover, and you take the chance of being doomed. Electrical fires, devastating wrecks, police impounding, and floods—the options in which the curse decides to ram you are endless. How did Ernie Macias' Mitsubishi Mighty Max succumb to the curse? We'll get to that in a bit, but first let's focus on the positive side of this story.

If you know nothing about Ernie, then know this: He is a vehicle fanatic who specializes in Mitsus and Caddys. He has boxes of rare parts (dash clocks, center consoles, clear taillights) hoarded away in his garage for future builds because after owning 50+ vehicles, he's figured out what it's like to search for the hard parts. And no, that wasn't a typo. He's seriously owned over 50 vehicles in his 30-something years on this planet.

Like many of his previous vehicles, the truck was purchased with a cheap price tag but with a smart head. Most of the body panels were straight, the motor was solid, and everything else would be left in the capable hands of Steve Wilk of Wilk Worx. As Ernie puts it, "He went above and beyond what was originally planned for the Mitsu," reworking the suspension to lay on bigger wheels. In an odd twist of fate, Raceline didn't send the 20-inch billet wheels that they had promised, instead they sent a larger set of 22-inch billets and just like you or I would do, Ernie and Steve gave each other the "not bad" face and bolted the wheels on.

The truck debuted at SEMA a few months later, and before ever hitting its first minitruck show, it was rear-ended. It was hit so hard that the bed folded into itself like an accordion. In just moments, a twist of fate twisted Ernie's third cover truck. This terrible twist of fate is a prime example of what has become known as the cover truck curse. Nobody is safe from its wrath.


Owner: Ernie Macias
Ride: 1994 Mitsubishi Mighty Max
Hometown: Moreno Valley, CA
Club: No Regrets

The Lowdown

Rolling Attire
Wheels: 22x8.5 Raceline Burst
Tires: Toyo Proxes 4 235/30/ZR22

Chassis Modifications
Suspension (front): AIM drop spindles, Slam Specialties 'bags, narrowed 2 inches, motor mounts dropped 1 inch
Suspension (rear): Slam Specialties 'bags, four-link, chrome bars
Control Arms: Chromed upper and lowers
Shocks: RCD Classics
Compressor(s): Two Viair 444c
Air/hydro Accessories: SMC 3⁄8 valves, Accuair Switch Speed Controller
Frame Mods: Step notch, narrowed front framerails
Brakes: Stock front, Downey Off-Road rear disc brake conversion kit
Misc.: Chassis paint and chrome by Extreme Audio and Kustoms, five-lug swap using Tacoma rotors and Mitsu calipers
Performed By: Steve Wilk at Wilk Worx

Body Modifications
Shaved: Door handles, hood squirters, antenna, gas door, bed seams, third brakelight, key holes, tailgate handle, relocated gas filler, relocated tailgate handle
Bodydrop: 21⁄2-inch
Body Mods: Roll pan
Bolt-ons: APC clears—yes, real ones, the O.G. ones
Misc.: Back window by Mark Malinoski Sr.
Performed By: Steve Wilk at Wilk Worx

Paint
Brand: Transtar Auto Technologies
Chassis: Painted by Extreme Audio and Kustoms

Interior
Seats: Stock bench chopped with headrests removed, leather
Dash: Stock
Misc.: Raceline Burst steering wheel
Performed By: A&C Upholstery in Nuevo, CA

Stereo
Head Unit: Sony DSX-S210X
Mids & Highs: Kicker QS65.2 components, KS40 2-ways
Subwoofers: Two Kicker CVT10
Amplifiers: Kicker ix500.4 and ix1000.1
Misc.: Kinetik 1400 cell Kicker KX3 crossover, Kicker wiring accessories
Performed By: Extreme Audio and Kustoms

Engine/Performance
Engine: Stock 2.4L
Rearend Type: '90s Toyota
Performed By: Owner

Special Thanks From Owner:
"Melissa Macias, E.J. Macias, Danny Macias, Steve Wilk, Jay Fry, No Regrets worldwide, Billet Inc., Coy Balusek, Eddy Cebreco, Max Fish, Brian Goude, Mike A., NR Arizona, Shawn Altermott, Nick Crouch, Kicker Audio, Extreme Audio and Kustoms, Bobby Thompson, Mark Malinoski Sr., Eron Leader, Brent Vann, Clyde Barela, Auto Accessory Warehouse, Johnny O Photography.