To really set our paint and body special off, we decided to go back in time and do some digging to uncover a history piece that every minitrucker out there can appreciate. For the old-skool guys, this is a pleasant stroll down memory lane. For the new comers, this is a true history piece of where minitruckin' came from and an up-close look at some of the originators of the past. We came up with a Top 10 list, in order of appearance, of some of the baddest paintjobs-and trucks for that matter-to ever grace the pages of Mini Truckin'. So sit back, and enjoy just what minitruckin' is all about!
OWNER: Derrick Jhagroo ...
OWNER: Derrick Jhagroo
TRUCK NAME: Wrapped With Envy, aka 24 Karat Cruiser
MODEL: '85 Nissan King Cab
MAGAZINE: MT Cover September 1991
When it comes to candy, flake, and murals, minitrucks weren't the originators. The lowrider scene and old '50s and '60s customs paved the way for a new era of flashy paint techniques. Back in 1991, Derrick Jhagroo came out with Wrapped With Envy, which was on the cover Sept. 1991 as the 24 Karat Cruiser. This was the third and final rendition for Derrick, and he went all out with wild candy multi-flake paint, insane mods, and a smoothed and murraled rear frame. Yes, more than 17 years ago.
Now, just imagine back in 1990 to 1991 how crazy this paintjob and truck were! In fact, it's the very first truck for our Top 10, and it pretty much inspired an entire new paint scene in the minitruckin' world. Craig Fraser, from Air Syndicate, even picked this truck as his favorite paintjob that he didn't work on. And as a muralist, it motivated Fraser with his own work.
OWNER: Kyle "K-Daddy" Gann...
OWNER: Kyle "K-Daddy" Gann
TRUCK NAME: Bad 2 The Bone
PAINTERS: Kyle Gann, Dion Kutis (Kal Koncepts), and Jay Werner
MODEL: '84 Nissan 720
MAGAZINE: Truckin' Dec. 1992
Kyle "K-Daddy" Gann of Bakersfield, California, cruised his insane Nissan 720, dubbed Bad 2 The Bone, to the Bon Ton Show in 1992, and it cleaned up and took home six Best Of awards. Not only was this 720 way ahead of it's time with it's crazy paint work, painted fiberglass dash, and bed floor, but it sparked a whole new era in minitruckin'.
Sadly, shortly thereafter, the truck was totaled when a drunk driver collided into the tow vehicle. Kyle wishes that he had more time to show and enjoy the truck. He told us his favorite paintjob on a mini that inspired him was Neon Nissan, which was painted by Pete "Hot Dog" Finlan, who is still a major icon in the custom paint industry. Kyle also mentioned that one of his favorite recent builds is Josh Freeman's homebuilt Slick Silver Toyota, which was our 2003 Mini Truck of the Year.
OWNER: Tommy Leyendecker...
OWNER: Tommy Leyendecker
TRUCK NAME: Something Wicked This Way Comes
PAINTERS: Kal Koncepts & Air Syndicate: \Dion Guliano, Craig Fraser, and Kyle Gann
MODEL: Mazda Cab Plus
MAGAZINE: MT Cover June 1996
Many of the trucks in our Top 10 were built more than once. Something Wicked This Way Comes had three total builds, and the most wild one came with Tommy Leyendecker's tenure. Like the previous owners, Tommy knew he could count on the talents of Kal Koncepts and Air Syndicate to personalize his new ride after it had been hit by a drunk driver. Unfortunatly, it seems that happened a lot in those days.
This Mazda was one of the first minitrucks featured where the crew of Kal Koncepts teamed up with Air Syndicate and went crazy to outdo anything previously accomplished. Wanting to carry the graphics into the interior, they built a fiberglass dash and entirely smooth fiberglass door panels, and carried the paintjob through the jambs by covering the smooth door panels. Tommy made sure his version of the Mazda would live up to the previous owner's builds, and to keep Something Wicked This Way Comes as one of SoCal's finest cruisers.
OWNER: Dion Guliano TRUCK...
OWNER: Dion Guliano
TRUCK NAME: Last Look
PAINTERS: Kal Koncepts and Air Syndicate: Dion Guliano, Craig Fraser, Kyle "K-Daddy" Gann, and Ron Beam's pinstriping
MODEL: '86 Toyota Pickup
MAGAZINE: MT Cover December 1996
Dion Guliano, owner of Kal Koncepts, decided to lay it on the line and go for the gold. Working together with some of the greatest painters and builders of our time from Kal Koncepts and Air Syndicate; Dion, Craig Fraser, and K-Daddy-with help from countless others-built possibly one of the most innovative minitrucks of all time. It is certainly one of the best paintjobs. The mural on the hood, airbrushed by Craig Fraser, represents the story of the actual build and everyone who played a role. Pictured in the hood mural include: Dion, Fraser, K-Daddy, Shaun Carlson, who was a former MT Staffer; Courtney "Tito" Halowell, who was a former MT Staffer; Big Guy-don't ever call him Big Eye-and others.
Last Look has become a timeless minitruckin' icon and will always be remembered! It was the first minitruck to ever be used in a House of Kolor ad, and it thus ran in Custom Rodder. To this date, Kal Koncepts and Air Syndicate are responsible for over 54 covers and over 350 magazine features worldwide.
OWNER: Sean Del TRUCK NAME:...
OWNER: Sean Del
TRUCK NAME: Side Show, aka Ahead Of You
PAINTERS: Kolor Shoppe: Erik Coleman and Jay Werner
MODEL: '94 Toyota Pickup
MAGAZINE: MT Cover November 1997
Sean Dell was a mere 17 years old when Side Show graced the cover of MT in 1997. He started working on the truck at age 14, and slowly grew up around some of the biggest names in the minitruckin' scene. Sean was employed at Crazy Customs, by Tom McMurdo, and they teamed up with Nathan Hall and Brian Jendro to really put the hurtin' on Side Show.
Of course, the insane personality of this truck comes from the amazing 27 shade House of Kolor paintjob, which was laid down at the Kolor Shoppe, by Erik Coleman and Jay Werner. Being one of the first complete split-side paintjobs is the obvious reason this truck was dubbed Side Show. It only took five-months-almost 400 hours-locked in the paint booth to produce one of our Top 10 baddest paintjobs of all time.
In case you can't tell by the insane graphics, this month's cover truck, Relaxed Taco, was also painted by Erik Coleman and Jay Werner at the Kolor Shoppe. Erik's favorite paintjob of all time that someone else had painted is Last Look, and his favorite paintjob in the last five years is our June 2006 cover truck, Way Smoother, owned by Lee and Elena Farmer, and painted by Sean Burnley at Bodyshot.