Takashi "Frank" Yashiki
Gunma, Japan Severed Ties
1996 Nissan Hardbody D21

Takashi Yashiki, or "Frank" as we call him, from Gunma, Japan, got his start in the minitruck scene almost ten years ago. He bought a brand-new Toyota Hilux in 2000 and began to check out a few of Japan's truck shows.

Even after static-dropping his new truck and fixing it up here and there, Frank soon realized that his Toyota just wasn't up to par with some of the other trucks being shown at that time. He finally decided that it was time to sell his Toyota to build a full- blown custom minitruck from the ground up. Frank is a custom chopper mechanic and fabricator so he bought a cheap 1996 Nissan D21 because he only wanted the frame and a clean title to work with, knowing that he would be able to do most of the fab work himself.

At first Frank's reason for building a custom minitruck was just to surprise his other minitruck buddies, but as time went on he realized that he was building it much cleaner and more wild then he originally anticipated. Not only his friends, but other spectators at the Japan truck shows were impressed at the craftsmanship and quality of Frank's work. So after a few years of slowly building up his Nissan, Frank decided to take it to the next level and chase the high-end show-quality American trucks that he had researched online and in the magazines for years. Frank wanted to show people in Japan that building a full-blown custom minitruck is not just a hobby for the younger crowd and that it can be just as high end as full frame-off street rods. He decided that his final destination was to attend the huge Yokohama Hotrod Custom Show that is by invite only. Every custom vehicle in this show is of the highest caliber and Frank knew he had his work cut out for him to compete with the best of the best.

During the build, Frank opted to go with a five-lug swap and ordered a custom set of Boyd Coddington wheels. But when the wheels arrived, he saw right away that the backspace was wrong and the rim was too deep. Disappointed, Frank almost canceled his order and sent the wheels back, but the more he stared at the deep-dish billets sitting in front of him, the more he began to like the way they looked. Frank decided that he would redo the rear suspension and back-half his truck to make room for the wheels. Even though he was building his Nissan for full show quality and detail, Frank was determined that he would also drive his masterpiece. When designing and building the suspension, Frank made sure that it would function as good as it looked and he hand-built every single piece to perform but also to add beauty and symmetry.

Another important part of Frank's build was to outdo any previous custom minitruck in Japan with some serious body mods. Not stopping at just a flat bodydrop and custom-built suicide doors, Frank also molded in 4WD fenders to the bed to match the front fenders, but that wasn't all. Because the fenders now stuck out farther, Frank took this into account and to bring proper proportion back to the truck he extended the bed 4 inches. It's these little details that really make the difference between the everyday show trucks and the insane cover truck quality builds that we chase year after year. Granted we only have 12 covers a year to utilize, but many of our feature trucks, including this Nissan, are cover-worthy!

After working eight hard years on his truck, Frank was invited to compete at the Yokohoma Hotrod Custom Show, which is a huge honor in itself. Not only did he complete his truck just in time for the show, but he also took home best truck honors! Frank's final destination really paid off and he his happy to finally be done. Even though Frank said that he will always still be working on small details, we think his truck is about as perfect as you can get. Frank has enjoyed many years of the minitruck scene and has even visited California to hit the Forbidden Fantasy truck show and party it up at Ernie Macias' house parties. His humble personality, enthusiasm, and his willingness to help his fellow minitruckers makes Frank one cool dude in our book! As the Vice President of Severed Ties Japan, Frank vows to keep the quality coming so we're excited to see what's next. For more information on one of Japan's baddest minis, check out the Lowdown.