1998 Nissan Frontier
Chad Cooper is a champion of keeping Mini Truckin' and its rich history alive with project after project. He always has some new tricks up his sleeve, all the while trying to save important minis from the demise of "non-minitrucker" owners.
So when he heard that one of our past cover trucks was up for sale, he jumped on the chance at saving the No Regrets Frontier from the fate of other sold cover trucks.
"I've always loved this truck and the amazing job that Ryan did on it. So when the chance came to buy it, I was sold. Ryan told me he wanted to see the truck change, so with that, the build was a go."
Those are the words of Chad Cooper, who purchased the former cover truck from Ryan Nelson nearly two years ago. Chad is no newbie when it comes to owning high profile trucks. You might remember his orange and silver Toyota with four chrome hydraulic pumps in the bed that previously graced the pages of Mini Truckin'. You may also recognize his name from his numerous articles, and show coverage in the mag including his Club Profiles section.
The Frontier was previously laid out using two-inch drop spindles and modified control arms up front. The body mounts were sectioned one-inch and then the cab was traditionally body-dropped three inches. Out back, a reverse three-link was fabricated and the bags were mounted to a bridge notch.
Chad stored the truck safely in his garage-or at least what he thought was safely right up until he came home to find every single body panel on the truck gouged and scratched. Using his CSI skills, (Chad Super Intelligence) he figured out that the deep scratches had come from his own dog, chasing some sort of NorCal rodent around the garage. Rather than taking the dog to Puppy Lake, he chose to instead take his new truck to Dave Prater who bodyworked and primed the damaged pieces on the truck.
In the end, Standox Toyota silver was laid as a base and Nissan 350z blue was added as the second tone up top. The graphics were laid out and shot with Nissan black and then striped using a Toyota white as a tip of the hat to commemorate the late and great, Blazerado. Nick Crouch of Surface Art had created the updated paint scheme based on the design that he originally created for Alan "Farva" Jackson's Blazerado, which happens to be one of Chad's favorite trucks of all time.
Chad followed up the paint with a new set of 19-inch TSW Vortex wheels wrapped in Toyo Proxy 4s. Inside the cab, Bill Flynn installed a JVC head unit and Memphis Car Audio mids and subs, powered by a set of Concept amps. Under the tonneau cover, Chad updated the compressors to two Viair 380s, which border the trick, glass air tank mounted near the bulk head of the bed. With a solid foundation, this truck was transformed into a truck Chad could be proud to call his own. But as with all good things, they come to an end, so Chad struck up a trade to keep a few important minitrucks in the hands of minitruckers.
Rumor has it that a new piece of Mini Truckin' history is sitting in Chad's garage and we can't wait to see the recreation of that build. If it's as cool as the truck you see sitting here before you, then were all in for another great rebuild, courtesy of Chad Cooper and the NorCal FFF crew.