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.
TSW Vortex 19x7.5
TOYO Proxy 4s 215/35ZR19s
Suspension Front: Two-inch drop spindles
Suspension Rear: Reverse leverage three-link built from scratch
Control arms: Upper control arms modified to re-angle the ball joint
Compressors: Viair 380s
Air/hydro Accessories: Glass 5-gallon air tank
Brakes: Toyota Tacoma rotors in the front and re-drilled stock in the rear
Misc.: Slip yoke put in driveshaft to save carrier bearing, and five-lug conversion
Performed By: Ryan Nelson from No Regrets
Door handles, antenna, squirters, wheel opening body lines, wipers, third brake light, cab seams, and a handmade one-piece metal wiper cowl smoothed to flow with the body lines
Four inches, lowered cab mounts one-inch, and traditional three-inch body drop with rolled pinch
Factory valance cut and molded for bigger Yukon billet grille and Yukon foglights, smooth tailgate/roll pan skin, radiused taillight corners
Billet grille and clear taillights
Handbuilt rockers, Street Scene mirrors, tonneau cover made from box tube frame with aluminum skin and radiused corners and the front of the bed is cut out to have the cover sit flush, and actuates with air cylinders, inside bed is smoothed and Line-X'd then painted to match
Ryan Nelson from No Regrets
Brand and Colors: Standox Toyota silver and Nissan 350z blue, Nissan black with a Toyota white
Misc.: Interior pieces where painted by Jessie Ortiz
Performed By: Dave Prater at Sparky's Collision
Nissan Pulsar seats lowered and cut down eight inches then covered in pewter illusions
One-off center console with a G35 shifter ring then molded, door panels and interior panels smoothed and speakers recessed then painted
Ryan Nelson from No Regrets, and Razel Dazel Upholstery
Head Unit: JVC
Mids and Highs: Memphis Car Audio
Subwoofers: Memphis Car Audio
Misc.: Saw DVD player and Visualogic 7-inch screen performed by original owner, Ryan Nelson
Performed By: New work by Bill Flynn
Made from 4-inch and 3-inch exhaust tubing to clear hood
Stock re-drilled for five-lug
Trailer fenders, side aprons smoothed and moved to flow with fender edge, shaved core support and firewall
Part of a Nissan Xterra hood used for engine cover, raised clutch cylinder four inches and Nissan 720 radiator
Ryan Nelson from No Regrets
Special Thanks from Owner:
"First and foremost to Ryan Nelson from No Regrets for building an amazing truck for me to work from and being there every step of the way as a library of info anytime I needed it. Also, to Dave Prater for the paint and support in finishing this truck, Bill Flynn for all the long hours with the stereo and helping me finish just hours before leaving for Tex Mex! Joey Aguilar because without him the truck would have never made it to the finish line, and of course my wife and kids for their understanding and support, and my mom for the fact that I've had some project in her garage since before I could drive and she has never told me, no. And last but not least, my club Forbidden Fantasy for always being there to help in my crazy projects."