Owner: Ron & Kelly Perkins
Ride: 2005 Nissan Frontier
Hometown: Portland, OR
Building a unique custom truck these days isn't exactly easy. With the amount of aftermarket parts ready to ship, buying bolt-on accessories is all too easy, and standing apart from the crowd becomes understandably difficult.
Ron Perkins from Portland, Oregon, didn't want to spend his precious time and hard-earned money on a truck that would get lost in the shuffle at shows. He selected a base-model King Cab 2005 Nissan Frontier to serve as the core of his project, but first he planned to hack it up a bit. These trucks aren't customized too often, especially to the extent that Ron pushed his. Of course, there are many off-the-shelf products that have been incorporated into the Frontier's restyling, but the crazy, one-off mods that have been performed certainly make this mini impossible to forget.
Ron has been tweaking his truck since mid 2004, and believe it or not it was rocking a sick orange paintjob before it was taken down and covered with much cooler tones and sinfully executed licks. Since then, a lot has changed for the better, but as anyone can imagine the road to completion isn't always easy. An overheating problem arose during the build, so the entire stock-floor, 'bagged frame and drivetrain had to be completely removed. Doesn't sound too terrible, but once something like that becomes your problem, the small headache quickly turns into a head-busting migraine-take Ron's word for it.
Aside from the few hiccups that aren't uncommon with a build of this magnitude, Ron was meticulous enough to take his time and make sure that each modification in the final stage of the build was done right the first time around. With the deadline of SEMA constantly looming overhead, there was a decent amount of pressure but nothing that the previous builder of a custom '84 Mazda, '76 Bulletside, and a '65 Lincoln Continental couldn't handle. The thing that sets the Frontier apart from Ron's past projects is what the truck was meant to truly represent a full-blown, all-around champ that staked a claim on the scene for the Northwest. With the influx of quality builds constantly being pushed out from SoCal, Texas, and the rest of the country, Ron wanted to put Portland, Oregon, on the map as a serious custom contender. And what other way to accomplish this task then to turn a King Cab into a single cab, which Nissan never produced for this new Frontier pickup line.
Ron also has hopes that with the success of his truck that maybe, just maybe Nissan will decide to bring back the regular cab into rotation in the production cycle. That goal may be a bit of a stretch, but stranger things have happened. For now, he'll just have to be content with the new fanbase he's attracted to the brand and hope to be an inspiration for more groundbreaking builds to come. Congrats on the hard-earned cover, well deserved! For more information on this killer groundbreaking build, check out the Lowdown.
TIS 24x10 (front) / 26x10 with 6.5-inch backspace (rear)
Pirelli 275/25ZR24 (front) / 295/30ZR26 (rear)
Suspension Front: Slam Specialties 'bags, Belltech S-10 drop spindles, Suicidedoors.com S-10 cups
Suspension Rear: Slam 'bags mounted on wishbone, Parker 8-inch cylinders mounted to blade-style cantilever, Suicidedoors.com wishbone and lower links
Control Arms: Suicidedoors.com S-10 upper and lower control arms
Compressors: Four Viair 480s
Frame Mods: '92 S-10 front frame clip widened 2.5 inches on each side, 2x3x1/4-inch frame built from control arms back
Brakes: Baer front and rear S-10 disc brake kits
Performed By: Owner
Handles, bodyline in lower doors, gas door, taillights, tailgate, third brakelight
3-inch stock-floor with 2x3-inch boxed tube
Entire King Cab cut off and made into single cab, Grant Kustoms taillight fillers, Grant custom-made valance between grille and bumper, custom ///RA taillights
Both using stock hinges
Open bedfloor, two Kinetik 2000 batteries recessed in rear of bed
Brand & Colors: K-12 Nissan silver and '91 Chevy Arrival Blue pinstriped in light blue with airbrushed drop shadows
Misc.: Hours of cutting and buffing truck inside and out by Chris Spear
Performed By: Body, pinstripe, and airbrushing by Josh Jones of Jones Paint Innovations - frame and misc. parts by Phil Amborn
ZX2 covered in leather by Rob House of Rob's Upholstery in Portland
'65 Mercury Monterey narrowed, all stock chrome stripped and re-dipped
Stock '65 Mercury
All-steel interior, smooth floorboards, smoothed firewall, Merc window cranks and armrests, steel headliner out of an old Dodge truck, chrome Helix steering column with flamed wheel, Lokar gas pedal assembly and Lokar brake pads
Owner, Justin, and Rob House
Head Unit: '65 Mercury AM two-knob
Misc.: Push buttons on radio wired to control air valves
Performed By: Owner
Engine: 350 small-block Chevy
Intake: Edelbrock EnduraShine intake manifold
Header/Exhaust: HTC Headman/dual Flowmaster 40 series
Detail Work: All chrome bolts, painted block and trans, Edelbrock EnduraShine carb, Edelbrock EnduraShine water pump, billet power steering and alt brackets, chrome power-steering pump, chrome Powermaster alt, Mallory HEI, billet pullies, aluminum radiator, 7-inch chrome brake booster and master cylinder, 10-gallon RCI fuel cell
Misc.: Air cleaner and valve covers machined with Nissan/Chevy Bowtie by FBI
Performed By: Owner and Mike Amborn
Special Thanks From Owner:
"Couldn't have done it without my wife Kelly and my daughter Ashley. My buddy Mike Amborn who is always there for me, and Eric Stanton and Ryan Anderson for all the late hours. My mansband Justin Rainwater, Ruben, and Donald for the SoCal help, Chris Spear who always comes through when I'm totally f'ed, and Mike Alexander for not letting me settle with just 'ok' and having my back with this project from day one in mid '04 (five of his projects ago, ha ha). Also Leer for putting up with my shenanigans, Dick Prewitt at Completely Nuts, Rob House, and Josh Jones for bringing her back. To all my Relaxed Atmosphere family, I hope I made you all proud. Last but not least, thanks to everyone who believed in me: Kinetik, Grant Kustoms, Viair, Suicidedoors, The Hoffman Group, TIS wheels, Pirelli, Baer, T-Rex, PIAA, BASF, and FBI. Thanks to everyone for making my dreams of a cover a reality!"