We've all seen it before. No matter what paint color, combination of graphics or interior scheme a truck may have, we've all seen it done in one way or another. But even if you were to make some checklist of all the must-have mods for your truck, mashing them all up together would result in the worst combination you could have, like a chicken gumbo made with fruit salad and pickles. So when you find someone who does build a truck and has ticked off quite a few items off that checklist, it warrants mention. After all, they've figured out the recipe for making the perfect mini, and we want to know how they did it.
Let's talk about Michael Drozdowski, for example. We've all seen teal Hardbodies before, and an aluminum dash isn't common, but it's not rare, either. Oh, and a bodydrop? Please, that's more widespread than an outbreak at a herpes convention (which, for the record, would be the saddest convention ever).
But Michael's truck isn't about taking conventional mods and slapping them together to form a weird cocktail. It's about adding tasteful, yet distinct, elements to a tried and true truck to make one of the cleanest trucks on the road today.
Let's start with the aluminum masterpiece that is his truck, specifically the interior. While some would be content with the typical rounded dash with a steering column cut out, or maybe some hard edges and no style, but Michael went a completely different direction. Not only is it beautifully riveted, but also large dimple-died holes add depth to the design. The waterfall center console also has slots for the shifter, and fits perfectly around the Alpine touchscreen deck. Looking deeper, the domed panel above the Dakota Digital gauges not only adds flair, but also provides a useful function. As a complete unit, the interior is clean and not overly done, but also a spectacular piece of workmanship by the person who did all that riveting, Dave Newell.
If you were to lie on the ground and look at this truck, it might look like something clean, but not necessarily above average. Take a closer look and stand up, then you see the aluminum bed kit that's stunning in its execution. More dimple-died panels and rivets surround the bed and bridge notch, with everything perfectly spaced and symmetrical. It's even functional, as there's a mounting spot for the gas cap in one of the holes.
Again though, this isn't the average truck, and details are everywhere. That PPG Teal Blue paintjob isn't just teal, it's Teal Blue with a Gold Diamond Ice pearl over the top, adding more depth to the finish. The body is devoid of any extraneous accessories, except for the chrome door handles that are functional as well as a way to break up the über-straight body. If it isn't teal, then it's aluminum, and it's riveted to the body. It's that simple.
The argument could be made that Michael hasn't ticked off quite enough things on that proverbial checklist yet. No, there aren't any graphics running across the body, and no, the suspension and chassis aren't chromed or powdercoated. But what Michael has built is one of the cleanest Nissans out there, yet it's still packed with modifications.
Oh, and there's one other thing—he's not done yet.
Owner: Michael Drozdowski
Ride: 1992 Nissan Hardbody
Hometown: Wilkes-Barre, PA
Wheels: 18-inch chrome Center Line Smoothies
Tires: 215/35ZR18 Nitto
Suspension (front): Torsion bar 'bag brackets, 2,600-pound 'bags
Suspension (rear): One-off reverse triangulated four-link, 2,800-pound 'bags
Compressor(s): Two chrome Viair 480s
Air/hydro Accessories: Chrome six-gallon air tank, 1/2-inch valves, 1/2-inch air line
Performed By: Eric Powers and Bert Horton
Shaved: License plate, taillights, tailgate, and gas door
Bodydrop: Traditional 3¼-inch
Bolt-ons: LED taillights, custom mirrors, modified tailgate, chrome front clip
Performed By: Mike Vencak, Brian Smith, Alex Bouika, Donny Carter, Doug Mahle, Joe Reilly, and Kevin Klime of Motorworld Automotive Group
Brand & Colors: PPG Teal Blue with Gold Diamond Ice pearl
Performed By: Dave Newell
Seats: White and teal vinyl
Dash: Custom aluminum dash and console
Misc.: Dakota Digital gauges
Performed By: Joe Pace (upholstery) and Josh from Altered Image Customs (aluminum dash)
Head Unit: Alpine
Mids & Highs: JL Audio
Subwoofers: Two JL Audio 10-inch
Performed By: Owner
Detail Work: Painted valve cover and accessories, chrome air filter, chrome accessories
Special Thanks From Owner
"I would like to thank all of the employees from Motorworld Automotive Group, Joe Pace who did the amazing interior work, Dave Newell for the paint, Kenton Krumich from Showstopper Customs, Josh from Altered Image Customs for all the aluminum work, and lastly, my girl for all the support and helping me pick out the paint color."