It's weird how the car world segments us into our own little cliques. There are the hot rodders, lowriders, VIPs, and a few dozen others, and of course, we have the minitruckers. But no matter how much we all have in common, it seems like we want to do nothing but keep our groups apart. Why is that?
Don't ask Chris Gibson of Anderson, South Carolina, because he has no idea. He's been rolling low for 17 years now, first working on Volkswagen bugs, then moving on to various juiced pickups. He found himself in the lowrider scene, but still equally appreciating all that was out there. Somehow, the smack talking just kept on going.
At one point, he found himself with a 'bagged '66 Galaxie, a real peach of a ride that he built instead of a truck. But he kept hearing it from people-"You're not a minitrucker, you don't know what you're doing! You don't have a mini!" That's when he decided that he'd prove them all wrong by building one of the cleanest trucks on the continent.
Instead of buying a stock truck, he picked up a 'bagged Nissan Frontier that needed a bit of work. Now sure, he figured it would be a pretty easy gig, but it turned out to be more of a problem than he anticipated. Instead of patching here and there, he just ripped it all down to the bare frame and started fresh.
With the truck in pieces, he decided to take some of the lessons he learned from the lowrider scene and apply them to his mini. The frame was plated with 1/4-inch steel to reinforce the structure, plus keep the new 'bag mounts nice and strong. Then he started working on the bed, constructing a custom cooler so that he could have a frosty beverage at any show he attended. And when it came time to change it up even more, he bolted on an '04 Nissan Xterra front clip, then customized the bumper to make it look even more unique.
Lowrider guys are known for lots of detail and some crazy paintjobs, and Chris isn't any different. After laying down a clean basecoat of PPG Sunburst Orange, he had hibiscus flowers and skulls laid into a custom tribal pattern across the bottom of the truck. All of this work was done by the experts at Shroom's Custom Air, and of course, so was the "Most Hated" script across the middle of the tailgate.
By the time he was done, all of the haters who had talked smack in the beginning were found standing there, mouths open, and a little tears running down their cheeks. Chris is very happy with the end result, and although he is looking for a new project to build (possibly with his son or for his lady), whatever it is, he's going to make sure the haters stay on the sidelines. Keep talking haters, Chris has lots of ideas to work with.
2000 Nissan Frontier
Chris Gibson Anderson, SC Relaxed Atmosphere
Wheels: 18-inch Boyd Coddington Turbines
Tires: 235/40 ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sport
Suspension (front): 2600 Slam Specialties 'bags, rear mounted shocks
Suspension (rear): 2600 Slam Specialties 'bags, 'bag over axle, triangulated four-link
Compressor(s): Viair 444
Air/hydro Accessories: Eight 1/2-inch valves, 3/8-inch air line
Frame Mods: Relocated gas tank, frame plated with 1/4-inch steel plate, C-notch
Performed By: Chris Gibson at Frame Works, previous owner
Shaved: Door handles, gas door, tailgate handle and emblems, custom bed floor
Bolt-ons: 2004 Nissan Xterra front clip, custom bumper
Performed By: Chris Gibson at Frame Works
Brand & Colors: PPG Sunburst Orange, House of Kolor Brandywine Kandy
Misc.: Airbrushed hibiscus flowers and skulls
Performed By: Ronald Franks and Jason Miles at Shroom's Custom Air
Seats: 2004 Nissan Xterra buckets wrapped in tweed
Dash: Smoothed and painted
Misc.: Smoothed and painted door panels, tweed headliner and flooring, billet steering wheel
Performed By: Chris Gibson at Frame Works, Anderson Auto Interior
Engine: 2.4L Nissan
Intake: Custom intake
Transmission: Five-speed manual
Detail Work: Painted accessories, custom 13-inch inner fender wells
Performed By: Owner
Special Thanks From Owner
"Thanks to Ronald Franks and Jason Miles AKA 'Shroom' for their help with all of the paint and graphics, thanks to my woman for getting dirty in the shop every day of the build, plus doing and helping with whatever she could, thanks to all the haters for doing their job-Goals are meant to be met, not talked about. Somehow, the smack talking just kept on going."