Not everyone starts out in the scene necessarily knowing what they're doing. When they tear into a project, sawzall in one hand and a welder in the other, the results are not always that great. Richard Whitehead learned that lesson the hard way with his truck, but as you can see, sometimes the best way to do something is to do it two times over.

The truck started out as a work truck for Richard's father, purchased right off the dealership floor in 1991. For years, it slaved away lugging cables, tools, and parts around the East Texas area. It racked up quite a few miles on the odometer in the process. Since Richard is only 26 years old, this truck has been around for most of his life, and he's spent many a day either riding shotgun up front or holding onto the headache rack in the back—he even learned to drive behind the wheel of the Hardbody.

But eventually, the Nissan was parked on the side of the house, left to rot indefinitely. When Richard asked his pops about the future of the old pickup, his dad replied, "If you can fix it, you can have it." That Hardbody had 290,000 miles on it at that point, and that was the highlight. The suspension was worn out, the interior was trashed, and everything in between was in horrible shape. But it was a free truck—who would turn that down?

The suspension was worn out, the interior was trashed, and everything in between was in horrible shape.

Now, let's take a moment to talk about the motor. After some tests, it turned out that the original block wasn't getting any compression on the second cylinder, so Richard tried swapping it out with a used one from a local junkyard. When that motor continued to round out the rod bearings, he decided to take the original engine down to a machine shop to get rebuilt. It turned out that second cylinder needed to be bored 0.005 over, which means that the motor was beyond toast, but surprisingly salvageable. Once that was sorted out, he continued his pursuit of everything cool by cranking down the torsions and stacking up blocks on the leafs. Again, this wasn't the best option, and soon he redid the suspension for a parallel four-link and 'bags.

It seemed that doing everything twice was becoming a theme, and that concept would continue to be prevalent. Take the bodywork, for example. He started it during a collision repair course in high school, and the results weren't awesome. Later on, he redid the work with new parts and accessories, and the finished product is killer. Then there's the dashboard, which he originally fiberglassed while the dash was out of the truck. Turns out that wasn't such a hot idea, as the heat from the curing process twisted the dashboard all out of shape. Instead, he decided to paint the lower half of the dash and wrap the top, making it a much cleaner look. The taillights, which he originally wanted to hide by dusting paint over them looked great—a little too great. In fact the bright LEDs didn't shine through at all. You do see the trend here, right?

Even though this hardbody has seen everything twice over, that just keeps Richard endeared to it. Between him and his father, they've experienced 300,000 miles with the truck and countless hours either in it or working on it. After all the countless nights sanding, prepping, welding, breaking stuff, fixing it again, this truck is a part of his family, and you don't let down family—no matter what.

The Lowdown
1991 Nissan Hardbody
Richard Whitehead • Conroe, TX

Rolling Attire
Wheels: 20x8.5 Intro Twisted Vista
Tires: 45/35ZR20 Nitto NeoGen 2

Chassis Modifications
Suspension (front): 2-inch Belltech spindles, Slam Specialties RE6 'bags, modified stock control arms
Suspension (rear): Triangulated four-link, Slam Specialties RE6 'bags
Shocks: KYB Shocks
Compressor(s): Dual Viair 450
Air/hydro Accessories: Eight-gallon tank, aluminum air line, 1/2-inch SMC valves
Frame Mods: Custom fuel cell, frame notch
Misc.: Drilled rotors
Performed By: Owner

Body Modifications
Shaved: Hood emblem, hood squirters, cowl, antenna, mirrors, handles, stake pockets, fuel door and taillights
Bolt-ons:''92-'95 Toyota front bumper, billet grilles, tailgate skin with LED taillights, rollpan, clear marker lenses and running lights
Performed By: Owner

Paint
Brand & Colors: PPG Sonic Blue
Misc.: Green and white pinstripes on the hood and tailgate
Performed By: Owner

Interior
Seats: Standard cab bench seat reupholstered in grey and blue
Dash: Dash pad covered in grey, color matched lower dashboard and accessories, shaved outer vents to mount gauges
Misc.: Two Viair single and double needle gauges
Performed By: Owner

Stereo
Head Unit: Kenwood 7-inch flip-out monitor
Mids & Highs: Alpine Type-S
Subwoofers: 12-inch Alpine Type-S
Amplifiers: California Profile 600-watt amplifier, Boss capacitor
Performed By: Owner

Engine/Performance
Engine: Stock four-cylinder
Intake: Aluminum cool air intake, Pacesetter header, Magnaflow exhaust
Transmission: Stock five-speed manual
Detail Work: Polished valve cover and painted accessories

Special Thanks From Owner
"Special thanks go out to my wife, Ashley Whitehead, who has put up with me working on this truck for as long as she has known me. Thank you to my parents for the truck, and who encouraged me from the start and gave me a place to work on it."