MT: That's rad. I guess that's what enabled you to move the bed closer to the cab. It looks like it's never rubbed.
Gabe: Yeah, I couldn't have closed up the gap between the bed and the cab without the chassis being so stiff. Most people don't notice that.
MT: That's why they pay me next to nothing here, because I notice all the cool and minute details. Tell me about the body and paintwork on your truck. Who made it look so clean?
Gabe: I turned to my friend Boomer for perfect-quality bodywork and paintwork.
MT: I think that next to the 'cage, the interior is my favorite part of your truck. What have you got going on inside of the cab?
Gabe: Well, the seats are mounted off of the rollcage, of course, and I built the dash out of aluminum. I have a monitor in the center console and a Sony PlayStation 2 behind the seats. On the passenger side, there is a JL Audio 10-inch sub mounted into a custom enclosure, upside-down, underneath the dash. There are also speakers in custom kick panels and in the doors. The Aura amplifier is mounted in the floor in front of the passenger seat.
MT:- I see an empty space in the dash for another Auto Meter gauge. That wouldn't be reserved for a boost gauge, would it?
Gabe: Yeah, I'm building another 22R motor for this truck, and it's going to be turbo'd. I wish I had it done already.
MT: You know, it takes a ton of cajones to cut the floor completely out of your truck and expect to have the bed sides line up straight with the cab and have everything mounted securely. You've accomplished that feat rather well. I dig the graphics that run on the inside of the bed panels.
Gabe: Thanks, man. It wasn't that hard to do because the rollcage offered so many places to mount the body.
MT: The club you roll with, IMG (Intense Motoring Group), is mainly an import car club. How do you fit into the picture with your mini?
Gabe: They are all my friends. We were friends first and then started the club. There are only about 15 of us, and it's not like you can just join with a nice ride. You have to be our friend first. Back when imports started getting hot and all my friends built Civics and CRXs, I wanted to be different, so I decided to build a mini. A few times, when people gave me a hard time, I thought about switching, but I didn't.
MT: I'm glad you didn't. We need more people out there that have the guts to build trucks that can't be pigeon-holed as either a show truck or a race truck. You've done it perfectly. You could be like the ambassador between the racers and the mini-truckers. Not that the two groups are at war or anything, it just seems like a lot of guys think that they can only go to an import show or a mini-truck show and not both. I give you a ton of respect for gettin' over in both scenes.
MT: Well, we are running out of space here. Is there anyone you'd like to give a shout out to?
Gabe: Thanks to my good friend and mentor Mark Newhan of Bull's Eye Industry, who inspired me to be the best fabricator possible. I'd like to thank Tim Maguire from Racer X for allowing me to use his shop. I'd also like to thank Kevin Lessard, Jason and Timothy Koch, and Roger from AEBS. Also my cousin Brian, aka Tenacious B, John Cooley from Alumi Craft, Eugen Abad, and Team IMG for its support.