For some of us, building a mini-truck can take years to complete. However, that wasn't the case for Jason Danler of St. Pete, Florida. In only nine short months, he built what has come to be a show-winning mini. Having just built another mini, he knew he needed to do everything right the first time around, so he called upon the best he could find in Florida to help out with the buildup of his short-term project.
Draggin' Azz Customs in St. Pete, Florida, handled the business of getting his truck closer to the asphalt. After rolling the truck into the shop, the crew wasted no time ripping into the stock suspension. It started by reworking the front spindles, and then added a set of Firestone airbags to bring it down. Moving to the rear, the crew stainless steel TCI triangulated four-link setup, with more Firestones and Doetsch Tech shocks all around to have the maximum ride quality Jason was searching for. To make the truck go up and down when necessary, the truck was outfitted with two 6-gallon air tanks, two compressors, 3/8-inch lines, and MIC fast manual valves. Jason decided it would only be proper to hook up his ride with some 18-inch Alba Blaze wheels wrapped in Toyo rubber to set the truck off.
Jason then enlisted the services of Express Auto Body in St. Pete, Florida, to remove excessive factory pieces. The crew started by adding a set of 4x4 Tacoma fenders and shaving off the corners. It moved down the truck, shaving the antenna, gas door (which was relocated to the inner rear bed fender), molded a steel roll pan, and shaved the tailgate handle. A set of jet ski mirrors was used to set this ride apart from the rest even more. Jason called upon Eric at Mad Mods to build a custom one-off cowl hood to give the mini the ultimate street appeal. He decided to use a camper shell from Arrow Toppers with a set of one-off clear side windows to have full visibility to the bed area. Once the body was straight, Jason decided to use the attention-grabbing Roulette Green Pearl from ICI Auto Color to make the truck stand out from the crowd.
Next, Chad Parrish was recruited to tackle the job of making the interior as immaculate as the rest of the truck. The whole interior was draped with a mixture of dark- and light-gray tweed to bring it life. He decided to paint a few of the interior pieces to match the outside of his truck. The bed of the truck was outfitted with a bed kit wrapped in the same tweed used in the cab, the air tanks were painted, and the bed was cut out with custom plexiglass so you could see the bitchin' work done by Draggin' Azz Customs. Read on to get the lowdown.
Owner: Jason Danler
Ride: '97 Toyota Tacoma
Hometown: St. Pete, Florida
Club Affiliation: Negative Camber
The Low Down
Chassis/Suspension Jason called upon Jason Tarbox at Draggin' Azz Customs to bring his truck closer to the asphalt. The crew started by building a set of custom extended front spindles and extended A-arms. The truck was hooked up with Firestone airbags and Doetsch Tech shocks. Moving to the rear, Jason decided to go with a stainless steel TCI triangulated four-link set-up. The truck is also outfitted with two 6-gallon air tanks, two compressors, 3/8-inch air lines, and MIC fast valves.
Wheels/Tires 18-inch chrome Alba Blaze wheels wrapped in Toyo rubber set this truck off.
Engine/Drivetrain Jason decided the stock four-cylinder motor didn't have quite enough power for cruising. To remedy this, he added a Sportruck Specialties intake system to give it a little boost. To improve the looks of things under the hood, he added billet caps and a Coolflex radiator hose.
Body Mods Jason called upon Express Auto Body in St. Pete, Florida, to tackle the body mods. The crew added a set of 4x4 fenders in the front, along with a 4x4 bumper, and then began to remove some unnecessary pieces. The front corners from the fenders, antenna, gas door, molded roll pan, and tailgate handle were removed, and Jet Ski mirrors were added for that custom touch. Jason then called on Eric at Mad Mods to build him a one-off cowl-induction hood to give him that extra street appeal.
Paint Once the body was straight, Jason used Roulette Green Pearl from ICI Auto Color to make his truck stand out from the crowd.
Interior Jason enlisted the help of Chad Parrish to take on the job of turning his stock interior into a trophy-gathering setup. He used light- and dark-gray tweed to wrap the whole interior. The dash was accented with painted inserts and billet accessories. The headliner was wrapped in light-gray tweed, and some sculpted flames were added to the big canvas. Chad added white-face gauges, billet armrests, window cranks, and a host of other billet accessories to give it the look it needed. He then moved onto the bed, adding a full tweed bed kit and making a custom cutout in the bed and a piece of plexiglass to view the bitchin' setup Draggin' Azz Customs built.
Audio N2 Audio of Largo, Florida, was brought into the play when it came time for the stereo system. The crew removed all the stock components and replaced them with the gear that was music to Jason's ears. It added a set of Diamond Audio 5-1/2-inch speakers in the custom kick panels. Some Kicker Solo Baric 8-inch subwoofers were added to make Jason's spine tingle. The crew also replaced the stock head unit with a JVC Kameleon CD player.
Owner's Quote "An extra special thanks to my uncle Mike, Arrow Toppers, Jason Tarbox at Draggin' Azz Customs, Steve Servis at Express Auto Body, Chad Parrish, the D.A.C. Klique, and everyone else. Oh yeah, and to my dad: it's not a fad anymore."