A whole new breed of mini-truckers is becoming somewhat of a dominant force in our ever-changing sport. We've put up with crappy-riding, 'bag-blowing, frame-breaking trucks for as long as 'bagged minis have been around. Now the times are changing, and Thomas (T.J.) Beyer is part of this modernized mini-truck group. As such, he concerns himself with a quality ride and a reliable mode of transportation. He built his truck "clean, simple, and driveable," to cruise and show off everywhere he goes, including the 10-1/2 hour trek from Loveland, Ohio, to Showfest in Greenville, Mississippi. T.J. has a genuine love for the sport, fabrication, and all things custom.

T.J. kept this goal in mind the entire time he spent working on his red-hot '91 Toyota pickup. T.J. began the buildup with the suspension. He 'bagged and four-linked his truck to lay the frame hard into the asphalt, and added Firestone 'bags and MIC fast manual valves to lift the truck back up again while driving. Once the suspension was as low as it could go without cutting the body, T.J. took a step back and looked over his masterpiece. It was only a matter of weeks, though, before T.J. wanted to go lower. Jumping in headfirst, he body-dropped the truck 3 inches to close the gap between the body, the frame, and the ground. T.J.'s Toyota then tucked the 18x8-inch Alba Bank rims with ease. T.J.'s plan also called for meticulous detailing so that the Toyota would still drive anywhere he wanted, no matter what modifications were performed. More and more daily driver-type vehicles are being built to compete, yet are still reliable enough to drive to and from work every day.

After T.J. was done with the suspension and body drop, he turned his attention to the exterior. Joey Wykoff and T.J. began working the body over by swapping the front end from a 4Runner and using the front bumper, grille shell, and headlights. The duo then shaved the antenna, the side mirrors, and the rock guards on the bed. Next, they molded on a Sir Michaels roll pan and tailgate skin. After the body was just as T.J. had pictured it, Joey sprayed custom-mixed Glasurit Red paint over the freshly reworked body. T.J. wanted a complete show truck, so he didn't leave any stone unturned. Dane's Custom Upholstery gave the truck the complete interior package. The top half of the dash was smoothed and painted, while the bottom half was wrapped in tweed. A pair of Mazda 323 bucket seats was wrapped in a combination of charcoal-gray tweed and textured vinyl. A B.A.D. Tuner billet steering wheel and a few other billet pieces finished off the inside of the cab. The engine was then given the same attention to detail with tons of billet and chrome.

Although he helped many of his friends with their vehicles, this was T.J.'s first complete truck buildup, and he's anxious to start his next project. T.J. was very pleased with the outcome of his daily cruiser, and after showing it at countless shows and being featured, he has proved that a reliable and simple truck can handle its own when it comes to competition. Be on the lookout for T.J.'s next buildup and many more of these exceptionally clean, simple, and reliable truck buildups popping up nationwide.

The Lowdown
Wheels/Tires 18x8-inch Alba Bank chrome wheels wrapped with 215/35R18 Hankook Ventus low-profile tires

Suspension/Chassis All suspension modifications performed by owner / Belltech 2-inch drop spindles / Firestone 2,500-pound 'bags up front and 2,600-pound 'bags out back / 3/8-inch MIC valves / 3/8-inch air line / two chrome 3-gallon tanks / nitrogen-charged Doetsch Tech shock absorbers relocated all the way around / bridge notch with over-the-axle 'bag setup / Brembo cross-drilled factory rotors / rear suspension setup with NFS Motorsports parallel reverse links and a Jeg's track bar

Body Modifications/ Paint Pro Finish fiberglass hood / body-dropped 3 inches by owner / body modifications by Joey Wykoff and owner / '95 Toyota 4Runner front end conversion / 4x4 fenders / shaved antenna / shaved mirrors / shaved rock guards on bed / Sir Michaels smooth tailgate skin / Sir Michaels molded roll pan / painted with Glasurit custom-mixed Red / moved the cab back 1/2 inch to close the gap between the cab and the bed

Interior Interior by Dane's Custom Upholstery in Morrow, Ohio / smoothed and painted top of dash, wrapped the lower half in tweed / Mazda 323 bucket seats wrapped with charcoal-gray pleather and tweed / charcoal-gray carpet / B.A.D. Tuner billet steering wheel / Momo shift knob, flamed billet rearview mirror

Stereo JVC CD player / Alpine 4-inch mids and highs

Engine/ Performance MIC intake / LC Engineering spark plug billet wire loom / chrome valve cover / chrome intake manifold / chrome exhaust heatsheild / custom battery brackets built by owner / Magnacore 2.5mm plug wires / 2-1/4-inch Borla exhaust system

Special Thanks T.J.'s girlfriend Tracy / Rob Ross / Joey Wykoff / Rob Nichols / Bobby Mulholland / Matt Stone / T.J.'s mom and dad / all T.J.'s friends in Ground Level