Owner: Steve Hodges Ride: '01 Tacoma S-Runner Hometown: Byram, Mississippi Club: Ac
Steve Hodges, proud member of AcrophobiA, picked up this '01 Toyota Tacoma S-Runner brand-new off the lot. Since he'd caught the mini-truck bug while building a '95 Chevy S-10, the Taco' just seemed to be a good transition. Steve had the truck in his possession all of about a week when he started altering it. The first thing to go was the factory lettering - that was, until the wheels and tires showed up. Steve swapped the factory 16-inchers for 19-inch MOMO M1s shod with 35-series Hankook Ventus Sport tires. Even though S-Runners are lower than your typical Taco', this height just wasn't low enough for Steve. With the help of Jim Huston, Steve flipped the lower ball joints, hogged out the frame, and installed a set of Firestone 'bags. The back then received a C-notch and custom-built Z-link setup supported by another set of Firestone airbags.
At this point, the truck was low, but that obviously was not enough for Steve. He opened the hood and fit the 3.4L with one of TRD's superchargers, an air intake, and a Borla exhaust. To add some flash, the valve covers, pulleys, power-steering reservoir, and alternator bracket were all sent to the chrome shop. The final touch under the hood was the paintwork. The supercharger, battery, fan shroud, timing-belt cover, and fuse box were all meticulously sanded smooth before being sprayed to match the body color.
The factory grille shell was fit with a billet insert to clean up the '50 Merc-looking plastic Toyota had placed there. S-Runners come with small fender flares, which were just bolt-on until Steve decided to mold them in place and smooth out the lines of the Super Taco'. Well, that smooth look took hold, and Steve proceeded to mold the front three-piece bumper into one flowing cap, retaining the factory lines with a custom feel. The seams of the tailgate were welded up and LEDs took the place of the factory taillights. The door handles and gas door received the same smooth treatment before the truck was coated in Sikkens Red. Once the base was dry, Steve's buddy Robbie laid out all the hot licks from hood to gate. The dual sets of flames were sprayed with a heavy rainbow flake and a contrasting gold. Once the flames were striped in blue, the whole was buried in clearcoat and sanded smooth.
The interior had to be just as smooth as the exterior for Steve to be happy. As you can imagine, hours were spent sanding and molding the dash door panels and all the plastic pieces. Steve and Jim ditched the factory console and made a custom one to house the Air Ride Technologies gauges and 'bag controls. Once all the painted interior pieces were ready, they were installed with the newly covered seats and headliner. Little Joe's Upholstery recovered the seats in a cappuccino-and-bone leather combo. Steve accented the inside with a hand-whittled set of diamond-plate floor mats, Billet Specialties Hustler steering wheel, and Trenz pedals.
Rick Arnold was employed to wire up the audio system after Steve picked up an Alpine head unit, Phoenix Gold amplifiers, JL Audio subwoofers, and MB Quarts mids and separates to fill the Taco' with tunes. Rick installed everything in a smooth way, as the box has a leather cover and the amps float on a plexiglass mount accented with diamond plate. Once everything was finished and detailed, Steve knew he'd accomplished his goal of building a super-clean feature-worthy mini.
19-inch MOMO M1s wrapped in 35-series Hankook Ventus rubber
Front: Firestone airbags / flipped lower ball joints; rear: Firestone 'bags / two-link with a Z-link / C-notch
Shaved taillights / shaved door handles / tailgate combo with LEDs / molded factory three-piece front bumper / shaved gas door / fuel cell / Sikkens Red paint / red flames with rainbow flake / gold flames with rainbow flake
TRD supercharger / chrome valve covers, pulleys, power-steering reservoir, and alternator brackets / painted supercharger, battery, fan shroud, timing-belt cover, and fuse box / Borla exhaust / 270 hp
Factory dashboard smoothed and painted / factory seats with headrest removed and wrapped in cappuccino-and-bone leather / leather headliner / Billet Specialties Hustler steering wheel / painted and covered center console / smoothed and painted door panels / painted rearview mirror / covered speaker box with plexiglass amp rack / diamond-plate instrument-panel cover / diamond-plate amp-rack cover / diamond-plated switch covers / Air Ride Technologies gauges / TRD boost gauge / diamond-plate floor mats
Alpine head unit / Phoenix Gold amplifiers / JL Audio subwoofers / MB Quart mids and highs
Stacey / Keith Thompson / Jim Huston / Scott Spears / Beau Purvis / Henry Spears / Kool / Weezy Purvis / Robby Grant / Rick Arnold / Ultra Performance / Automotive Color