We've covered many of Japan's greatest trucks in the past few years. This time, we have the pleasure of featuring a truck that is very popular in Japan and has even graced the cover of Truck Trends magazine. It didn't start out this way for this truck, however. Owner Yuya Kubodera has had an interest in trucks since 1998. In the beginning, it was kind of like throwing a kid, who doesn't know how to swim, into the deep end of the pool. Luckily for us, he didn't drown.

Yuya started out with a truck that had already been built by somebody else. Even though this was fun for a little while, Yuya decided he needed a truck to build on his own. So, he picked up an '00 Toyota Hi-Lux, which is basically our version of the Tacoma. Soon after purchasing his truck, Yuya decided to fill the gap between the rocker and the floor. What he did was add a body kit. This isn't a strange thing in Japan. You can still see many trucks with body kits at shows; but to Yuya, he was only trying to be lower. Soon, he realized his truck didn't stand out in the crowd and the body kit wasn't going to pull him any trophies or get him any attention from other Hi-Lux owners, either.

To Yuya, putting a body kit on his truck was what he thought was a body-drop. As soon as he realized it wasn't, it was time to cut. This was where Seek came in, a crazy shop willing to cut on anything anytime. So, together with their help the truck finally met the pavement. Wanting to destroy the competition and stand out from the crowd, Seek helped Yuya by shaving the body and making a smooth bed floor for the truck. Yuya shows his appreciation for the shop by sporting a back window painted with their logo. Yuya is a straight-up guy, who enjoys going to truck shows and showing off his truck. You don't see too many people who thank the people at shows for enjoying his truck. But to Yuya, the shows and the atmosphere is what it's all about.

The Lowdown

Rolling Attire
Wheels: Azanti Zebra 8x18
Tires: 215/35R18

Chassis Modifications
Suspension type: Air
Suspension (Front): Stock style
Suspension (Rear): Triangulated four-link with canti-lever style 'bag mounts
Airbag/cylinder type and size: Firestone
Shocks: Mooneyes gas
Compressors: Two Viairs
Air line: 3/8-inch
Air/hydro accessories: One 5-gallon air tank
Frame mods: A custom crossmember and monster-notched, custom-made levers and pushrods
Gas tank: Relocated under rear of the bed floor
Detail work: Tribal-style fin on top of rear crossmember, smooth inner fender and the inside of the bed wall.
Performed by: Seek Automobile
City/state: Ishioka City, Ibaragi, Japan

Body Modifications
Shaved: Door handles, antenna, gas door, tailgate, and bed seams
Body-dropped: 3.5-inch
Front end: '00 Tacoma four-wheel drive, modified license-plate mount hole and center opening, Hi-Lux four-wheel-drive fenders
Back end: Roll pan and tailgate skin
Taillights: Euro taillights
Exterior bolt-ons: Kentech custom billet rearview mirrors
Performed by: Seek Automobile
City/state: Ishioka City, Ibaragi, Japan

Paint
Brand and colors: Pure Red
Style: Solid
Misc.: Logo of the shop that built this truck, located on the back window by TAP! Custom Signs
Performed by: Seek Automobile
City/state: Ishioka City, Ibaragi, Japan

Interior
Dash: Painted and smoothed
Misc.: FBI rear-view mirror
Performed by: Owner
City/state: Kanagawa, Japan

Special Thanks From Owner:
To my wife and daughter; JATS, the shop where I bought this truck; Seek Automobile, which built this cover truck for the Vol. 18 Issue of Truck Trends Magazine; and any other people who watched this truck at shows.

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