Owner: Thomas MatzkeRide:...
Owner: Thomas MatzkeRide: '95-1/2 Toyota Tacoma
Hometown: Lutz, Florida
Thomas Matzke has owned more than one custom truck in his lifetime. He's been the owner of a '94 Isuzu, '98 BMW, and a few others throughout the years. When he decided he wanted another truck to work on, he bought a '95-1/2 Toyota Tacoma from a friend with some modifications already intact. The only problem was the truck was in about 20 crates and boxes. Because the truck was in so many pieces and purchased so cheap, Thomas couldn't resist the urge to take his game to the next level.
Thomas decided to do something that people were talking about, but had never done. Upon receiving the truck, Thomas was working out a deal on the phone with Chase Shiver, the owner of Real Life Kustoms (RLK) in Camilla, Georgia. The only two requests that Thomas had were: he wanted 20-inch wheels with a stock-floor body-drop and he wanted to keep the V-6, along with the factory A/C. Chase said it was a done deal and 10 months later, he had what he asked for.
The truck was then taken to RLK, where Chase went to work fulfilling his part to get the truck to where Thomas wanted it. The chassis was cut off at the firewall and a new 3/4 chassis was fabricated to keep as much headroom as possible. The front of the frame had to get Z'd in order to lay the front down over the 20-inch rolling stock. Chase also tubbed the firewall and relocated the clutch master cylinder, so it would never come into contact with the tires while laid out. Then, Chase completely sheetmetaled the bed and tubbed the bed using trailer fenders.
Since Chase fulfilled his promise, it was time for Thomas to design an interior. For this, he turned to Steve "Biggi" Colley in Ocala, Florida. The interior was completely gutted. Tons of time was spent smoothing everything out and prepping it to be painted the same bright blue as the exterior. Nothing was left alone that could be unbolted and smoothed for painting. Everything else in the interior was wrapped in blue and gray leather for an ultra-clean look.
Since finishing the work on the Taco, Thomas has been all over the place, showing off the ideas he was able to bring to reality. With the help of friends and shops, Thomas has put together a ride that gets attention wherever it goes. The number of trophies that he has had to haul back home with him every time he attends a show speak for themselves. From the looks of things, we're hoping he has room for them all. There's likely to be a lot more on the way this coming show season.