Owner: Robert Hohlt
Ride: '90 Toyota HiLux
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Club: Wicked Customs
When the ultimate goal of a minitruck buildup is a wicked daily driver, tons of effort is put forth to make the vehicle as safe and reliable as possible. Robert Hohlt's '90 Toyota was not an exception. While Robert was building another project, he wanted a 'bagged truck that could be driven everyday. Nothing too crazy; a driver that's simple and clean, but also something that would make people look twice-whether it was parked in his driveway or at the show grounds. Robert and his good friend, Tony Neumann, own a shop called Wicked Customs, which they work at after-hours building trucks for themselves and customers.
The pair got down to business right away and began to tear into the suspension. Up front, the guys flipped the ball joints and 'fabbed a set of 'bag brackets to mount up a pair of 2,500-pound Firestone airbags. To smooth out the ride, a pair of shocks was added to the mix. To handle the rear, the boys got busy installing the rear suspension using a reverse four-link, a custom-bent tubular bridge, and another set of Firestone airbags. After the entire system was plumbed, wired, and the truck was laid out, Robert took a few steps back and all he could say was, "Damn!" Nevertheless, he already knew he wanted to do more to it, so back into the shop the truck went.
To transform the overall look of the Yota, Robert swapped out his old front fenders in favor of the 4x4 version and bolted on a phantom billet grille. Then, it was time to begin shaving up the truck. After many hours of cutting, welding, and grinding, all the unwanted appendages were removed, and it was ready to be turned over to Brad Phelps for bodywork and paint. When Brad finished off the bodywork, he sprayed the Toyota in PPG Medium Red Pearl. With the exterior gleaming from nose to tail, Robert decided that the truck was destined to have an interior as well.
Moving inside, every plastic piece that could be unbolted was taken out, and either wrapped or painted to match. A pair of bucket seats was upholstered in maroon and dark gray vinyl, and then installed. The door panels received the same charcoal tweed treatment, along with the rest of the upholstery. The floor was covered in maroon carpet, a Colorado Custom steering wheel was bolted up, and the rest of the interior's loose ends were handled. To finish off the package, the engine received a few performance goodies, such as an electric fan, headers, and an exhaust. After everything was put back together, the entire Toyota was gone over with a fine-tooth comb, detailed, and double-checked for daily driven status.
Robert's truck is definite proof that a badass feature vehicle really can be your daily driven ride. Simple, clean, and daily driven was the way to go for this ride. Unfortunately, when interviewing Robert, we heard some sad news. The truck is no longer; it sits in a lot awaiting its fate. It was at the body shop for repair work as the result of someone backing into the truck. While it was at the shop, Mother Nature was hitting the Midwest hard with rain. Before anyone could get the truck out of the shop, it was sitting under 5-feet of water, literally covering the truck. When the water subsided, they found a very badly damaged truck. The motor was full of water, along with the compressors, air tanks, and air lines. The interior was ruined-full of silt and debris, it was a mess.
By the time you read this, the fate of the truck will have been decided and hopefully on it's way to a full recovery.