OWNER: Atsushi Mori
RIDE: 1996 Toyota Hilux
HOMETOWN: Toyota, Aichi, Japan
In an age of "reality" TV and shows like Dr. 90210, nowadays it almost seems that if you don't like the way something looks then surgery is the key to fixing it.
Well Atsushi Mori from Toyota City, Japan, decided to do just that. In 2001 he bought a 1996 Toyota Hilux, and after going to a few shows he wasn't all that happy with his truck's apparance. As the popularity of minitrucks in Japan was growing Atushi wanted to do something different to make his truck stand out and he soon decided that surgery was the key to making his vision come to life. His goal for the build was to do something that not many other trucks from Japan had done at the time.
Atsushi hunted for the perfect surgeon that he could trust to complete his complicated rounds of surgery. Like a lot of minitruckers in Japan, Atsushi lives in a small apartment with no garage, no tools, and no room to build the truck of his dreams. He had to work hard and save up every penny to complete the crazy modifications that he carefully planned out. The Toyota first went under the knife to get closer to the ground compliments of a custom 'bag job and bodydrop. Atsushi found a surgeon he could trust with his entire buildup when he met Mr. Uda and Ishikawa at K's Bodyworks. They wanted to take a little off the top to give Atsushi's Toyota that truly custom look so they chopped the top 3 inches in 2002. The second major surgery came in the way of a face-lift. A 2003 Toyota Tacoma front face swap and a completely smooth bed floor were custom-fabbed in 2004.
Atsushi spent his days working hard to save enough money for each round of modifications, and at night he carefully planned out every step. He knew he couldn't afford to rebuild or redo any work, so mistakes were not an option. Every two years, Atsushi was ready for the next step at completing his dream. The third major surgery came in the form of an interior makeover in 2006. A full-custom sheetmetal dash and center console was built to match the bed floor. K's Bodyworks handled each and every modification with precision and care, ensuring that Atsushi would be proud. The final build phase and makeover surgery came in 2008 when Atsushi bolted up some brand-new billets, worked on dialing in the engine, and teamed up with Japan's famous artist, Fudemae (featured on pg. 28) to design a killer paintjob that complements the major modifications performed over the years.
With the help of K's Bodyworks, Fudemae and his Outer Limits family and friends, Atsushi really built one of the baddest Toyotas in the world! We have been following this truck for years, and some of you might remember its first feature in our May 2007 issue. This Toyota is the perfect example of a very well executed plan that shows if done right, modifications galore paired with planned beautiful detail can be a winning combination. For more details and specs, check out the Lowdown.