OWNER: Robin Moody
RIDE: 1971 Toyota Hilux
HOMETOWN: Arlington, TX
When hunting for a new project, many of us go through the same phases and can't decide what we want to build, we just know that we want to do something different.
Well, when Robin Moody first stumbled across this 1971 Toyota Hilux it was sitting all by its lonesome in a driveway. Robin did what any good minitrucker on the hunt for his next project would do and left a note on the door. About a week later Robin received a phone call, and that very same day he struck a bargain and Robin drove the truck home. That's right, he DROVE it home. Now, it wasn't in perfect condition; in fact it still isn't, but that's what makes this little Hilux so damn cool!
The funny thing is Robin told the original owner that he was just going to "restore" it. Robin knew this was a body style that not too many people have messed with, but he also had other big projects already in the works, namely a 1963 Cadillac Hearse, so he never wanted to turn this into a full on crazy buildup. Like most, he began with a small budget and wanted to stick with a simple buildup of something he could just have fun with and drive whenever and wherever.
The first order of business was handled by Robin and his wife. They buffed out the chalky oxidation and brought the original paint to a surprising shine. After that Robin measured the backspacing, did a little research, and quickly found out that he had to have custom offset wheels made. The guys at Centerline Wheels came to the rescue and had 17-inch Boulevard wheels to his door in 11 days flat. Robin cruised Gudlux with just the wheels for a bit as he was deciding which route to take next. After lowering it and unsuccessfully trying to sell it, he decided that he would keep it and dump a little coin into it.
After many late nights of pondering the right "look," Robin decided that the chevrons on the mirrors and the turn signals really hinted at a military look, so that's the route he wanted to take. He had reverse stencils made after researching military lettering and symbols and painted them on using a light coat of spray paint, and then aged the paint using fine cut buffing compound. The toolboxes in the bed that now house the batteries for the hydraulics are Craftsman units that he dented up and then painted olive drab green. The battery hold-downs are surplus military straps from the Army/Navy store.
The whole time Robin was tinkering and creating the perfect military look, Keith from Nfamus Air Suspension was busy building the perfect hydraulic suspension setup to complement Gudlux. The original plan was to go with airbags, but Robin picked up some used hydraulic equipment for cheap and with a lot of help from Derrick over at Hydroholics.net they created the perfect setup. Robin asked Keith to use a lot of dimple dies when fabbing the bridge and other parts to carry the military theme into the frame. There is a boxed crossmember under the bed that the link bars are mounted to and sports 1-inch dimple dies throughout. Robin wanted the finished product to be left in bare metal to show off the craftsmanship of Keith's work and keep with the theme - there is a definite beauty to bare metal that's been brushed with a scotchbrite pad. This is the very first truck that Keith has built using hydraulics and he couldn't have done a better job.
The best part about this entire build and the theme is that it's inexpensive and didn't require extremely time-consuming additions such as crazy body mods, bodywork, paint, and interior. It allows the well preserved interior and exterior to be displayed, which on a truck like this is pretty neat as most people probably haven't seen this body-style Toyota in person. The theme allowed Robin to really obsess over the little details that sell the whole look without doing a bunch of crazy and expensive mods, but he still landed a feature for sticking to his plan and being creative. Looks killer, and we can't wait to see what's next! For more details, check out the Lowdown.