Santa Rosa, CA
When it comes to truly historical minitrucks there are a handful that come to mind. But one of the craziest trucks ever built, which literally sparked the interest of the nation, is the Bob Grant Twisted Metal Toy-Blazer creation.
When I personally first laid eyes on this truck back in 1996 my whole world was changed! I became instantly addicted to minitrucks, especially Toyotas, and I sleeplessly followed this very magazine and all of the cool builds that graced its pages. But this truck has a rich history even before then.
Bob Grant from Grant Kustoms first picked up this 1982 Toyota in a trade for a CD player back in 1993 (back then, CD players were a hot ticket). He tinkered with it here and there but used it as a parts hauler carrying truck loads of his hand-fabbed sheetmetal parts to FBI and Alter Images.
Being Bob Grant, he couldn't exactly drive a stock truck forever so he cut right to the point and body-dropped it while it was still static-dropped. He drove it bodied and static-dropped for another month or two before he tore back into it to airbag it. Steve Neilson and Bob 'bagged the truck together and Bob added a 4-Runner rear bumper and shaved the bed rail. Bob was having a ton of fun tinkering with his Toy when he could, and eventually it was up to par to take to it's first show (pre-Blazer roof). Bob worked for over 48 hours straight on the truck before the show and was so exhausted that on the way home it got the best of him. He dozed off for a second and when he looked back up he was headed through a guard rail. The truck was smashed, the front end and frame were toast, and a very fitting name for this minitruck legend was born: Twisted Metal.
This is where the story of this fated mini takes a turn. Bob sold Twisted Metal and bought the Tacoma (that he eventually turned into the all-metal Roadster Taco) and body-dropped it to the doors. Then the new owner of Twisted Metal wanted an S-10 Bob had, so he traded back for it and Bob got a new frame along with the trade. This time around Bob had a vision and wanted to further twist some metal, so he began to piece it back together, adding an entire 4-Runner front end, 4x4 flares, and primed the whole truck. Now his vision was really coming to life and Bob was determined to build a minitruck like none other. To complete the truck's given name of Twisted Metal, Bob cut the roof off of a 1985 Blazer and began to work his magic mating it to the 1982 Toyota cab. To make it all work and look like a factory mod (which was no easy undertaking) Bob shortened the overall wheelbase 6 inches and hand-built the quarter panels, a rear combo, a new floor, and molded in '88-'98 Chevy taillights. He also cut a giant hole in the roof to utilize a full-length sliding ragtop. And suddenly Twisted Metal was no longer a truck, but became a rolling work of art. That year Bob took the truck to West Coast Nationals 1999 (more than ten years ago) and as he rolled into the show grounds it was like Moses parting the Red Sea. Bob rolled through the ST and NC camp and instantly found home. His hard work was really starting to pay off, and Grant Kustoms and the amazing metal work of Bob Grant had reached a new height in the custom world.