OWNER: Keith "Wezal" Althaus
RIDE: 1992 Toyota Pickup
HOMETOWN: Covington, GA
Sometimes in order to make that winning touchdown, the right hand-off is all it takes. Building a feature truck is no different, but it generally takes two important ingredients: a ton of time and normally a bunch of cheddar.
If you sat down and chatted with the majority of feature truck owners, you would find out that most quality builds usually take several years to complete - even when they were planned to be completed in only months. Usually that happens because the owners run out of one of the two major ingredients, or the really unlucky ones run out of both. If you're doing the most of the build yourself it's usually the time that you can't seem to find enough of. If you're sending your truck to a shop to have it built by the capable hands of professionals, then it's probably the money that runs dry before anticipated. But if either of these two ingredients is lacking, it can lead to the demise of the entire build and the truck can end up as a really expensive paper-weight. That's almost what happened to this 1992 Toyota. The original owner, Chaz Massey, was in full swing with the build and on his way to a feature-worthy vehicle. It was already shaved up with the bed molded to the cab creating a uni-body. The Toyota was also already painted and spent much of its build time with Robert and the crew at Auto Extremes in Conyers, Georgia, getting the suspension and a few other mods handled. This is about the point where Chaz ran out of time, money, and patience and he sold it to Matt Dyer. Matt has owned multiple show vehicles over the years and knew this was the perfect project. Matt showed the truck only once when the uni-body Toyota started to run rough and after a little digging they found that the gas tank was holding water. Discouraged and out of dough, Matt left the truck sitting in the yard for over a year and it was quickly on its way to becoming another lost mini.
This is where Keith Althaus, or as his friends call him, Wezal, comes into the picture. Back when the truck was getting work done at Auto Extremes, Wezal was one of the shop employees and had his hand in the build. Fast forward to February 2007 and Wezal found out that this truck was just sitting and he was looking for a project of his own, so it was a perfect match.
A price was agreed upon and a trailer was sent to drag the 'Yota back to Auto Extremes where the first order of business was to get the truck back in working order. The motor was given the once through, and the running issue was resolved. Then it was on to the suspension, which only needed some updating to allow a larger wheel combo to tuck. The suspension was also freshened up with new valves and lines since it had been sitting and sucking up the elements. When Wezal bought the truck it didn't have any interior, not even the stock parts. So a few panels were purchased and several more were built before the wrapping and painting brought the exterior color inside. Since the paint had an old-school feel to it with the color combo, they installed a wood bedfloor for a little more nostalgia.
When finished, Wezal took a step back and was finally happy with a feature-worthy truck of his own. Before Wezal took the truck to any shows or damaged it by driving the mean streets of Georgia, a call was made and a photo shoot was lined up to bring this 'Yota to the pages before you. But the night before the photo shoot, a problem came up and Wezal had to fly out of town with another shop employee to get the issue resolved. Luckily, one of his buddies stepped in and was able to take the truck to the photo shoot. How's that for luck? You finally finish a feature-worthy truck and can't even be present for the photo shoot. Don't worry Wezal, we didn't tear anything up, at least nothing that wasn't fixed before your return flight. For more info on the mods, check out the Lowdown.