Owner: Jeff Barnes
Ride: 1994 Toyota Pickup
Hometown: Phoenix, MD
With some, the minitruck bug takes a few years to acquire, but others are bit instantly and never look back. After running around with some of his minitrucker friends, Jeff Barnes ended up getting hooked.
Being that most of the trucks he was seeing around the show scene were S-10s, Jeff wanted to break away from the norm and build a clean and killer Toyota. He bought the truck stock from a friend of his dad's, equipped with a hi-rise cap and carpeted bed. They figured he got his hands on a nice daily driver but little did they know that he had much bigger plans from the start!
Jeff's father owns a repair shop and was nice enough to allow him and his friends full run of the shop on the weekends. With the help of his friends, Brad and Wayne, they began the cutting. Starting out with 'bagging the truck, they worked every weekend for two months until the frame came to rest flat on the ground. But Jeff knew he wasn't done there, and with the shop available he figured he would get right on the bodydrop, laying it on the pinch and set up for massive rollers. The A/C and heat were kept along with the stock hood and 2WD sheetmetal-it's a major feat to bodydrop one of these little trucks on 20-inch wheels and retain all the factory creature comforts. It was a major learning session as Jeff and his friends did it all in the shop, asking and learning along the way. They did all of the major mods that Jeff always wanted, including suicide doors, a full shave, one-off front bumper with flush-mounted LEDs, shaved inner bed with angled sheetmetal, motorcycle gas cap, sheetmetal tubs, painted back half, sliding ragtop, and more.
Jeff wanted a custom driver, but he'll admit he didn't plan on taking it this far when they first began. When it came time for interior and bodywork, Jeff's buddy Brad was right at home. He helped a ton with getting this wicked 'Yota straight and ready for paint. His friend Brad also painted the truck's gorgeous basecoat followed by six coats of clear (mind you, he still complains about it to this day), which came out flawless. After it was painted, Brad made quick work of the interior as Jeff made the center console. Brad wrapped the headliner, seats, door panels, and back wall and buttoned up the rest of the show-winning interior. Nothing can compare to the feeling that finishing off a masterpiece such as this-with the help of a few close friends-can give you.
Jeff thanks everyone who helped him along the way: all his buddies, his parents, and Parkville Auto Body-without them this thing would never have made it this far. Many long nights, a ton of money and time, a few girlfriends, and dedication all helped get it to where it sits today. Since this was his first build, Jeff learned a few tricks that he plans on using for his next build, which is already in the works. We can't wait to see what he comes up with next!