Owner: Shawn Anderson
Ride: 1994 Toyota Pickup
Hometown: Escondido, CA
Club: Xtreme Lowz
It all started for Shawn "Marley" Andersen in 1994 when the 1974 Chevy Nova his grandmother gave to him started blowing through parts and forcing him to smash his piggybank more times than he cared to count.
After a few months of getting stuck with an average of $350 worth of repair bills, Marley and his grandma started hunting for a more reliable mode of transportation.
After pricing used minitrucks around the local San Diego, California, dealerships, Marley came to the conclusion that many of the aftermarket odds and ends that most of the used trucks already had on them were useless since he wanted to customize it his way. Needless to say, the upgraded audio systems, bedliners, and sliding rear windows were driving the prices way beyond his budget. Luckily, they came acorss an honest salesman who informed him that a brand-new, bottom-of-the-line 1994 Toyota with no bells and whistles would cost about $2,000 less than any of the pre-owned buckets he had been eyeballing. Marley inked the deal and drove off in a vehicle that would quickly change his life.
First on the list was a host of mild, beginner-level tweaks, and Marley's truck was quickly recruited by a truck club that was later absorbed into Xtreme Lowz. This wasn't just any SoCal truck club, XL has served as his second family for over 15 years now. After committing to adjustable suspension and continuing customizing his truck throughout the last 15 years, not only did the Toyota attract him to a great circle of friends but even better memories that are much too valuable to be stuck with a price tag. Marley recalls, "My wife and I had our first date in this truck over 11 years ago. I've been to friends' weddings and club members' funerals in this truck. I even lived out of it for two weeks. It's part of the family."
Aside from all the good times Marley has experienced with his ride, there are also a handful of hard-luck stories attached to it as well. It's been the victim of two hit and runs, had an all too close encounter with a manhole cover, been broken into in Marley's garage, and has even been hidden from the repo man a few times. Marley and his Toyota definitely have a deeply rooted history together, but one thing is for certain: There is nothing that will come between the two. "I've almost wrecked the truck a couple of times, and even when it has left me stranded it was still there for me," he says.
When asked about the Toyota's current, clean condition, Marley wrapped up this story better than we ever could have: "I'd pull up in front of a jobsite and air out my primer spotted mini. It would always get looks and questions from the other workers. It still gets looks, but they're different now."
After over a decade of building and showing his baby, Marley decided it was time to give the world a second look and completely rebuild "First Impression" from the ground up with his own two hands. A handful of buddies were there when he needed them, but Marley went through every nut and bolt, meticulously creating one of the cleanest minitrucks to ever hit the battlefield. And even more impressive is that this insanely detailed beauty is actually driven. Some people are lucky enough to get a second chance at a first impression, and Marley wasn't going to take this chance for granted. More than just the pride of building it with his own two hands, he learned a ton along the way and wouldn't change it for the world.
For detailed specs on one of the most detailed minis ever built, consult the Lowdown.