Owner: Tyson Cleland
Ride: 2001 Toyota Tacoma
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
Club: Xtreme Lowz

Like most, Tyson's minitruckin' addiction started at a young age when he would sit and daydream about his dream ride.

He began his pursuit with a white 1999 Toyota Tacoma, but after adding a set of custom rims it was totaled by a forklift while parked at work. Not one to be easily discouraged, Tyson went out and bought a 2001 Tacoma and started down the long hard road of a full-custom build.

With only 5,000 miles on the Taco, Tyson jumped right in and rushed to have it 'bagged and shaved and then repainted it white, but that just wasn't enough to quench Tyson's custom thirst. After only a few months, he brought it back to Joe Musso and Adam Madrigal at Musso Motorsports for a bodydrop and suicide doors. From there, they primered it tan with orange flames and it landed a spot in our Construction Zone section in the July '04 issue.

Somewhat satisfied with the heavy mods and recent attention, Tyson bought his first house and soon enough all his income was absorbed by bills, family, and the responsibilities that come with owning a home. This put the Tacoma on the backburner, but he still showed it for a while in primer. As the years passed, he watched as his truck sat and aged in his garage, all the while drooling over all of the finished rides in the pages of this very magazine. Being an avid minitrucker, ideas of how he could possibly finish his truck came to mind and he set steady goals and priorities to hit the finish line. Around 2005, he was able to work out a deal with a few businesses in town on paint and bodywork. He dropped off his truck at a local body shop where again it sat. After two years went by and he didn't see the progress he had hoped for, Tyson took his truck back and vowed to finish it himself.

When he pulled his truck back into his garage it was still in primer and needed extensive bodywork, but he was willing to put in the hours necessary. Tyson's biggest concern at that point was how he was going to pull off painting his truck in his two-car garage with as little experience as he had. He worked hard and bought books and videos that taught him how to paint. Although his ideal truck had crazy graphics on it, he knew he didn't have the talent needed for that so he had to decide what single color could possibly pull off the badass look he was after. But before he could actually lay down the first coat, bodywork needed to be done, the frame needed to be painted, and everything else, including the engine, needed to be chromed. He took pictures of everything as he tore it all apart so when the time came he would be able to put the truck back together again. While the truck was apart, he also upgraded the airbags and compressors, re-ran all of the lines, rebuilt a cantilever four-link, and chromed all the suspension.

After a ton of work, the truck was ready to be painted. A local shop gave Tyson a deal with Xotic paint and he decided on Cranberry Pearl. He painted the body and the engine compartment and when he got to his fenders he ran out of paint. Being a rookie painter, the material planning is a hard stage and can lead to a ton of problems. He bought more paint and started on his fenders but soon realized the colors didn't match. Apparently the business was going under, and what they mixed was paint they had left. There was nothing he could do but finish putting the truck back together and get it running. The whole process of painting and learning how to put together and wire a truck was trial and error and a huge learning process on his part, but if you want something done right (and finished sometime in your lifetime) you might just have to do it yourself.

A few months passed and Resolutions 2008 was coming up. It had been about three years since Tyson last showed his truck and since it was the last Reso show, he had to show his truck. He decided to two-tone Got U Sick and make a big impact at the show. By this time, the business that gave him the deal on paint had shut down, so he called the Xotic dealer and had them mix an Xotic orange that was similar to House of Kolor's Tangelo Pearl. He kept the top half Cranberry Pearl, painted the bottom half with the orange pearl, and separated the two colors with a gold foil leaf. It wasn't his ideal finished look, but it was better than the two different Cranberry Pearls.

After Reso, Tyson was excited to finally hit the home stretch but still had to work on putting in a system and interior. He wasn't perfectly content with the paint and spent months debating if he should go through the hassle and the money of redoing the truck, pulling apart the motor, suspension, and so on... again. Finally, his wife (being the good wife that she is) told him to just paint it so he would be happy. He took her advice, and because this was his third time painting the truck it went by faster and smoother. He loved the final color and decided to paint his interior and wrap up the build. He finished off the interior and Got U Sik finally came together. Tyson says, "To this day people tell me how good the truck looks, but I've been working on this truck for so long, I can't help but see the flaws in it. It feels good to have a finished show truck, but it truly is a love-hate relationship."

For more information and details, check out the Lowdown.