Owner: Kristin Monser
Ride: 1995 Toyota Pickup
Hometown: Orlando, FL
Club: Hardcore Minis
Being a woman in an industry filled with men has its setbacks, but for Kristin Monser of Orlando, Florida, it served as major motivation.
When 27-year-old Kristin met her husband Kevin, she had never customized a truck before. One year later, however, she has one of the finest female-built minis in Florida.
The history of her 1995 Toyota pickup began when a fellow Hardcore Minis club member purchased the truck new but never got around to completing it. It was passed to another member, and minor modifications were added without getting extreme. Excited to start a truck project, Kristin purchased the Toyota and immediately took it to the next level. The first step was contacting Tim Haywood in Orlando, Florida, for the suspension modifications. A 2-1/2-inch stock-floor bodydrop brought the pickup to the ground, and Slam Specialties airbags returned it to driving height. Since Kristin wanted her Toyota to be a cut above the standard minitruck cruisin' the streets, she had Pablo at Pablo's Paint & Body in central Florida shave the entire body and build custom suicide doors from scratch. Behind both doors, Pablo added a unique pocket designed to keep the door from hitting the frame. The stock taillights were removed, and Cadillac lights were built into the shaved and molded tail fitted with a Sir Michaels rollpan. The front and rear fenders and bumper were sourced from a Toyota 4Runner and installed for an aggressive appeal. A billet grille with recessed headlamps rounded out the body modifications.
Always there for a helping hand, the members of Hardcore Minis along with Audio Fashion in central Florida helped install a one-of-a-kind cabin for the Toyota. An '88 Honda Civic interior wrapped with tweed replaced most of the interior. A custom center console was built and designs added to both door panels. For sounds, a Pioneer head unit controls the output from the Kicker 600.2 four-channel amplifier, sending signal to the JL Audio mids and highs in the doors and the single Kicker competition 10-inch subwoofer in a custom-built enclosure. However, the real magic came within a four-day period.
The Toyota was brought into the paint booth where Tim Haywood sanded the truck down to primer and laid out a solid White Ice Pearl over the body. Scott Hanshaw of Dysfunctional Designs came in and freehanded a brilliant combination of graphics. Tim got down to business taping and spraying a combination of blues, pinks, and greens along with subtle pearls to stand out. DuPont clear was used to coat the concoction of colors.
Kristin's ride is her daily driver as proven by this statement: "The odometer stopped rolling at 381,000 miles but she keeps on ticking." In order to make sure she's never stranded, the guys at Raycar in central Florida souped up the Toyota by converting the standard transmission to an automatic to accommodate Kristin's taste. The factory fuel injection was converted to a carburetor, a cold-air intake was added, and the engine compartment was detailed for extra show points.
Kristin has reached a higher level than she ever thought possible. She is not only competing with the boys, she is beating them on their own turf. She shows that minitruckin' isn't just a male-dominated culture but a way of life that can be gender-neutral. With the help of her Hardcore members, the special guidance from her husband Kevin, and the loving support of her two children Jaden and Jillian, her dream of having a truck featured in Mini Truckin' has finally come true.