Owner: Michael Raquedan
Ride: 1987 Toyota Pickup
Hometown: Walpahu, HI
Club: Imaginations C.C.

The custom-truck community in Hawaii looks to the Mainland for inspiration, but only to a certain extent. The guys building their projects on the islands definitely apply a unique spin to their trucks that can't be overlooked.

Mike Raquedan was lucky enough to be in the position to purchase an '87 Toyota pickup from a family member, and once in his possession, he planned on building it better than any other he'd seen cruising the Aloha State.

Come to find out, Mike's brother-in-law bought the Toyota from its previous owner in Ohio. The truck was already 'bagged and 'bodied before it was shipped out to the islands, and when Mike first took ownership of his Toyota the first thing he did was enter it into a few local shows. He took home a few trophies but really didn't feel too great about taking credit for someone else's work and ideas. As soon as Mike realized that he'd be more satisfied by adding his own personal touches, he tore the truck apart and started from scratch. A whole new 'bag setup and rear reverse four-link evolved, as did a whole new attitude that longed to outshine the truck's previous persona.

Next on the restyling agenda was a fresh coat of color, then an exotic ostrich-and-leather combo interior formed, which left Mike feeling more in tune with his truck. Exterior touches such as new chrome and a black chrome-plated set of Lexus RX330 wheels created a defining line between the Toyota and any other on the islands. As soon as the final project came together, Mike experienced the satisfaction of leaving his own fingerprints on the truck's redesign.

After three years of work, Mike is now reaping the benefits of being able to cruise Hawaii in style while representing his state to the fullest. Most don't think to look across the Pacific to the Aloha State for impressive minitrucks, but those who are building them on the islands are looking to change that.

For more info on Mike's Toyota, point your peepers at the Lowdown