Jonn “Jahfar” Farr
1990 Toyota 4Runner
Jonn Farr was two years into building 6-Pack, his 1980 Dodge D50 (June ’10) and was looking for a nice reliable daily to drive back and forth to work. He got bored with the Buick he had purchased and stumbled onto what has evolved into the Rum Runner.
The Internet is a dangerous place to be when you have money to spend and are crazy about building insanely cool trucks. Jonn found a classified ad online for a righthand-drive, bodydropped Toyota 4Runner that he couldn’t get out of his mind in the days that followed. He made the fateful call and spoke to the 4Runner’s seller. They talked for a bit and settled on what seemed like a good deal on a cool project that would definitely be unique when it was finally finished. But, Jonn ran into a couple of speed bumps. First off, he lives in Indiana, and the truck was in Oregon—a distance of just over 2,200 miles. And to make matters more strenuous, Jonn was leaving for El Salvador on a Habitat for Humanity trip in four days, but he needed to see the truck firsthand as he didn’t want to get stuck with another secondhand, butchered project truck, so he booked a flight to the Pacific Northwest after the brief conversation. Once Jonn arrived in Oregon and inspected the truck, he discovered that its condition was just as advertised: well put together, it ran and kind of drove, and it even came with a parts truck with a seized motor. Jonn explained his situation, left a deposit, and headed home to prepare for his trek to Central America. Both the 4Runner and the parts truck arrived at Jonn’s residence in the middle of the week while he was away, and the delivery guys couldn’t get either of the trucks up the driveway so they left them at the curb. Oh how Jonn’s neighbors must love his incurable minitruckin’ habit.
Jonn dug around to find out where the 4Runner had been and who had built what. He immediately rid the Toyota of its hydro setup, plumbed in an air-ride system, and got it starting and stopping. The truck picked up a mysterious nickname along the way, The Porn Runner, but Jonn couldn’t find out where the affectionate moniker stemmed from. It was discovered that the truck was actually a Busted Knuckles feature in Sport Truck back in the day, and construction of it began in Texas with David Collins. When he eventually lost interest in it, the 4Runner was parked at a storage lot in Las Vegas where Mike Demello rescued it and proceeded to take it to Mike Lemore’s shop in California. From there, the details get fuzzy about who did what and why, but Jonn doesn’t think much was done after Lemore sold it off. Jonn was currently in the middle of building his 6-Pack project, which was eating most of his time, so his newly acquired 4Runner remained untouched for some time. When free time presented itself, Jonn worked enough of the kinks out to be able to drive it around town. It was checked into a shop for a while to have the wishbone setup built, but they only completed half of the work before they shut their doors and closed up shop. Jonn’s new Toy did make it out to a couple of shows in the Midwest and even won best under-construction build at Havoc East Coast.
Jonn, along with Derrick Leaf and Dave Elza tore the truck apart and got the frame ready to be powdercoated. They reconfigured most of the front suspension setup and most of the rear. They got it back from powder and quickly transformed it into a roller. The chassis was carted around along with 6-Pack to a few more shows before they turned up the heat underneath the build. The 4Runner was then blown to pieces, which were stored in boxes, stacked on shelves, and thrown into piles in the garage. Jonn still didn’t have a real plan for the truck yet even though he had owned it for almost two years at this point. He knew he was going to have to go big, so he researched a bit and decided to punch out the Chevy block he had and bolted a supercharger on it. Jonn’s interest in his new project reached an all-time high, and his new goal was getting it to show at SEMA 2010. A real blueprint was finally devised after scheduling a few brainstorming sessions with Derrick Leaf, Eric Ward, Brad and Brian Nordmeyer, Rob Roberston, and Donnie Babb from Gauge magazine. Jonn and Derrick were to finish the fab work and tie up the loose ends, Brad and Brian would handle the color at Indy Body Werks, Eric would design the graphics, Donnie would round up the sponsors and parts, and Rob, well, he was qualified to help in every department. The idea of pirate-themed airbrushed artwork was suggested since Jonn is a fan of the plundering, rum-pounding type. Eric then shortly responded with a rendering that blew everyone’s mind. The detail was amazing, and the content was on point with Jonn’s vision. They decided to roll with it, and the Rum Runner was officially born.
Jonn made a call to his retired hot-rod buddy, Bobby Leak, who works out of his home garage and talked to him about the project and off they went. Bobby had the old block bored, decked, and honed in no time flat, and the engine received all new internals that could stand 650 hp.
Derrick finished up the tailgate skin and rear bumper shavers all special ordered from Grant Kustoms. He also flush-mounted three AVS LED brakelights in the rear of the truck. They moved to the front end and had a couple of problems—first, the truck was rocking 17s, which are decent enough but not exactly ideal for this application. The guys tried to stuff 20s, but whoever tubbed the firewall a long time ago wasn’t so good at math since the wheels weren’t even coming close to fitting. 18s fit but rubbed the hood, so Jonn decided to bubble the fenders and hood to clear just enough breathing room. Jonn then realized the hood was going to need cutting to make way for the supercharger, but they didn’t have the motor in the frame or the supercharger let alone the body on the frame. He took measurements from a few diagrams and crossed his fingers before the cutting began. Nobody knew if the engine would fit until the body was back on the frame after it was painted.
The SEMA crunch was in full swing, and everybody was feeling the pinch. Indy Body Werks and Eric Ward shoehorned a huge amount of work into a small window to get the candy, clear, and graphics sprayed and literally everything else done in time for the November deadline. Jonn designed and constructed the speaker enclosure box, which houses twelve Kicker subs, three sets of components, and four amps. The one-piece box was built to be removable for ease of wiring and painting. Jonn and Rob picked up the body of the truck from Indy Body Werks with 10 days to go before it was to be stuffed in a trailer and shipped to Vegas. The Edelbrock parts showed up and Bobby bolted them on and topped off the Chevy engine with a one-off Mr. Performance bird catcher. Jonn and Rob had the 383 broken in and dyno’d at Freedom Racing Engines in Brownsburg, Indiana. Dropping the powerplant into the freshly painted engine compartment was no easy task. The whole ordeal took three hours and brought two grown men to tears. With all the details quickly coming together and the clock ticking at what seemed like a faster-than-normal pace, the crew knocked off the rest of the items on the list and bolted on the largest set of Konig Lace wheels and Hankook rubber that would fit.
The final push took tons of help from Jonn’s entire contact list. Rob took a week off from work and his family to help reach the SEMA deadline. They all called in favors and pulled a string of late nights to get everything wrapped up. Jonn still isn’t quite sure how the crew did what they did in only 10 days. During the last month or two of the build, Jonn’s father, Mike Farr, was spending more time in the hospital, so Jonn had to take unavoidable time away from the build. After the Rum Runner returned from its well-received debut at SEMA, Mike did see the completed project but never had the opportunity to take a spin in it as he passed away in December. Mike instilled in Jonn an interest in cars when he was only a little guy, and he now owes everything he has in the world to his father.
Dropping the powerplant into the freshly painted engine compartment was no easy task. The whole ordeal took three hours and brought two grown men to tears.
18x8 Konig Lace (front) / 20x8.5 Konig Lace (rear)
215/35/18 Hankook Ventus V4ES (front) / V4ES 245/35/20 Hankook Ventus (rear)
Suspension (front): Mustang II
Suspension (rear): Wishbone with Ford 9-inch rearend
Control Arms: Toyota lower and tubular upper
Compressor(s): Two Air Lift chrome 480s
Air Accessories: Two Air Lift five-gallon tanks, Air Lift Auto Pilot with Air Lift Gen IV Dominator D2500 ’bags in the front and D2600 in the rear
Frame Mods: Full 2x3 box frame, candy powdercoated frame with righthand-drive steering rack and super notch
Brakes: Powdercoated Wilwood disc brakes on all four corners powered by Corvette master cylinder under dashboard
Misc.: Braided carbon-fiber look
Performed By: Owner, Derrick Leaf, and Dave Elza
Door handles with Auto Loc kit and poppers, cowl, firewall, side-view mirrors, roof rack, front marker lights, taillights
4 inches to the doors
Sheetmetal trans tunnel and driveshaft tube, flush-mounted AVS LED brakelights in rear corners and AVS third brakelight, Grant Kustoms tailgate with no bodyline and rear bumper fillers, one-off front bumper with Infinity QX driving lights and turn signals, huge rear wheeltubs and rear doors tubbed, fenders and hood bubbled to clear 18s, ’59 Chevy dashboard sectioned and flipped to righthand-drive
Stainless steel fuel cell
Owner and Derrick Leaf
Brand & Colors: BASF Foose Hemisfear Lime Pearl base, graphics BASF Black and BASF White
Misc.: Over 400 hours of airbrush work
Performed By: Base, candy, and clear by Indy Body Werks, graphics by Eric Ward
Seats: Chrysler minivan with drink holders
Dash: ’59 Chevy
Gauges: Dakota Digital
Misc.: Lokar shifter, door panels, sunroof, headliner, and plastics covered with leather
Performed By: Owner and Trent’s Trick Upholstery, Rob Robertson
Head Unit: Pioneer
Mids & Highs: Six Sets of Kicker QS 65.2s
Subwoofers: Four Kicker CVT 12s
Amplifiers: Two Kicker IX 500.4 and two Kicker IX 1000.1
Misc.: Two Odyssey batteries and Odyssey billet hold-downs, Auto Loc keyless windows and doors
Performed By: Owner, Jeremy Smith, Derrick Leaf, and Rob Robertson
’69 Chevy 383
Comp Cams hydraulic roller lifter
Edelbrock E Force with Thunder-series 800-cfm carb
Ceramic-coated Hooker headers with about 3 feet of 3-inch snake pipe
Everything is painted, polished, or chromed
MSD alternator, starter, 6 AL box, boost timing retarder and custom-ground shortie distributor, Mr. Performance Eyeball Shotgun Scoop, Edelbrock Polished Performer RPM (70cc combustion chamber)
Owner, Bobby Leak, and Bob Robertson
Special Thanks From Owner
“To my dad, Mike Farr, all my sponsors, especially Indy Body Werks and Eric Ward, Donnie and the staff at the Gauge store, Derrick Leaf, Rob Robertson, Bob Robertson, Jermey Smith, Bobby Leak, Dutn, Dave, Bud Light, and anybody I forgot. My girl, Lorie, and the other ladies who gave up a lot to make this happen, including my mom and sister who really don’t understand this truck thing.”