Owner: Jeffrey Raymond King
Ride: 2000 Toyota Tacoma
Hometown: Wilkes-Barre, PA
Minitruckin’ just isn’t an ordinary hobby or even an addiction for Jeff King. For him, this lifestyle is a sickness—one that he has an incurable case of. Not that he wanted to shake this bug that first overtook his system in ’97—he was merely looking for a means of feeding it, and feeding it, and feeding it.
Having built an ’87 Mazda B2000 convertible-top before, Jeff figured it was time to put his big boy pants on and take another project to a whole other dimension. He finally got his hands on the ’00 Toyota Tacoma photographed on these pages, but it was far from looking anything like this back then. It took five long years of agony and overcoming the symptoms attached to the flu that’s been ailing Jeff. “I had the truck bodydropped and 4x4 front fenders added in ’04, and I spent a stupid amount of money having the fenders painted and blended into the stock maroon color only to have the truck torn apart and redone months later,” says Jeff of a few rash decisions that were a direct cause of his mini mania.
Another modification that Jeff feels he was compelled to make by unguided forces was installing the ragtop. “I never thought I would do a ragtop, but one made it onto my truck. It doesn’t leak, but it’s not the friendliest mod that’s for sure. There are too many ‘what ifs’ involved.” It seems like Jeff must have felt obligated to take on more modifications that he would’ve normally avoided under different circumstances, but his actions were altered due to his infected condition.
As time went on, Jeff’s Toyota started to shape into what he had envisioned for it. He used his time more wisely, spent his money more cautiously, and positive progress was noticeably building upon itself as a result. “If I could offer advice to anyone, I’d say to take your time and think twice before making any decisions. Also, take your truck only to people who you can trust with your life.”
This is a bold statement coming from someone who happens to be a self-diagnosed sufferer of VD (vehicular disease). For those with similar symptoms to Jeff’s, heed his warnings and learn from some of the mistakes he has made. Building a mini doesn’t have to be done through a fog of sickness, but if you find yourself there, just know that others have survived and celebrated full recovery.