You may have seen this Toyota before. It was on the cover of our August ’08 issue and was owned by a fella by the name of Kyle Bertsch. Since its first 15 minutes of fame, this truck has been sold and traded, but its new owner was ready to make it his own. And he knew just the guy to help him out.

Josh Liley has been into minitrucks since he first laid eyes on one as a kid while on vacation in Florida. It was something about the shiny paint and low stance that sucked him right in. As he got older, he was able to afford a couple of trucks to mess around with and cut to resemble the image of his dream truck that had been lodged in his head many years before. Being good friends with Kyle, Josh was exposed to the progress being made to his Toyota, and he was noticing it was slowly transforming into the truck that he sees in his sleep. After the truck was featured back in ’08, Kyle decided it was time to sell it, and a buyer was already knocking his door down to buy it. It wasn’t long though until the Toyota’s new owner had a For Sale sign hanging on it. Josh heard this news and quickly seized the opportunity to grab it. He contacted the seller, offered up a ’98 Ranger he had been working on, and walked away from the encounter with the title to his dream truck in his pocket.

Within a year’s time of ownership, Josh took his new truck on the road and showed it like a madman. The trophies, the Best of Show awards, and the congratulations were still rolling in but Josh really wanted to change things up to make the truck his own. The bed was already smashed in a bit and there were some flaws in the paint, so the overhaul was actually just as good for Josh’s peace of mind. During the winter, Josh compiled a list of changes that he wanted to see done, and he had just the shop in mind to assist with the project—Sprengel’s Innovative Kustoms. Funny thing about this is that Kyle Bertsch just so happens to work there. Never in his lifetime did he think that he’d ever have to turn another wrench on his old Toyota after he offed it. Josh figured, who better to rework this truck better than the original builder? Sounds logical enough, right? After Kyle agreed to get onboard with getting involved with his ex-ride again, Josh blessed the rebuild with a fitting title—Project Slap in the Face.

With the gears in motion, the crew set a deadline and planned for the truck’s reintroduction at Showfest ’11. The interior was given to Ross Johns of Sinister Stitch Works, and the exterior paint was refreshed with some vibrant touch-ups and a two-tone design. So much was done to make a great truck noticeably better, definitely something that is not easy to do without drastically changing the character or the original build. Within a three-month period, a past MT cover truck was polished and restored, and its position as a beast in the scene has been secured.

Owner: Josh Liley
Ride: 1993 Toyota Pickup
Hometown: Marble Hill, MO
Club: Severed Ties

The Lowdown

Rolling Attire Wheels: 19x8 Boyd Coddington Rallye 2 custom-painted
Tires: 215/35ZR19 Falken

Chassis Modifications

Suspension (front): 'Bags
Suspension (rear): Chrome-plated four-link with custom tubing
Control Arms: BYC chrome-plated
Shocks: Chrome
Valves: Four 3/8-inch GC 350 Extreme
Compressor(s): Two Viair 380s
Air/hydro Accessories: Two chrome 3-gallon tanks, Dakota Digital air gauges
Frame Mods: C-notch, custom bridge and back-half, custom control-arm crossmember, and tranny crossmember
Brakes: Chrome-plated
Detail Work: Every hole was welded shut, frame smoothed out and painted VW Crystal Silver with a metal Severed Ties emblem welded to bridge
Misc.: Mindless Metalfab compressor brackets, lots of chrome
Performed By: Kyle Bertsch

Body Modifications

Shaved: Everything
Bodydrop: 4 inches, past flat rocker
Body Mods: ’00 Tacoma front clip, ’96 4WD Tacoma bumper and valance and all clear lenses, Grant Kustoms full skin with custom bodyline that wraps around the rear end of the truck, clear trailer lights candied black and frenched into skin
Suicide Doors: Oh yeah
Misc.: Custom fiberglass hood tubbed out for the wheels, BMW M3 clear third brakelight candied black with LEDs frenched into roof, tubbed firewall, 20x35-inch black ragtop with all new canvas, electric pop-up license plate, smoothed diamond bed floor, smoothed front of bed and behind the cab and radiused the four corners
Performed By: Kyle Bertsch