The rebuild of Debbie Balusek's Tacoma happened by chance. A neighbor had backed into it during the Weeniestock show in Hockley, Texas, back in '09, so it eventually had to be repaired and repainted, but it just gave her and her fiancé at the time, Coy, an opportunity to change some things up and gun for a SEMA spot.
A few things changed since that fateful crash. Debbie’s truck was built up better than ever before, a spot in MT’s SEMA booth was secured, but more importantly, she married Coy—a guy she credits for opening her eyes to the custom truck world. “I’ve been into minitrucks for about six-and-half years now thanks to him. I wanted to become more involved and play a role in the scene, so he helped build a truck built around my taste,” Debbie says.
In a brief nine-month rebuild period, this Toyota has seen its fair share of helping hands from friends wanting only the best for it. Some even gave more than they had bargained for. “If you were at Border Bash ’10, you might have seen one of our friends who was wheelchair-ridden for a while as a result from working on the truck.” Taking that kind of blow for the team usually isn’t what most sign up for, but it’s definitely something worthy of a lifetime of respect.
As the build progressed, Debbie’s personality and taste were starting to become more and more apparent. Take the purple accents that have been peppered all over the truck for example. They are calculated touches that definitely tie the truck’s elegant yet understated style together. There’s the one-off Raceline steering wheel that complements the wheels perfectly. In fact, it’s the first one to leave their facility, which adds a dash of subtle exclusivity to the final product. And there is no denying the sense of humor that can be found in the tiniest of details—just check out the speedometer. Nobody wants to get caught slippin’ doing “OMG” in a 30-mile zone.
And to think all of this might never have happened if it wasn’t for that accident. With some help from her now husband and pals, Debbie took things in stride. Making the best of a tough situation is never easy, but it’s apparent that the Baluseks held their own in the aftermath of destruction.
Owner: Debbie Balusek
Ride: 2000 Toyota Tacoma
Hometown: Round Rock, TX
Wheels: 20-inch Raceline Imperial
Suspension (front): Firestone 'bags
Suspension (rear): Wishbone five-link, Firestone 'bags
Compressor(s): Two OB2 chrome Air-Zenith
Air/hydro accessories: GC valves, AVS switch box
Misc.: Brake booster and clutch relocated
Performed By: Kustom Edge and Dotlow Rides
Shaved: Door handles, fully shaved and molded bed, back wall of cab shaved, custom inner fenders
Body Mods: Relocated gas filler, sheetmetal bed
Performed By: RF Customs and Dotlow Rides
Brand & Colors: House of Kolor White Diamond and Pavo Purple
Performed By: Bryan at RF Customs
Seats: Jamey Jordan Handmade Seat Co. seats
Dash:Smoothed and painted
Gauges: Painted, and check out the 100-mph and 110-mph hash marks
Performed By: RF Customs, Raceline Wheels
Head Unit: Alpine
Mids & Highs: Audiopipe 6.5-inch components and Audiopipe 1-inch tweeters
Subwoofers: Three Audiopipe 10-inch TXX-AP10
Amplifiers: Audiopipe AQX-1200.1D and one AQX-360.4
Misc.: Kinetik HC1400 and two HC600 batteries, custom center console
Performed By: Dotlow Rides
Intake: K&N air intake
Rearend: '89 Toyota rearend swap
Detail Work: Trailer fenders, painted accents
Performed By: Dave Pristine Image
Special Thanks From Owner
"Thanks to my husband Coy, Dan from Dotlow Rides, Milo, Bryan from RF Custom, Benny, Mike S., Potter, Dave from Pristine Image, Chuck at Raceline Wheels for making the first Raceline billet steering wheel, everyone at Kinetik Batteries, Andrew Adams, Jeff at Smart Wax, Rhino Liner, Air-Zenith, GC Valves, K&N Filters, Quite Ride, AVS, Avery Floormats, and the Aftermath crew…itdontstop."