Jim Chism approached me while he was looking to find a truck he could build. He knew he wanted to build a Tacoma, but he wanted something that was started but wasn't too far along so he could finish it out on his own. I was aware of this built Taco that was just sitting not too far from where we lived. I had reached out to the truck's owner Justin Ward and spoke with him asking if he would be willing to part with it. He was kicking around the idea of selling it due to the fact of his family and career had taken priority over cruising to shows. The price was more then Jim's budget would allow for, but he saw photos of the truck, and I assured him of the quality of the work done so far. He soon realized he couldn't build one for close to the selling price, so he pulled the trigger on the purchase. When this truck was completed, it only made it out to two shows, and then was tucked away never to see the light of day for some time.

When it came to building the truck, Justin had a plan. He took it to a shop where he figured it would be built well, and in a reasonable amount of time. This proved to be wrong. After a few years of back and forth phone calls, missed deadlines, and $10k worth of billing, Justin decided it was time to go rescue the truck. So in the middle of the night, his group of friends/club members, which he barely knew, loaded up a truck and trailer and went on a rescue mission to gather all the parts that were once a complete truck. They brought the Taco back to Maryland, and it was all hands on deck to create the piece of art you see here. Some of the work that was completed was ok but according to Justin, a lot of it had to reworked and finished to be acceptable in his eyes.

It took a total of six years and the cost of a new BMW 3 Series to build, but it was obviously worth it. When it came to the body, Justin turned to his friends Matt and Jordan who meticulously went from end to end ensuring that every inch was straight. One of the biggest challenges was getting everything on the front end molded, and making the hood work with the hinges that Justin designed. When it came to the bed, everything was shaved and smoothed out with a gas door relocated inside the bed.

Though Justin was sad to see it go, he relieved that someone was going to take this truck to another level and give it the attention it deserved. Jim does have some plans of his own but when you got something so nice and clean it's hard to dig into it and change things up. All we know is we're happy to see it out at shows, and look forward to seeing what Jim has planned for the future.

The Lowdown

2001 Toyota Tacoma
Justin D Ward • Fulton, MD • Cali Style

Rolling Attire

Wheels: 18x7 Neeper Haaz
Tires: Yokohama Parada Spec 2

Chassis Modifications

Suspension (front): 2500 Firestone 'bags
Suspension (rear): 2600 Firestone 'bags
Control Arms: Factory
Shocks: NAPA specials
Compressor(s): Dual Viair 380C
Frame Mods: Front Z'd to lay frame flat on the ground
Brakes: Factory
Performed By: Originally by Jody Hall, reworked by owner, Matt Renyolds, and Jordan Kramer

Body Modifications

Shaved: Everything shaved and radiused
Bodydrop: 3 inches
Body Mods: Entire front end molded to the cab (fenders, front part of hood, cowl), bed smoothed and radiused
Bolt-ons: Air intake
Performed By: Matt Reynolds and Jordan Kramer

Paint

Brand & Colors: Volkswagen/Audi Papaya Orange
Performed By: Matt Reynolds and Jordan Kramer

Interior

Seats: Reworked factory bench seat
Dash: Smoothed and painted
Performed By: Matt Reynolds and Jordan Kramer

Stereo

Head Unit: CD Player
Mids & Highs: 5¼-inch
Subwoofers: Kicker Solo-Baric L7 8-inch
Amplifiers: Rockford Fosgate
Misc.: Custom painted amp
Performed By: Owner

Special Thanks From Owner

"Thanks to Jordan, Matt, Cliff, Steve, Chris H, and everyone else for keeping me on track. I learned that complete strangers have been better friends to me that most people in my life."