Go ahead and dive into that pile of old Mini Truckin’ issues that I know you’ve got stored in your closet and pull out a copy from 2002 or so, specifically the one with Dennis Slamka’s then-legendary Spicy Taco -- 1999 Toyota Tacoma . It was a byproduct of the era, with its Focal SD5s and tribal flame paintjob, but not so new that it ran the 2001 Toyota Tacoma front clip, which seems to be standard fare on anything with a Toyota badge nowadays. Yes, that’s what things were like in the early aught, and whether or not that’s good or bad has yet to be determined.

It’s been twelve years since the Spicy Taco appeared in this mag, and by the time Jeremy Forsyth of Rushville, Indiana got his hands on it, the truck wasn’t so hot; the transfer of titles between multiple owners meant that no one had taken care of the truck the way it deserved. As if all that wasn’t bad enough, as Jeremy dove deeper into the project the more problems he found. The rear ’bags weren’t road worthy, mainly because they were welded to the lower brackets. The other bags had water fittings from a home supply store, and the bed? Well that thing was totaled -- there was no way to save it. So when the 1999 Toyota Tacoma came into his possession, he decided that it was time to make the mini his, and make things right.

He came in like a wrecking ball (minus the tongue) …

But, as always, there was a hitch. In Jeremy’s case, it was a lack of competent shops that would do the job he was paying them to do. The first stop on the great Spicy Taco rebuild started at a local spot that took the truck apart … then stopped. Progress stalled and the result was a lot of parts in multiple places, but no finished product. It got so bad that he even considered abandoning ship and doing something different. Enter Josh Jewell.

Josh is the man at Sparky’s Hardcore Customs in Central City, Kentucky. He came in like a wrecking ball (minus the tongue) and took over this build with a fierceness. Everything that was broken was fixed, then it was all cleaned up and made pretty. A new bed was brought in, complete with tear drop tubs and a notch cover, and by the time he was done the truck was ready to cruise for miles, problem free.

And that’s exactly what Jeremy has done with the Toyota Tacoma, now renamed El Diamante Negro (which means The Black Diamond in Spanish, just in case you hadn’t gathered that already). Truth be told, this wasn’t an easy project. Were he to do it all over again, Jeremy would just pick up a stock truck and have at it, the whole thing would be much easier. But today, the end result was worth all of that blood, sweat and tears.

Special Thanks From Owner

“God, because without him, none of this is possible. My wife and son for letting me get away with this, Josh Jewell for making the truck safe and reliable, Zane Stokes for a badass paintjob, Jarrod Firkins at Wrapped Up Interiors, Scott Agnew, Michael “Little Man” Burns, Mike Carlock, Jeff Graham, Trish, and Jim Kelly at Keystone, Micah and Steve at Hudlow Axle, Doug “Dougy Fresh” Burkmire at Custom Club Logos, Jerry Needham, Dustin Naylor at Gauge Magazine, Grayson Rigsby, Bobby Martins at Sadistic Iron Werks for answering hundreds of questions, David Himes, all of my Severed Ties family, and my best friend Rob Hohlt for making me do stuff I don’t want to do. Oh, and Matt Baker!”


The Lowdown
Vehicle: 1999 Toyota Tacoma
Owner/Hometown: Jeremy Forsyth / Rushville, IN • Severed Ties
Rolling Attire
Wheels: 20-inch Boyd Infinity 5
Tires: 225/35ZR20
Chassis Modifications
Suspension (front): 2500 Air Lift Dominator ’bags, Sadistic Iron Werks control arms
Suspension (rear): F9000 Firestone ’bags
Shocks: Nissan Hardbody
Compressor(s): Viair 380
Air/hydro Accessories: (2) 3-gallon tanks, (3) position valves, all located under the bed
Frame Mods: C-notch
Misc.: Factory axle narrowed two inches
Performed By: Josh Jewell at Sparky’s Hardcore Customs
Body Modifications
Shaved: Gas door, sheetmetal bed, teardrop fender tubs, notch cover
Bodydrop: 2½-inch
Bolt-ons: Sliding ragtop
Performed By: Josh Jewell at Sparky’s Hardcore Customs
Paint
Brand & Colors: Spies Hecker Black, cleared twice
Performed By: Zane Stokes at Tin Shop Paint
Interior
Seats: 60/40 bench
Dash: Smoothed and painted
Misc.: Custom kick panels and rear cab wall
Performed By: Jarrod Firkins at Wrapped Up Interiors, and Scott Agnew
Stereo
Head Unit: Alpine
Mids & Highs: Kicker
Performed By: Owner
Engine/Performance
Engine: 2.4L Toyota
Intake: Custom
Transmission: Five-speed manual
Detail Work: Misc. painted pieces
Performed By: Owner