There’s this principle that people attending business school will quote endlessly. The story goes like this: a chief executive may only be able to take a company to a certain level, and sometimes it takes new blood to bring the company to a higher plane. Although this feature has nothing to do with Wall Street, it has everything to do with lying on concrete.
Now, here we have the story of the FloorRunner, a truck previously owned by Negative Camber’s Glen Magrino. The SUV was bodydropped, juiced, and laid out on Racing Hart C5s, but sat in primer for a long time. Eventually, he just decided it was time to move on from the legendary build for reasons that only he knows. But after the CEO of this 4Runner stepped down, the new blood came in and took it to the next level. That new person in charge was Sam Robinson.
Sometimes, these stories take a turn for the worst. The previous owner built a hack job or something like that, and the new guy has to clean up the mess. But the work that Glen poured into the 4Runner was nothing short of spectacular. The front clip was swapped with one from a ’98 Tacoma to help the truck lay out, the hydraulics where phenomenal, and the sheetmetal work was second to none. But Sam wanted to put his own mark on the truck; take the excellent platform that Glen had started, and customize it to his own specs.
Let’s start with the suspension. Those who’ve worked with hydraulics know that they can be finicky. Sometimes they’re amazing and ride like a dream, and other times you’re going through seals faster than Heidi Klum. Even though he was new to the juice scene and had his doubts, he decided to give it a try for a little bit and turned his attention elsewhere. Since the bodywork was started, Sam cleaned things up and got it primed and blocked about a year after cash traded hands.
… and other times you’re going through seals faster than Heidi Klum.
And that’s where things sat come July 2006, and for a few years the 4Runner didn’t see much progress. It wasn’t until 2009 that Sam decided that the juice had to go, and that’s when he swapped out the Pro Hopper kit for the comfort of ’bags and compressors. Then the truck sat for a bit longer, while Sam tried to get the timing right to get it in for paint. In and out of shops it went, and then the ball got rolling again—three years later. First paint, then interior, then the stereo, and next thing you know, the SUV is dragging into Texas Heatwave 2013 with a fresh paintjob—ready to load up on trophies.
Although the build spanned a good period of time, the end product is the result of two builders who shared similar visions for the same 4Runner. It started off going one way, and then the new CEO came in and lifted it of its plateau. At the end of it all, we have one of the cleanest 4Runners to ever grace the pages of Mini Truckin’. Sometimes it takes two to make a thing go right.
1996 Toyota 4Runner
Sam and Nicole Robinson • Round Rock, TX • Negative Camber
Wheels: 19X7.5 Racing Hart C5
Tires: 235/25/19 BFGoodrich
Suspension (front): Slam Specialties SS-6 ’bags
Suspension (rear): ’86 300ZX independent suspension, Slam Specialties SS-6 ’bags
Shocks: ProComp Sport
Compressor(s): Dual Viair 480s
Frame Mods: ’98 Tacoma front clip, Z’d frame 5/8 inches to level front crossmember
Misc.: ’93 Mustang Cobra master cylinder, custom-built driveshaft
Performed By: Scott Roberts and Scott Ritchie
Shaved: Door handles, emblems, antenna, roof rack, rear bumper, mud flap mounds, license plate pocket on the rear hatch
Bodydrop: 3¼ inches
Bolt-ons: 35x40 Street Beat sliding ragtop, ’00 4Runner front bumper, fog lights, custom fabricated rear license plate bracket
Performed By: Bodydrop by Glen Magrino, sliding ragtop by Shawn Harrison, body mods and prep by Chilico Hart and Steve Garcia
Brand & Colors: Spies Hecker Dark Titanium Metallic and Red Rock Crystal Pearl
Misc.: Matte finish billet aluminium dash trim and door panels, airbrushed chrome trim graphic
Performed By: Prime and paint by Frankie Wright, graphics by Noah Kertson, clear coat by Shawn Harrison, bodywork and paint equipment by Rick Robinson
Seats: Stock 4Runner seats covered with RoadWire covers
Dash: Stock dashboard recovered in gray vinyl and double stitched, APC gray gauge faces
Misc.: Custom center console, SPAL door actuators, SPAL power window kit
Performed By: Door actuators by David Robinson and Sam Robinson, custom fabrication by Brent Davison at Sculpt Garage, trim color change by Frankie Wright and Sam Robinson
Head Unit: JVC ADV792
Mids & Highs: Alpine
Subwoofers: 12-inch Kicker L7
Amplifiers: Kicker 600.1 and 600.4
Misc.: Custom enclosure and amp rack
Performed By: Sculpt Garage
Engine: 2.7L Toyota
Intake: Stock intake modified for hood clearance by Gene Larson
Performed By: Sheetmetal trim panels in engine bay by Scott Roberts, painted accessories by Frankie Wright
Special Thanks From Owner
“Thanks to Glen Magrino for building a solid base to work with, Scott Roberts for converting the hydros to air ride, to the major players in this build—thank you! Without you, the ’Runner would still be sitting under a tarp or in primer. Thanks to my wife and family for the support, Sculpt Garage’s Brent Davison for the killer interior design and workmanship, Rick Robinson for lining me up with body men and fabricators, providing a paint sponsor, materials, and a place to prep and paint it. Frankie Wright, you were there to the end, and the main reason it got off high center. You did an awesome job and it shows. Thank you all!”