My phone went off one day while I was with the family—everyone was home, so I knew it couldn't be of much importance. This email included a link to Craigslist, and as the page loaded, I couldn't believe what I saw … Wrapped With Envy was for sale in Texas. Anyone who has ever been remotely associated with minis or lowriders must recognize this '85 Nissan 720. It seemed like everyone's second cousin and his neighbor had a poster of this truck in his garage back in 1997!
I had recently been in touch with Derrick Jhagroo, owner of the truck, and encouraged him to bust it out and start showing it again. He had mentioned updating it a bit and making some much needed repairs from its world travels over the years. Needless to say, I was surprised to see it for sale after its fourteen-year departure from the show scene. I had the pleasure of seeing it in person while it was on the east coast touring with Lowrider magazine. If only I had ten grand hiding out in the couch cushions.
This world famous Nissan was featured on the cover of this very mag back in September 1991 (Volume 5, Number 5), which brings us full circle to this month's MT Originals entry. Derrick Jhagroo's 24 Karat Cruiser was layered in a multi-flake maroon colored paint with graphics and murals. It also featured tons of gold details including 15-inch gold Daytons, hydraulic cylinders, and enough plated trim to make any roadside "we buy gold" shops all tingly inside. Looking underhood and onto the chassis unveiled even more gold stuff! Inside the cab and under the spinning shell revealed what appeared to be miles of plush maroon and pink velour, mirrors, and more gold items such as the hydraulic pumps, hoses, and a steering wheel. Body mods were subtle and abundant on this innovative truck but one of the most memorable modifications was the diagonally split tailgate that swung out and pivoted, the scissor lift bed, spinning shell, molded ground effects, convertible top, and the side-tilt hood.
I recently replied to one of many posts on Facebook that linked to the Craigslist ad, and I actually got called out by someone saying "Mini Truckin' would never have featured a lowrider-style mini on spokes and juice." I just chuckled and moved along figuring someone else with more knowledge on the subject than this anonymous Facebooker would back me up. Even though this is the second version of the truck, it looks quite different than its current third phase, which is the candy flaked-out gold Wrapped With Envy version most of us remember.
Call it lowrider-style, call it awesome, call it garish, but one thing is certain—it was detailed to the max in this variation as well as when it became Wrapped With Envy. I, for one, am proud to say Mini Truckin's cover was once home to this landmark truck. Where would our "scene" be if lowrider-style trucks weren't featured here? Would we hold our current builds to such a high level of quality control? Like it or not, these guys set a huge example on the hobby we all cherish and love.
Juice may be just for breakfast, and spokes for bikes, much like skulls should stay in anatomy class, and airbags for vehicle safety, but remember—to each his own. If I ever hit the lotto, I would buy this bad boy, restore and refresh it, and call it "REwrapped With Envy" Until next time, however, build your ride to be original not acceptable!