In November 2001, David Sambataro decided it was time to add a mini-truck to his GM collection. He found this '86 Chevy S-10 selling for $7,200. After talking to the owner, he thought it'd be worth drving out of state to check out the prospective truck. Upon full inspection, David found that the hood and cowl were smashed from the hood having flown up on the road. He also discovered that the truck leaked gas, had bad front tires, and was missing the stereo. David reluctantly offered $5,000 and after agreeing to $5,200, he drove the truck home. David quickly went to work fixing up his new acquisition by cutting out the damaged part of the hood. He then lined the hood and made a plexi plate, revealing the potent LT1 355ci that had made this purchase so attractive in the first place. After fixing the gas leak and putting on a new set of tires, the truck was ready to roll. The frame is powdercoated from front to rear, and with the painted and detailed LT1 motor, $5,900 never sounded so good. The truck's body is fiberglass, with the exception of the bed and fenders. It becomes a convertible by simply removing the Targa Top. The truck sports an eight-point rollcage and Porsche 911 Turbo leather seats. Although a lot has been done, David says a few more changes are still needed before he'll have the confidence to show his ride.
Anthony Bucci is a very lucky guy. Not only is he the proud owner of this '90 Mazda B2200, but he also has a remarkable girlfriend who took the time to send us pictures and information on his truck as a surprise for him to read this month. Surprise! Anthony and his girl Chelsea are from Langley, British Columbia, Canada. Since Chelsea is so supportive of Anthony's addiction as a mini-trucker, he has been able to pump out mod after mod on his ride without the general grief associated with some girlfriends. The engine has been beefed up with the addition of a Pacesetter header and Flame Thrower ignition. All of the pesky emissions controls have been removed, and the engine has been completely painted and cleaned up with the addition of billet accessories. The truck receives its roadster image, thanks to a chopped-off roof and capped ends. The windshield was also laid back a couple of inches roadster-style. Everything has been shaved, including the handles, corner turn signals, and taillights. The rear end was welded shut with the addition of a California combo tailgate skin. Anthony's Mazda sports 4x4 sheetmetal and a Toyota front bumper conversion. The smooth look was carried into the interior with a complete sheetmetal dash and a tweed-wrapped bench seat . The 'bag setup receives its speed from 1/2-inch valves ran through a 3/4-inch hydro hose, which is driven by a York engine driven compressor. Anthony's truck is definitely on its way to stardom; we hope to see it soon at a show in the United States.
The owner of this phat Frontier, John Belgarde, is currently attending Wyotech in Laramie, Wyoming, to make his dream of customizing vehicles a reality. His current class schedule includes coursework in collision/refinishing, chassis fabrication, and trim and upholstery. John uses his '98 Frontier both as a project vehicle and a learning tool. He has fabricated and built all the mounts, brackets, and links necessary to lay the Nissan flat on the pavement. He also fabricated shock brackets for a pair of Doetsch Tech shocks up front to smooth out the ride. John used Firestone 'bags paired with MIC valves for the desired adjustability. After bolting up some electric chrome Pathfinder mirrors, a Trenz billet grille insert, and assorted billet goodies, John's Frontier was ready to tuck some fat rollers. He picked a wheel and tire combo consisting of Budnik 18x7-inch Scissor 6 wheels wrapped in 225/40R18 Falken Zeik tires. John also took care of the tunes himself by installing a Kenwood CD player and a Rockford Fosgate amplifier to power the Audiobahn subwoofers. John has learned a lot along the way and we're sure to see this Frontier in the future.
Bumpin' Some Serious Tunes
It seems that more and more custom rides and readers are popping up worldwide. Canada has caught the mini-truck bug that we commonly refer to here at MT. Mike Mastrangelo is from St. Catherines, Ontario, and although he's the only mini-trucker in his group, we're sure he plans on spreading the disease to everyone around him. Mike rolls a '95 Toyota Tacoma that he's been working on for a little less than two years. In the last couple of years, Mike has managed to color match everything on his Taco with Evergreen Pearl, including the calipers, the drums, the door handles, the mirrors, the grille, the bumper, and the roll pan. For a wheel and tire upgrade, Mike went with 16-inch chrome Antera CEC wheels with Kumho Ecsta tires. The truck received a minor lowered stance, thanks to Belltech 2-inch drop springs up front and 3-inch blocks in the rear. But of all the modifications, Mike is most proud of the tunes, and rightly so. A Phoenix Gold Titanium 800.1 mono block powers the monster Phoenix Gold Titanium D Elite 1200-watt RMS 12-inch subwoofer. A Pioneer DEHP940 head unit, along with a Phoenix Gold digital voltmeter display, keep Mike updated on his system's power. A Phoenix Gold Power Core energy storage tank, two Optima Red Top batteries, along with 250 amps of alternator power, give the system plenty of juice to really max out those low notes. MB Quart mids and highs powered by another Phoenix Gold amp nicely wrap up the sound. Mike attends plenty of competitions and has taken a few trophies home to prove that he has what it takes to pound the competition.