To complete our real-world minitruck special, we've expanded our readers' rides Ridin' Around section to give more people the necessary motivation to keep on cruisin' low with their heads held high. Take a look at all of these badass minis that rule the streets in a neighborhood near you. From daily driven to show stoppers, these minitrucks are as real as it gets!
Editor's Note: Getting your truck into Ridin' Around is a snap-of the camera, that is. All it takes is a couple of good-quality photos of your ride that are in focus and well lit. Due to the volume of mail we receive, we regret that we cannot return photographs. Please shoot and send photos of your truck only (no people, pets, Polaroids, or printouts) to: Mini Truckin' magazine, Ridin' Around, 2400 E. Katella Ave., Ste. 700, Anaheim, CA 92806. It is important that you include a detailed description of the modifications you have made to your truck, including any interesting stories behind it. This can include information about the buildup or any special history on the truck.
Congratulations to this month's Banner Contest Winners, Joe Bachman and Jeff Beckley!!!
Chris Stone's '03 Toyota Tacoma is well on its way to stardom. For starters, the entire exterior has been color-matched white. Chris installed all-clear signals and corner lights. The super-slammed stance came courtesy of a stock-floor body-drop and a complete air suspension, which was performed by Rocky Fox and Chris. The bed was body-dropped 7 inches and a tan Street Beat ragtop opens up for some fresh air. Moving inside, comforts come from a set of '94 4Runner buckets and two MTX 10-inch subs. The dash was also color-matched and a Mooneyes shift knob pulls it all together. Tucking the 17-inch Boyd Coddingtons was no easy feat, Chris had to work hard to get his truck rolling in style. Keep a look out for more on this clean, laid-out Taco.
Built by Me
Erik Kocianski is the proud owner of this '97 Ford Ranger that he's been fixing up in his garage. All of the mods were performed by Erik, including the body kit that was molded in, shaved door handles, a flush-mounted bed cover, a shaved tailgate handle and body line. To add to the smooth exterior, Erik bolted up a billet grille and some clear corners. Inside of the interior, Erik updated his dash by swapping in a Ford Explorer dash that he needed for the wiring and a console. Next, a pair of Mustang seats were added comfort for when the V-8 pins him there. The motor swap came from a Mercury Mountaineer 5.0, with tons of custom-built parts. As soon as possible, Erik plans on installing 'bags and getting his truck ready for the show scene. Erik wishes to add that his wife will be really happy when it's done, so she might actually get to see him every now and then!
All In The Family
Joe Bachman has been reading MT for years, and has given the minitruckin' treatment to his first Gen S-10 ever since he was 15. This '92 S-10 has been through a lot, including two accidents. But with it's recent 'bag job, Joe says it's looking better than ever. Joe is from a small town, called Klamath Falls, Oregon, and his brother brought him into this lifestyle when they started building a '94 Geo Tracker that was 'bagged and body-dropped. Joe's brother formed a club in the Northwest, called Show 'N Low, which he also became a part of. So far, Joe has installed a phantom grille, a cowl hood, and he has shaved his door handles, wiper cowl, antenna, roll pan, and mirrors. The custom-flame graphics separating the black rocker panels from the white of the rest of the truck really helps Joe's truck to stand out in a crowd. Bryan Marshall of the Chop and Drop Shop in Medford, Oregon, 'bagged Joe's ride all the way around and set it up on a set of 18-inch Devino Road Concept wheels wrapped in 225/40R18 tires. Joe's future plans include a body-drop, a slight chop, custom paint, interior, LS1, and being featured in Mini Truckin'.
Like Father, Like Sons
This family build-up shows us just what sticking together can accomplish! It's extensive mods list includes a huge body-drop, four-link and 'bagged suspension, everything shaved, bright candy paint, a full-time steel convertible top, tweed interior, a 289hp motor with a 6-1/2-inch cowl hood, 10-inch subwoofers with 4,000 watts, and it's all rolling on 18-inch wheels. Big George, with the help from his friends and family, has built a one-of-a-kind ride that adds a little bit of new-skool flavor to an old-skool ride. We can't wait to see what they come up with next.
Eric McClure, with the help of his friends and family, has done quite a bit to his '97 Ford Ranger that remains under construction with much more in store. So far, Eric has added a set of 17-inch Eagle Alloy Wheels, a billet grille, a painted lower valance, a rear roll pan, a custom cowl hood, and sport mirrors. It's been lowered 4 inches and despite the I-beams Eric will be 'bagging it ASAP! They just recently installed suicide doors and the stock 60/40 Ranger buckets have been ditched for Explorer bucket seats. Eric bought his truck in June of '05 and it was completely stock and is his very first vehicle. He loves to work on it and customize it in any way he can. Everything has been installed and/or fabricated by family, friends, and Eric. Eric would like to thank everyone for their support and help of the build so far. Eric also adds that "MT magazine has helped inspire me to personalize my truck!"
Clean as It Gets
Mike Mouland from Ontario, Canada, originally bought an '89 Blazer four years ago, and just did a standard air setup and traditional body-drop to it. Well, unfortunately, the truck had nothing but problems with the motor. Also, Mike couldn't stand not having the head and leg room so he sold it, then he started this '84 Jimmy project three years ago. First thing on the list was to yank the body, then build a new frame from the firewall back for a stock-floor body-drop. Next, Mike moved on to the motor, which was a 2.8L. Again, he had nothing but problems with it, so he decided to build up a 350 hp. After it was all put together, Mike fabbed up some brackets and modded the crossmember to let the motor sit lower for a little more hood clearance. For the suspension, a handmade four-link, and 'bags all around gave Mike the adjustability to drive anywhere.
Moving on to the body, Mike got a new radiator support, front fenders, rear quarters, a tailgate and a hood, and then proceeded to shave everything he could: bodylines, handles, gas lid, side mirrors, wiper cowl, roof rack, bumpers, and shaved the tails to put in all-clear Caddys. The interior is still in the works and it will include a Caviler dash with an Auto Meter cluster. Mike wants to thank all of his friends and family whom have helped with the build.
Brett McClelland from McLoud, Oklahoma, is only 19 years old and he mobs around in this clean '96 S-10 daily. Brett's cruiser was 'bagged front and back over some chrome wheels. The exterior has been shaved; including the doors, tailgate, and antenna. A 2-inch cowl hood and a full phantom grille give the front a mean appearance. Painted PPG Silver on top, and PPG Pearl Orange, this ride attracts a lot of attention. The inside was matched with silver leather and orange tweed on the seats. The door panels were painted orange and also have silver leather, and the headliner is silver leather with orange tweed. The dash was also painted to match like the outside of the truck. For good tunes, Brett rumbles the city with a set of Memphis 12-inch subs. Brett plans to cruise and keep the custom mods rolling. We know we'll see more of Brett's truck in the future.
Holdin' It Down
Jeff Beckley is holdin' it down-big time-with his fully custom '88 Mazda B2000 body-dropped 2 inches to lay flat on the ground over the 18x8-inch chrome wheels. Jeff's ride was 'bagged all the way around with 12 Parker 1/2-inch valves and a 50lb Co2. For the rear suspension, Jeff chose a three-link wishbone setup and notched the frame to lay out. Keeping with the so-fresh so-clean look, the exterior had been smoothed by ditching the door handles, gas door, bed seams, and the tailgate. By installing and modifying a roll-pan combo and the stock rockers to meet, it gave the rear a custom-smooth appearance. The interior was done in all bright-white vinyl, accented by gray tweed, and a painted dash and interior pieces finished everything off. To let the air in and the sound of the Eclipse head unit connected to Boston pro 6-1/2-inch components and three JL Audio 10s out a Britax ragtop was recovered in bright-white marine vinyl and cut into the roof. Jeff's Mazda is super clean and rolls the boulevard daily!
Tyler from P-Town (Paris, Tennessee) is the proud owner of this Chevy S-10. Tyler has been a busy 16 year old. Rolling down the street, Tyler enjoys the sounds of his Vaylor DVD player, bumpin' with three 12-inch Memphis Mojo subwoofers and 1,500-watt JL amps to push the power. What's on the inside is just as important as what's on the outside. For Tyler's interior, he has a fiberglass dash color-matched to the exterior paint with a two-tone custom blue on top, white on the bottom with blue flake. With all of the hard work Tyler has put into his ride, he is definitely going to be a force to reckon with on the mean streets of P-Town. Tyler's future plans include air bags, a Generation two bumper, new interior, and let's not forget the engine needs love, too.
Dragging the Earth
Bear Manley has had his '89 S-10 for about three years, and just recently has started "dragging the earth." To get started, Bear decided to straight-pipe his S-10 with a 4-1/2-inch tip coming right off the Flowmaster. Most importantly, he decided to 'bag the truck, and shave the tailgate, door handles, emblems, moldings, and added '89 Caddy lights just above the custom roll pan. Bear is riding low with some JL 12s, a 1,400-watt amp pushing the bumps, and watching his in-dash DVD player. The paint on the hood and cowl was done by the neighborhood kids, and the inside paint finishes his mods, at least for now. Bear assures us, like any good mini, there's much more planned for the future.
Chad Powers from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, owns this '88 Chevy S-10. Chad has had the truck since he was 16, and has done what most thought was the impossible: he has taken his '88 Chevy from the laughing stock of the town and has transformed it into the lowest truck around. For any minitrucker, we all know that is the ultimate goal. Chad and his buddies got it down to an impressive 2 inches from the ground. Being a hardcore minitrucker, we can't just stop at the suspension, the body mods are important, as well. Chad has shaved door handles and tailgate, a molded license-plate box, wiper cowl, emblems, hand-built grille, Altezza taillights, and clear headlights and corner lenses. The interior consists of white Corinthian leather with a custom black-leather console with white flames, fiberglass door panels painted candy with flying skulls, and Acura bucket seats. Chad has something to prove. So keep up the hard work.
Brad Ridley from Barrie, Canada, bought his '99 GMC Sonoma two years ago, and has been hooked ever since. Brad's S-10 was lowered 2 inches in the front, 4 inches in the back, and has a custom-made grille and bumper, that both go along with that a custom-blue paintjob. It's on top-secret status that only Brad knew about until now. The body mods consist of a shaved tailgate, antenna, and blue-tinted taillights to match the custom paint. While Brad is cruisin' during the warm months in Canada, he is bumpin' some 12-inch Rockford Fosgate HX2 subwoofers powered by a 900-watt amp. Brad would like to thank Nick Robson for all of his help on the Sonoma. Brad knows he has a great start on a custom-show truck and is looking forward to the future.