In order to properly introduce the buildup of this '06 Mitsubishi Raider, one must first understand the passion behind the build. This isn't an ordinary build by some guy who bought a truck and decided, "Ah, what the heck, maybe I'll cut this thing." No, this is going to be a build by me, Ernie Macias, a very avid Mitsubishi enthusiast and a very passionate devotee of having minitruckin' not just as a hobby, but as a way of life. I have owned almost 20 Mitsubishi Mighty Maxes of all sorts, from the early D50 body style to the redesigned '87 body style, and so on and so forth. Many of you might remember my Mighty Max that was on the February '03 cover of Mini Truckin' magazine. As you can see in the photo in this story, I really went all out on that truck. It had more mods than a Playboy playmate.
Many of my friends always ask me why I'm so passionate about these trucks. Like most who are addicted to a certain thing, I really don't know why. But one thing that's certain is that when I heard Mitsubishi was designing a new truck based on the Dakota platform, you better believe I was ready to buy one. I was ready in 2004 when I first heard about it, then again in early 2005 when it was supposed to come out. I was so ready, as a matter of fact, that I had basically preordered mine from the dealer. I was there the minute the truck got unloaded off its trailer and placed in the hands of the dealer. The anticipation of having what was going to be my daily driver was outstanding. I had been so disappointed since 1996 when I found out Mitsubishi wouldn't be bringing out a new truck any longer. But now, I would redeem myself and buy a new one.
At first, I had no intentions of cutting the truck up. You see, I already have a Mitsubishi Mighty Max that I've been working on for roughly two years. But soon, I realized that I'm not a stock truck kind of guy-no ifs, ands, or buts about it. I needed a chariot worthy of an emperor, as somebody once said. I needed to drive in style, and I was going to build this truck one way or another. So, we set the plans and started, in a sense anyway. I didn't actually start cutting right away. First, I contacted Nick Crouch over at Surface Art and asked him to help me design something that would look aggressive on the outside, kind of crazy yet simple. I knew that I would be driving this truck daily so I wanted looks and comfort. Second, I went to Jeff over at Devious Customs and brought him in on the project, knowing Jeff would definitely be up for a challenge. Besides, who doesn't like to cut something new?
This brings me to today. Suddenly, I'm working at Mini Truckin' magazine. Wow, what a better reason to build this truck. I never thought I would be at Mini Truckin' when I decided to cut this thing, but now I only see the light that much clearer. After all, if I'm going to be "King Mitsu" I need to prove it by bringing out something new and innovative. So what does that mean exactly? Well, to me it means I'm going to build something in the style that I personally appreciate the most. I'm going to have the truck stock floored body dropped first off all, because what truck doesn't need to be body dropped? Second, I'm going to shave it up and make a few changes to the body. Once the stance has been properly adjusted. I'm going to fit some Devious wheels onto it. I really dig the designs and think they will add some flair to the already flamboyant body of the Raider. With the outside looking like something from the future, I'm going to do some simple seat wrapping and add some audio. I don't plan on taking away from what the guys over at Mitsubishi did with the interior. I think that for a daily driver it has more than enough of the comforts that I'll need.
I hope you guys enjoy following along as we build this truck. I think it will give you a first look at something different, a look at what it takes to build a cool daily driver with some flair. And guess what, it's not an S-10, so you'll get a taste of some new meat. Maybe once we're done with it a few more guys might switch over to the Three Diamonds, you never know.