If you're a mini-trucker, then there's no doubt that you've heard of Grant Kustoms. Open since 1993, Bob Grant's shop is one of the few that have made it through more than one generation of mini-truckers. What's made his shop so successful over the years is his loyalty and enthusiasm for the mini-truck crowd.
Bob's first major dip into the mini-truck scene consisted of an '82 Toyota Hi-Lux, dubbed Twisted Metal. This was the vehicle that we feel broke him out of his shell. Sporting a Blazer roof, body drop, updated front end, and fullsize Chevy taillights, this 'Yota has a soul of its own. The people in attendance for West Coast Nationals '00 were in for a real treat when this ground-breaking custom was unveiled. Twisted Metal can be mimicked but never duplicated.
Here's Bob and the crew about...
Here's Bob and the crew about to get down and dirty just to amuse us.
Grant Kustoms is a veritable...
Grant Kustoms is a veritable automotive graveyard. Thankfully, it wasn't Bob who laid these vehicles to rest
Tailgate skin/roll pan combos...
Tailgate skin/roll pan combos are one of the biggest sellers that Grant offers. As such, there about a hundred of these handbuilt patterns lying around. You can also use them as swords, or so Bob's kids tell us.
To give you an idea of how deep in the scene Bob is, try the fact that his first body drop was performed in 1993 on a Ford Courier, his first full frame build was in 1995, and he made his first roll pan in 1992. Little did Bob know that these were the steps that would change his life and allow him to start a successful business. Bob Grant's sheetmetal products have graced every truck magazine available. However, it was not until the last five years or so that Bob Grant's name really came into notoriety.
This is part of the stockpile...
This is part of the stockpile of patterns available at Grant Kustoms.
When one thinks of curving...
When one thinks of curving metal, the first tool in mind is usually the English wheel. For those of you who haven't seen one, here you go. How Bob ever toted that down to Octoberfest '03 to do a demo is beyond us.
We were lucky enough to find...
We were lucky enough to find a mini in the process of being worked on when we got there. This old-body Toyota just received a custom core support to suspend its new Tacoma front end.
The funny thing about Grant and his ability to will sheetmetal into various shapes is how he got started, which will surprise most of you. On one of Bob's earlier vehicles, he was building a set of ground effects . . . out of fiberglass! That's right - our favorite sheetmetal maniac was spreading the resin before he was trying to hone his skills on the English wheel. His complaint about fiberglass, other than it being a bronchitis promoter, was how extremely messy it was.
This side of Bob's shop is...
This side of Bob's shop is the culmination of all of Bob's hard work over the years. It houses an absurd amount of patterns, a collage of customs that have been featured with his product, and a really big business card.
There is some poor bastard...
There is some poor bastard out there missing a piece of his truck. Hey, Grant needs patterns - what's more important?
Grant Kustoms, or Grant Fab as some call it, is a full-service shop as well as a manufacturing facility. Grant can perform the wildest mods imaginable or make you the smallest filler pieces. What makes the shop so unique is the fact that all of the parts are handmade. This ensures each piece that goes out the door is thoroughly inspected for fit and finish for the Grant seal of approval. Grant has the widest assortment of roll pans, taillight fillers, corner fillers, tailgate skins, and combos available anywhere. Part of the reason nobody can duplicate the amount of roll pans the shop has is because of the tools Grant uses. Half of the manufacturing tools in the shop were made from scratch by Bob himself, to suit the automotive needs of Grant Kustoms.
We went over how high the...
We went over how high the cowl-induction hood would have to come up to cover that damn motor.
Bob couldn't find a big enough...
Bob couldn't find a big enough hammer, so he made his own using the cap off a high-pressure air tank.
When Bob's workers are bad,...
When Bob's workers are bad, they have to answer to the sheetmetal god, whose home is inside this really big sheetmetal break.
A lot of you out there might have Grant products on your vehicle without knowing it. Long working under the limelight of major companies, Grant Kustoms would sell its products private-labeled, exclusively through major distributors. Companies such as Alter Images and FBI, among others, used this service. To give you an accurate depiction of the clout that the Grant name commands, companies such as Cando, Devious Customs, Ekstensive Metalworks, Hill's Hot Rods, IF Customs, Killer Rides, Sic Motorsports, and Suicidedoors.com have all used Grant products.
Name: Robert Anthony Grant
Born: February 19, 1969
Marital Status: Sorry, ladies he's taken - at least during the week.
Location: Oroville, CA (suburb of Chico, CA)
First Mini: '82 Toyota Hi-Lux; C-notched, flipped ball joints, air shocks in back, rolling 1 inch off the ground with no worries back in '88
Current Mini:'04 Toyota Tacoma
Number Of Minis Owned: more than 30
Number Of Vehicles Owned: more than 70
First production tailgate skin/roll pan combos
First production custom sheetmetal bumpers
Largest selection of custom sheetmetal truck products in the world Only handmade production taillight fillers
First Body Drop: 1993, '73 Ford Courier
First One-Off Hood: 1992, '37 Chevy
First Chop Top: 1994, '37 Chevy
First One-Off Bed: 1992, '37 Chevy
First One-Off Frame: 1995, '82 Nissan 720 (cantilever hydraulics with coilovers and cut to the doors)
First 'Bagged Truck: '84 Toyota X-cab that would later be known as Skinned Alive; the second body drop accomplished by Bob; acquired with the trade of a Datsun 510
First Roll Pan: 1992, '89 Toyota
First Tailgate skin combo: 1993, '88 Toyota