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Most warriors go into battle using some form of war paint. Blake Grogan goes into battle on the show field with his ’86 Mazda B2000 covered in war paint. Blake, whose love for Mazdas began when he was 16 years old, knew he wanted a custom Mazda mini-truck, built from the ground up.

’86 Mazda B2000He eventually purchased what he now calls “War Paint” from another truck enthusiast named Jeff Giles. Jeff built this incredible looking Mazda with tons of detail, so Blake knew he was in good company when it came time to swap names on the title.

’86 Mazda B2000 6-lug, wheelJeff’s initial work on the Mazda began with the getting the frame all the way to the ground. With the help of Jeff Greene, they Z-notched the front and installed mounts for 2,500-pound Airlift Dominator bags. In the rear, they used a triangulated four-link setup with 2,600-pound Airlift Dominators and Viair compressors, which supply air to the 5-gallon tank. With Mazda originally being 6-lug, wheel options are few and far between. So, Jeff decided to do a 5-lug conversion before the front hubs were machined, and the rear axles were re-drilled. Now that it’s a more common lug pattern, Jeff was able to order a set of 18×6 Hot Rods by Boyd tri-fan wheels.

’86 Mazda with Cadillac taillightsNow the frame was finished, and it was time for the bodywork to begin. Starting with a stock floor body drop, Jeff also added OEM 4×4 sheetmetal panels all the way around for a wider stance and a 4-inch raised bed floor. Not stopping there, Jeff added Mazda Miata door handles and Cadillac taillights. He also shaved the B-pillars for a sleeker look. Before the truck was off to paint, Jeff added a Toyota 4Runner front bumper, which was extended to meet the fenders, as well as a new phantom grille. Jeff performed the body work and had Gary Timms at Kings Kustomizing in Easley, South Carolina, laid down the color. He sprayed the entire body in Grabber Blue Lesonal paint with a pearl add-in before loading it down with multiple coats of clearcoat. Finally, Shon Reece coated the bed in Raptor liner.

’86 Mazda tailgateJeff spent extra time and attention to the engine bag of this clean mini. He dropped the engine 1 1/2 inches for additional clearance and re-routed all the brake lines for a simpler, cleaner look. He also added a set of wheel tubs and color matched the engine bay to the exterior. They completely rebuilt the engine, shaved the intake and TIG welded all vacuum line ports shut. A Vega carburetor and air cleaner were added, along with a Pacesetter header for a little performance.

’86 Mazda NAMED WAR PRINTAfter taking the truck everywhere across the southeast picking up many awards, Jeff decided to go ahead and sell his truck. They came to an agreement and Blake began his war paint plans. Paint by Blake, decided it was time to make it his by adding his touch. Blake scuffed up the paint and began laying tape all over the truck. Blake spent countless hours painting and taping through all the door jams. “War Paint” emerged after 20 different colors of PPG and eight coats of PPG Clear.

After all the paint was dry, clear sanded and buffed to a mirror shine, it was time to send the truck to Jan Van Kooten of Stitch by Stitch for one of the sickest interiors around. Jan hand made the bucket seats and covered them in gray leather with the Relaxed Atmosphere logo embossed in the top of the seats. The door handles were machined out of aluminum. Jan handmade door panels to match the seats. Look up! Look twice and then look again. Yes, you are not seeing things. Jan installed an AR-15 in the headliner.

Blake, with the help of Jeff Giles and the craftsmanship of Jan Van Kooten, have created a truck ready to go into battle on any show field. Jeff would like to give thanks to his family and his grandfather Bobby Hill, who bought Jeff his first Mazda mini years ago.



Blake Grogan

Truck: ’86 Mazda B2000
Name: War Paint
Location: Cookeville, Tennessee
Club: Relaxed Atmosphere


  • Mazda inline-four engine
  • Rebuilt to factory condition
  • Vega carburetor and air cleaner
  • Pacesetter headers
  • Engine dropped 1 ½ inches


  • Z-notch in the front with 2,500-pound Airlift Dominator bags
  • Rear four-link with 2,600-pound Airlift Dominator bags
  • Viair compressors
  • 5-gallon tank
  • Converted to 5-lug


  • 18 x 6 Hot Rods by Boyd tri fan wheels
  • 205/40/18 Tires


  • Stock floor body drop
  • 4×4 sheetmetal all the way around
  • 4-inch raised bed floor
  • Mazda Miata door handles
  • Cadillac taillights
  • Shaved B-pillars
  • Toyota 4Runner bumper extended to meet the fenders
  • Phantom grille
  • Raptor bedliner
  • PPG including 20 different colors
  • Eight coats of PPG Clear


  • Handmade bucket seats covered in gray leather
  • Relaxed Atmosphere logo embossed in seats
  • Machined aluminum door handles
  • Handmade door panels to match the seats
  • AR-15 molded into in the headliner (Look Up!)