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A Historic Toy Back on the Streets!

After cutting his teeth on a Chevy Luv as a youngster in sunny southern California, Joey Whitby was forever hooked on mini-trucks and the accompanying lifestyle that often goes with them. As long as it was low, it was right up Joey’s alley and worthy of his attention! Over the years, he would take inspiration from different iconic trucks in the scene, both in magazines and in person at truck shows. 

It was at one particular show (Art of Noize, way back in 2000) that Joey first laid eyes on a Tacoma (known as “Relaxed Taco”) that would become a longtime obsession for him. He would eventually start a double cab Tacoma project of his own, but with Covid hitting the world hard in 2020, work on the truck stalled as shops either temporarily closed down or, conversely, filled up their calendars, leaving the truck to sit in Joey’s driveway indefinitely.

With the itch to drive a slammed mini at an all-time high, Joey thought about picking up a truck that was already done in order to tide him over until he could get back on his double cab. It was then that he remembered that Tacoma he had seen 20 years prior. He decided to ask around to see if he could find out what ever happened to it. As it turned out, the owner, Jason “Farmer” Friedman, still had it tucked away in his garage and was willing to sell it to Joey. A deal was struck, and before he knew it he was towing it home. In case you’re not following along, the truck you see on these pages is that very Tacoma!

Beside the body-scraping stance, the first thing you obviously notice is the wild California style paintjob, a look born in the town of Bakersfield. The truck was painted by legendary custom painter Erik Coleman of The Kolor Shoppe, who is sadly no longer with us. Erik was the mind behind such legendary paintjobs as the one on Sean Dell’s “Sideshow” Toyota, and the evolution of his craft certainly shows on Joey’s truck. Because of this, the truck’s paintjob has made it onto more than one “Best Paint” since its completion.

Although the paint had survived in relatively unscathed condition over the decades, it had definitely been driven enough to sustain some nicks and scratches here and there. Another amazing painter, Matt Hutcheson of Hutcheson Designs, came in and repaired the paint as needed, leaving it looking brand new once again.

The rest of the ‘bagged and bodied truck was still in great shape, so after a thorough once-over, it was ready to hit the streets once again. 

The rest of the ‘bagged and bodied truck was still in great shape, so after a thorough once-over, it was ready to hit the streets once again. The opportunity to buy this historic mini has been one that Joey has not taken for granted. The truck is now being shown as often as possible, both in Arizona and beyond, including Slamfest in Florida! The best part is, Joey has just begun to enjoy the Tacoma and plans on traveling even more as show season gets into full swing!


TRUCK SPECS

 Owner

Joseph Whitby

  • Phoenix, AZ
  • 1999 Toyota Tacoma
  • Relaxed Atmosphere

Chassis & Suspension

  • Step notch
  • Slam Specialties RE-6 airbags
  • 4-link rear
  • Accuair VU4 manifold

Engine & Drivetrain

  • 2.4L Toyota 2RZ-FE engine
  • Doug Thorley header
  • Polished and painted engine components
  • 5-speed transmission

Wheels & Tires

  • 18-inch Boyd Coddington Slayer billet wheels
  • 215/35R18 tires

Body & Paint

  • Suicide doors
  • 4×4 Tacoma front fenders
  • Shaved corner lamps
  • Shaved door handles
  • Shaved windshield squirters
  • Shaved gas door
  • Shaved taillights
  • Roll pan with Toyota Supra taillights
  • Frenched antenna
  • Frenched license plate box in molded tailgate
  • Trenz billet grille
  • Streetbeat Customs ragtop
  • Bodywork by Scott’s Coachworks
  • Paint by Erik Coleman/Kolor Shoppe

Interior & Stereo

  • Colorado Custom Fire steering wheel
  • Pioneer double-DIN head unit
  • Custom made center console with JL Audio amps
  • 10-inch Pioneer subwoofers
  • Custom fiberglass door panels
  • Blue tweed and vinyl upholstery

 

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