Michael Chorba II’s ’99 Dodge Dakota RT
NOT EVERY SHOW TRUCK OWNER STARTS THEIR BUILD FROM THE GROUND UP. Michael Chorba II of Imperial, Missouri, actually purchased his 1999 Dodge Dakota with a large chunk of the work already completed. Let’s be honest for a second: That is actually pretty smart, considering all the time and money he probably saved. But Michael had no intention of leaving it exactly “as-is,” or even just buttoning up a few minor details and calling it show-ready. Having been in the car scene for over 12 years and having many close friends who were also passionate about low trucks, Michael had a lot of motivation to do his truck the right way—and a handful of buddies to lend a hand along the way.
NEVER SATISFIED AND ALWAYS STRIVING FOR PERFECTION, MICHAEL HAS NO SHORTAGE OF IDEAS FOR CHANGES AND ADDITIONS TO HIS DAKOTA, BUT FOR NOW IS HAVING A BLAST SPENDING TIME WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY ENJOYING THE TRUCK.
Having a solid chassis build already in front of him, Michael was very happy to not have to fight against many of the hacked up frames/ platforms many project buyers end up purchasing. Having a 4-inch body drop ready to go, this reverse four-linked Dakota still needed some love and updating to be exactly the truck he wanted it to be. Starting with a full overhaul of the air ride, Michael began by gutting the existing setup and installing a pneumatic 33-valve block set up, which was much more to his liking. Not stopping there, he installed a 5-gallon stainless air tank as well as a pair of Viair 480 compressors to keep those 2,600-pound air bags stable and ready upon command.
It’s hard to consider this truck a mini when it has that big 5.2L V-8 with under 5,000 original miles. (ED: That tells us you need to start driving this thing way more and hitting more shows, Michael.) That being said, it is pretty cool to see such a low-mile original motor out and about. With a engine bay full of painted custom dress up panels, the simple and clean look really sets off this R/T motor, especially after Brandon “Gooch” McCoy laid down some flawless pinstripe accents at Midwest Dragfest this past summer. Being a bright and unique shade of Synergy green, many owners would try to run an understated wheel finish, like black or even chrome. Luckily for us, that is not the case here. The staggered 20-inch set of Raceline Explosion 5s looks magnificent on the polished with gold inlays, tucking deep into those perfectly rolled fenders.
Like almost any show truck, the Dakota holds a lot of special parts and sneaky bits that deserve mentioning. To name just a few: Cadillac Deville tail lights, full S10 wheel hub swap all around and a seat swap from a Dodge Intrepid RT—but this was not just a direct swap over seat. The former Intrepid seat was wrapped in black leather, and the rest of the interior was made over along with it. The interior also features a full suede headliner, which was a major focus of Michael’s revamp. Having done almost the entire interior himself, he spent hours picking and choosing the details of what would be placed inside the Dakota.
After installing a 1 of 1 dash with billet inserts to set off the rear view mirror and steering wheel, Michael enlisted the help of his good friend Jason Barbaglia to install the powerful Memphis stereo setup. Barbaglia, a fellow truck builder, was absolutely the right guy for the job. He made good use of the space in the Dodge’s cub cab.
LIKE ALMOST ANY SHOW TRUCK, THE DAKOTA HOLDS A LOT OF SPECIAL PARTS AND SNEAKY BITS THAT DESERVE MENTIONING.
Never satisfied and always striving for perfection, Michael has no shortage of ideas for changes and additions to his Dakota. For now, he’s having a blast spending time with friends and family enjoying the truck. With plans to attend many shows across the Midwest this year, be sure to check out this green machine if you have the opportunity to do so.
Michael wants to give a quick thank you to first and foremost his beautiful wife Tasha for all her support, also to Jason Barbaglia, Pat Burns at Proline Window Tinting, TJ Vonder Haar at Kambered Creations, Chuck at Raceline Wheels, Dalo Motoring, Tom Reed at Dodge_ Cowboy Custom Interiors, Brandon McCoy at Gooch Freehand Pinstriping, Chad Mergelkamp, and John Riehn Sr. and JR. at John’s Auto Body.
Michael Chorba II
Hometown: Imperial, MO
Truck Name: SIKOTA
Club: Relaxed Atmosphere
- Custom frame work including a C-notch and front Z-bar
- Ford 9-inch rear end w/ Limited Slip 3.21 gear ratio
- S10 Power Stop front and rear brakes
- Stainless 15-gallon gas tank
- Pneumatic 33-valve block
- 5-gallon stainless air tank
- Two 480 Viair air compressors
- 4-inch body drop
- S10 hub swaps
- 2,600-pound air bags
- KYB shocks
- Reverse four-link setup
- KYB shocks
- 2,600-pound air bags
- Factory Option 5.2L V-8 245hp w/ 335 ft-lbs torque
- 180-amp alternator
- Custom fender tubs from Kambered Kreations
- Custom fan shroud cover
- Exhaust: Stainless finish w/ custom cat-back set up
- Custom engine dress up panels
- Factory automatic
- 4-inch carbon fiber driveshaft
- Raceline Explosion 5
- Polished w/ gold inlay
- 20×9 inch w/ 245-35-20 Toyo tires
- 20×10 inch w/ 275-30-20 Toyo tires
- Shaved front bumper
- Shaved rear bumper
- Custom roll pan
- Custom fiberglass hood
- Rolled fenders
- Complete custom boxed bed w/ cali-combo tail gate
- Cadillac Deville tail lights
- Spyder headlights
- Gas filler in bed
- Completely shaved w/ shaved wiper cowl
- Custom synergy green
- Pinstriping under hood by Brandon at Gooch Customs
- Shop: Dean Barns/Matt Baker
- Custom black leather Dodge Intrepid RT seats
- Black carpet kit
- Suede headliner
- Dakota Digital guages
- Custom dash w/ billet inserts
- Forvever Sharp steering wheel
- Billet rear view mirror
- Dyno Mat’d interior
- Shop: Chad Mergelkamp
- Pioneer head unit
- Two Memphis 500-watt amps
- Two Memphis 6-inch door speakers w/ 2-inch tweeters
- Two 10-inch Memphis Subwoofers
- Custom sub platform / cover
- Optima Red Top Battery in bed
- Shop: Jason Barbagalia