A Body-Laying Industry All-Star
TO NOT INCLUDE A BODY-DROPPED, SINGLE-CAB TOYOTA INTO OUR MINI-TRUCK MIX WOULD BE A HUGE MISTAKE FOR ANY EDITORIAL CREW. Tricked out Tacomas were some of the first minis to hit the show circuit due to their affordability and simplicity. Their engine could last forever if you treated them right, and setting the frame on the ground came easy to most custom fab shops.
Colt West of Rockingham, North Carolina, has always had a love for these featherweight frame-draggers, so when the time came to build his own, a ’96 Tacoma was his only option. The upgraded chrome front bumper and side-view mirrors from a 2000 Taco along with a fully chrome facelift may fool some on its production year, although all the other body mods Colt had done would confuse most non-enthusiasts anyway.
TRICKED OUT TACOMAS WERE SOME OF THE FIRST MINIS TO HIT THE SHOW CIRCUIT DUE TO THEIR AFFORDABILITY AND SIMPLICITY.
A custom fiberglass hood adds some extra style to the front end, along with shaved door handles, gas door, taillights and third brake lights. A set of taillights from a 1965 Chevy Impala were custom molded into the rear of the truck, which makes the back as unique as the front. Once all the body mods were complete, Colt had the whole truck body coated with PPG paint and Currant Pearl. The addition of some flake to the top coat along with some ghost flames really makes it pop in the sun. All this magic was completed by Jeff Hoopaush at Refined Restorations in Hamlet, North Carolina.
The factory ’96 frame rails were Z-cut up front and notched in the back for it to lay flat on the ground, and the body was traditionally body-dropped so it could plant the pinch molds. Slam Specialties airbags and Monroe shocks give it the adjustability Colt needs, and a custom fuel cell keeps the gas tank out of the way. Some 20-inch ATD Boss wheels wrapped in 225-35-20 tires tuck under the freshly rolled fenders without any issues. T’s Custom Tires and Wheels handles all of Colt’s rollers along with any audio upgrades he requests. For this truck, they installed a new head unit with a tablet for control and a PowerBass amp and speaker combo. Leather and vinyl were cut and sewn together to cover the custom bucket seats along with the one-o center console. A suede headliner gives him some creature comforts and the billet steering wheel finish it off.
Powering this sweet and low Toyota is the factory installed 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine—just enough to get this truck where it needs to go anytime Colt wants to get there. No need to go fast when you look this good getting there right? Upgraded fuel injectors from TRD Performance help feed the fi re and cosmetic upgrades like powdercoated valve covers keep the engine bay clean and simple.
Being a Toyota parts department manager by day takes away from his available garage time, so like most of us, Colt relies on the help of his friends local business to reach his goals. A special shout out to Pee Dee Customs, Franklin’s Rod Shop and Welch’s Chop Shop. They were important to Colt, so they’re important for us, too. Next time you see this slammed Taco at a national event or local show, check it out and see if you can trace the all tricks.