Starting with the body of one of the last real minitrucks, Daniel Blase of Fresno, California wanted a clean and cool truck to show, cruise, and enjoy. Most trucks now are in the mid-size to full-size range but for over 30 years Toyota has been selling these small pickups so there are plenty of them around to get your hands on. How long they will last is anyone's guess at this point. One thing is for sure, this 1997 Toyota Tacoma has been well taken care of and should last a lot longer than the ones that are being turned into work trucks and getting beaten on a daily basis.
Daniel took his truck down to fellow Negative Camber Truck Club member Steve Butts to get his suspension modified and get the Tacoma laying real low. The ball joints in the front were flipped as well as the addition of Slam Specialties air bags. Out back, Steve added a step notch to the frame, a chromed 4-link, along with another set of air bags getting their air delivery from 1/2-inch Parker Valves, a chrome 5-gallon air tank, 1/2-inch air line, and two chrome ViAir Compressors. The road is dampened by chrome Bilstein shocks in the front and chrome Pete and Jake's shocks in the rear. The truck also received a 3.5-inch body drop. The factory wheels were tossed aside in favor of a set of 18-inch Panther Juice 5 wheels and Nankang 215/35R18 Tires.
The next step in this Toyota's evolution were to rid the body of any unnecessary items. The crew at Finishline Pro Paint and Graphics smoothed the body out after adding 4x4 fenders before removing the hood squirters, marker lights, door handles, tailgate handle, body lines below the rear window, and gas door. A smooth roll pan with drop tag took the place of the stock bumper in the rear. The taillights were replaced by a set from a 2003 Tacoma. A PreRunner grille with billet inserts dresses up the front end nicely. Finishline then sprayed the truck with PPG '96 Porsche Riviera Blue and airbrushed the truck with Nautical stars on the dash, steering wheel, doorjambs, and engine bay. The bed was sprayed with a fresh coat of black Rhino lining by Pick-Em Up Truck Store in Fresno, California.
The factory Tacoma bucket seats were cut apart and the headrests were removed. Lupe Colin at Fresno Customs Upholstery covered the seats in suede with marine vinyl and the door panels are a mix of suede and color matched paint. Lo-tek pillar pods were painted and added with Easy Street gauges. A Billet Accessories Direct GunSlinger steering wheel adds a little polish to the interior of Danny's ride. His tunes are provided by a Pioneer head unit, Polk Audio components, and two 8-inch Kicker subwoofers installed by Mike at Motion & Sound in Fresno, California. The custom center console was also painted and installed by Mike after a fresh black carpet kit was laid down.
Daniel would like to thank his sister Amie Blase, Brendon at Pick-Em Up Truck Store, Mike at Motion & Sound, Dino & Terry at Finishline Pro Paint and Graphics, along with all the members of his club, Negative Camber.