1997 Toyota Tacoma - Daily Driven Toy
This Tacoma Loves the Asphalt
At Truckin', we were long-time readers before we were staff members of the World's Leading Truck Publication team.
With that said, we were all amazed at the custom rigs, unbelievable show trucks, and the large sums of money spent on feature trucks. We looked at most of the trucks with awe and sheer amazement, and after gazing at such beauty, we walked outside to our daily drivers and just sighed. Often times, it is hard to relate to the high-caliber trucks that fill these pages. At this summer's Showfest in Greenville, Missouri, we walked past Jamey Tiffany's '97 Tacoma and enjoyed its simplicity, clean appearance, and the fact that Jamey drives it every day. Instantly we thought, our readers can relate to a truck that was built in a driveway and didn't cost $100,000 to build. After that thought, our cameras came out and the photoshoot was underway.
Talking with Jamey led us to a newfound appreciation for guys with the imagination and the determination to see the future of their trucks in concept form. Jamey recruited some of his wrench-savvy friends and embarked on a year journey that would see the Tacoma go from stock to laying frame on 17s. Starting the Tacoma project, the crew at Driveway Werks (Jamey's buddies) tore the suspension down and prepped it for a completely new setup. Up front, Firestone 2500 airbags were installed in custom-made brackets, along with a set of Pro Shocks. To get the Tacoma as low as possible, Jamey flipped the ball joints and reworked the fenderwells. The rear received special attention to drop it on the ground.
A Pete & Jake's triangulated four-link was welded into place, and the Firestone 2600 airbags were installed. Jamey's Tacoma now sat low but did not lay frame. Out came the Sawzall, and the crew cut the Tacoma to the tune of 3-1/2 inches to give the truck a 'bagged and body-dropped appearance. The 15-inch stock wheels were removed and a sweet set of 17-inch Boyd Coddington Original wheels was installed. Measuring 17x7 inches and wrapped in Hancook P215/40R17 tires, the Tacoma swallows the relatively small wheels under its wheelwells.
The Tacoma now had a killer stance but lacked an updated look on the exterior. To remedy this problem, Jamey installed an '02 Tacoma front end to the '97 truck, including a new grille shell, headlights, a new bumper, and a Trenz billet grille. Using his bodywork talent, Jamey hand-fabricated a new rear bumper and installed new '02 Tacoma taillights. Next, the truck was covered in a unique hue that wouldn't be too wild, but would be different than other Toyotas running around. Bruce Swords of Monroe, Georgia, applied the PPG Sunfire Red Pearl paint to the truck, including the bed and the air tank. Now Jamey turned his attention to the interior.
Moving inside, the crew at Driveway Werks again decided to go ultra clean and simple. First up, they took out the original seats, removed the dash, and removed the carpet. The dash was sanded and smoothed, then it was given several coats of matching PPG Sunfire Red Pearl. Jamey opted to use 4Runner seats and reupholstered them in tan and oatmeal tweed. After the new black carpet was installed, a set of billet window handles, which add elegance to the interior, and a Colorado Custom Lazear steering wheel top things off.
Making the everyday drive a little more enjoyable, Jamey added a cold air intake, a Flex-a-lite electric fan, and an LC Engineering after-cat exhaust system. Now the Tacoma looked totally trick, was more comfortable, and still could be driven daily with a little more pep. Clean, simple, and functional is what Jamey wanted before a single wrench was turned, and we say, job well done.