2001 Toyota Tacoma S-Runner - Super Taco'
Dumped, Blown, And Way Cool
Steve Hodges, proud member of Acrophobia, from Byram, Mississippi, picked up this '01 Toyota Tacoma S-Runner right off the lot. Since he had caught the mini-truck bug while building a '95 Chevy S-10, the Taco' just seemed to be a good transition. He had the truck all of about a week before he started altering it. The first thing to go was the factory lettering - that was, until the wheels and tires showed up. Steve swapped the factory 16-inchers for 19-inch MOMO M1's shod with 35-series Hankook Vintus Sport tires. Even though S-Runners are lower than your typical Taco', it wasn't low enough, so Steve and Jim Huston flipped the lower ball joints, hogged out the frame, and installed a set of Firestone 'bags. The back received a C-notch and a custom-built Z-link setup supported by another set of Firestones.
Now the truck was low, but that obviously wasn't enough for Steve, so he opened the hood and fitted the 3.4L with one of TRD's superchargers, an air intake, and a Borla exhaust. To add some flash, the valve covers, pulleys, power steering reservoir, and alternator bracket were all sent to the chrome shop. The final touche under the hood was the paintwork. The supercharger, battery, fan shroud, timing belt cover, and fuse box were all meticulously sanded smooth before they were sprayed body color.
The factory grille shell was fitted with a billet insert to clean up the '50 Merc-looking stuff Toyota put in there. S-Runners come with small fender flares, but they're just a bolt-on unit; Steve decided to mold them in place and really smooth out the lines of the Super Taco'. That smooth look took hold of Steve and he proceeded to mold the front three-piece bumper into one flowing cap that retains the factory lines but has a custom feel. The seams of the tailgate were welded up, and LEDs take the place of the factory taillights. The door handles and gas door received the same smooth treatment before the truck was coated in Sikkens Red. Once the base was dry, Steve's buddy Robbie laid out all the hot licks from hood to gate. The dual set of flames was sprayed with a heavy rainbow flake and a contrasting gold. Once the flames were striped in blue, the whole truck was buried in clear and sanded smooth.
The interior had to be just as smooth for Steve to be happy, so, as you can imagine, there were a few hours spent sanding and molding the dash door panels and all the plastic pieces in the truck. Steve and buddy Jim ditched the factory console and made a custom one to house the Air Ride gauges and 'bag controls. Once all the painted stuff was ready, it was installed with the newly covered seats and headliner. Little Joes Upholstery recovered them in a cappuccino-and-bone leather combo. Steve accented the inside with a hand-whittled set of diamond-plate floor mats, Billet Specialties Hustler steering wheel, and Trenz pedals.
Rick Arnold was employed to wire up the audio system in the Taco'. Steve picked up an Alpine head unit; Phoenix Gold amplifiers; JL Audio subwoofers; and MB quarts, mids, and separates to fill the truck full of tunes. Rick then installed everything in a smooth way: The box got a leather cover and the amps float on a Plexiglas mount also accented with diamond plate (as you can tell, Steve likes the look of diamond plate).
Steve would like to give special thanks to Stacey, Keith, Jim, Scott, Beau, Henry, Kool, Weezy, Robby, Rick, Ultra Performance, and Automotive Color for throwing down some help, because without them, there would be no Super Taco'.