1997 Toyota Tacoma - Grounded Taco

Truly Driveway-Built

Lance Martz
Dec 1, 2004
Photographers: Lance Martz
Photo 2/9   |   0412 01z 1997 Toyota Tacoma Front Side View
When the ultimate goal of a mini-truck buildup is a wicked daily driver, tons of effort is put forth to make the vehicle as safe and reliable as possible. Jamey Tiffany's '97 Tacoma is no exception. Jamey set out from day one to build a daily driver that's simple and clean, but also something that would make people look twice whether it was parked in his driveway or at the showgrounds of Showfest. Jamey is in the collision-repair field, so he knew he had what it takes to tackle the build with the help of a few close friends. As soon as he picked up his Tacoma victim, they all went to work.
The Driveway Werks crew got down to business right away and began to tear into the suspension. Up front, the guys flipped the ball joints and hand-fabbed a set of 'bag brackets to mount up a pair of 2,500-pound Firestone airbags. To smooth out the ride on Jamey's daily driver, a pair of Monroe shocks was also relocated. The boys got busy building the rear suspension using a painted Pete & Jake's four-link, a custom-bent tubular bridge, and 2,600-pound Firestone airbags. After the entire system was plumbed and wired and the truck was laid out, Jamey took a few steps back. All he could say was, "Damn!" Nevertheless, he already knew he wanted to go lower with it, so back into the driveway the truck went.
Photo 3/9   |   0412 02z 1997 Toyota Tacoma Rear Side View
Next on the big to-do list was to tackle the body drop. After the Driveway posse settled on a 3-1/4-inch body drop, Jamey decided that for his daily driven comfort he wanted to keep the A/C intact. After many hours of cutting, welding, grinding, clearancing, and relocating, the body sat flush to the floor, tucking the 17-inch Boyd Coddington wheels deep into the fenderwells. Jamey's project was moving along nicely, but he still had a few more tricks up his sleeve.
Photo 4/9   |   0412 03z 1997 Toyota Tacoma Truck Bed View
To transform the overall look of the Taco', Jamey swapped out his old front end and taillights and updated to the new '02 body-style front end and tails. He also sectioned and built a custom rear bumper to add some more originality to the exterior. After Jamey finished off the bodywork, Bruce Swords sprayed the Tacoma PPG Sunfire Red Pearl. To match the exterior, the bed and custom front fenderwells were sprayed with a Speedliner color-matched bedliner. With the exterior gleaming from nose to tail, Jamey decided that he and his buddies had the talent to bust out the interior as well.
Photo 5/9   |   0412 04z 1997 Toyota Tacoma Door Interior View
Moving inside, every plastic piece that could be unbolted was taken out, smoothed, and painted to match. A pair of 4Runner bucket seats was upholstered in oatmeal and tan tweed, then installed. The door panels received the same smoothed and painted treatment, along with matching tweed upholstery. The floor was covered in black carpet, a Colorado Custom steering wheel was bolted up, and the rest of the interior's loose ends were handled. To finish off the package, the engine received a few performance goodies such as an intake, electric fan, and LC Engineering exhaust. After everything was put back together, the entire Taco' was gone over with a fine-tooth comb and detailed and double-checked for daily driven status.
Photo 6/9   |   0412 05z 1997 Toyota Tacoma Interior View
Jamey's truck is definite proof that a badass feature vehicle really can be your daily driven ride. We've actually seen him at quite a few shows, and his Taco' has clocked many miles since it was shot. Simple, clean, and daily driven is the way to go for this Georgia ride. Check out the Lowdown for the scoop on all the details.
The Lowdown
17x7-inch Boyd Coddington wheels with a 5-1/2-inch backspace wrapped in 215/40R17 rubber
Suspension modifications by Driveway Werks
Flipped ball joints, hand-fabbed 'bag brackets, 2,500-pound Firestone airbags, chrome Pro shocks
Painted Pete & Jake's four-link, 2,600-pound Firestone 'bags, Monroe shocks, custom-bent tubular bridge
Body Modifications
Paint Body mods by Driveway Werks, body-dropped 3-1/4 inches, custom fenderwells built up front, '02 Tacoma front end swap, Trenz chrome grille insert, '02 taillights, custom-built rear bumper, hand-fabbed license-tag bracket, Speedliner color-matched bedliner, painted PPG Sunfire Red Pearl by Bruce Swords
Interior by Driveway Werks, smoothed and painted dash, Toyota 4Runner buckets wrapped with oatmeal and tan tweed, black carpet, custom gauge pod molded to dash, door panels smoothed and painted and upholstered with matching tweed, Alpine CD player, Colorado Custom Lazear steering wheel
Engine mods by Driveway Werks, cold-air intake Flex-a-lite electric fan, LC Engineering 2-1/4-inch exhaust
Truck is driven to and from work (60 miles round trip) everyday
Special Thanks
Jamey's wife Alicia, Chris Dyer,Chris Wheeler,Israel Swearingen



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