Custom 1998 Dodge Dakota - Dragged By Law

Without A Doubt

Lance Martz
Oct 1, 2009
Photographers: Mike Alexander
Photo 2/11   |   1998 Dodge Dakota passenger Side View
When most people start building a custom truck, they usually start with a model year that there happens to be a ton of parts for, making the buildup that much easier. This is why there are so many customized S-10s. This is no slam against Chevy owners - it's just the truth. When Brandon Law wanted to build his first custom truck, though, he decided to go after a '98 Dodge Dakota. Keep in mind that there is very little available in the custom automotive aftermarket for these trucks, save performance goodies and a few bumper and hood items that can be bought and installed.
For two years, Brandon worked with a number of people who all helped him achieve his goal of having a Dakota he could totally be proud of. Since this was his first attempt at a custom truck, he relied heavily on what he'd seen that he liked at shows and on those who he trusted to make the most of his midsize hauler. One of the first things done to turn the Dodge into the picture he had in his mind was plenty of suspension work. Kirk Simmons in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, installed a triangulated Pete & Jake's four-link suspension in the rear that can be adjusted in ride height with Firestone air springs. In the front, another pair of Firestone bladders was added to make the whole truck's ride height adjustable at will.
Photo 3/11   |   1998 Dodge Dakota custom Seats
The truck then went to the body shop, where it was smoothed and painted by Jim Seats and Carlton Hunter in Lebanon, Tennessee. Everything on the exterior that had bothered Brandon was shaved smooth and blocked until there was no sign that anything other that smooth sheetmetal had ever been there in the first place. When the body was completely blocked to ensure that it was straight and perfect, it was sprayed using House of Kolor's Kandy Organic Green paint. With a fresh new look, Brandon couldn't wait to get the truck out of the body shop and onto its next destination for interior work, which would allow the truck to return to the showfields and see how it ranked against others in the South.
Brandon entrusted Big Body Customs in Lebanon to rework the interior of his Dodge. Using a pair of Eclipse bucket seats, and plenty of tweed and leather, this mission was accomplished. Additionally, a killer center console was built that includes the air pressure gauge for the pneumatic air-ride system. The dash and center console were then painted using a combination of colors that keep it from being completely monochromatic.
Photo 4/11   |   1998 Dodge Dakota rear Drivers Side View
With everything freshly completed, Brandon headed off to the Relaxed Atmosphere All Star Event, where he showed the truck for the first time ever and we got to lay peeps on it. Since the truck was only freshly done for the event and no one had ever seen it like this before, we had no choice but to get plenty of shots of the truck to slam into the retinas of our readers a few months later.
The Lowdown

Wheels/Tires 20x8.5-inch Boze Tribe wheels with 255/35R20 Kumho radial tires
Suspension 'Bagged using 2600-series Firestone air springs front and rear / rear subframe was made to replace the truck's stock rear frame section from 2x4-inch boxed tubing / Pete & Jake's triangulated four-link rear suspension setup / installation by Kirk Simmons in Mount Juliet, Tennessee
Misc. Mods Reflexxion cowl-induction-style hood / Checkmate tonneau cover / relocated battery to under the bed
Body Mods Shaved door handles / shaved emblems / shaved tailgate handle / shaved tailgate body lines / shaved roof seams / molded roll pan / horizontal-mounted Cadillac taillights / Stillen Motorsports front bumper cover / Stillen Motorsports grille
Photo 5/11   |   1998 Dodge Dakota custom Center Console
Paint House of Kolor Kandy Organic Green by Carlton Hunter in Lebanon, Tennessee
Interior Smoothed and painted dash to match exterior / bone-mist tweed and black leather used to upholster the interior / beige-leather headliner / fiberglass center console with frenched air pressure gauges painted to match dash / Mitsubishi Eclipse bucket seats / interior work by Big Body Customs in Lebanon / JVC head unit / BAD (Billet Accessories Direct) billet steering wheel / billet window cranks
Engine/Performance Custom air intake
Special Thanks Jim Seat / Carlton Hunter / Big Body / Scott / Farva / Keith / all of Severed Ties

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