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Custom 2002 Toyota Tacoma - Asphalt Sandwich

A Taco Built To Eat Pavement

Mike Alexander
Feb 27, 2007
Photographers: John O'Neill
Photo 2/14   |   2002 Toyota Tacoma front Drivers Side View
Very few people will ever have the passion that Tony possesses to drag their trucks, day in and day out, rain or shine, snow or sleet, cop or no cop. He pushes the limits of a true enthusiast and what it means to drag a clean truck down the road at 80 mph. In fact, he loves this sport so much that he dedicates all of his time to it, producing the Sonic Drag-Thru videos and cruises with his Rail It Productions (RIP) crew. Ever since he was old enough to vote, he has been into the custom scene.
Tony bought an '02 Toyota Tacoma with big plans to make it his drag machine, unaware that it would be his inspiration to bring back the Central Florida cruise nights and spark his interest into pursuing mini-trucks full time. Since he wasn't new to the game, he already had a few buddies that he trusted to help him out on his trucks, so they got right down to business.
Tony knew he wanted to run a big wheel, but he also knew that they would be body-dropping the truck with hopes of keeping the A/C. However, this huge task didn't discourage Tony from choosing a set of 19-inch rollers. After his new rims were bolted up and the Tacoma was laid out, Tony and Shaune Lewis decided on a 4-inch body drop that would put the rocker flat to the pavement. The pair worked painstakingly hour after hour, tubbing the firewall, relocating the clutch, and redoing the A/C to work with the body drop, until Tony's Tacoma rested on the ground with enough clearance to drag with the 19s while pumping ice-cold A/C into the cab.
The truck was finished just in time for Tony to make it to BloodDrag, where he was one of the few daring enough to throw sparks right in front of the ticketing officers.
The 411

Owner: Tony Rispoli

Club: Relaxed Atmosphere

Year/Make/Model: '02 Toyota Tacoma
Engine/Drivetrain: 2.4L, battery relocated to bed of truck, and a custom air intake
Wheels/Tires: 19x7-1/2-inch KMC Guidos with a 40mm offset and Falken 225/35R19 tires
Suspension: DJM upper control arms with flipped ball joints / Parker electric air valves / Firestone airbags / 1/2-inch air line / 7-gallon air tank / CanDo Specialties reverse four-link / two chrome Viair 450C compressors
Fabricator: Shaune Lewis and the owner
Body Mods: Four-inch body drop / shaved hood squirters / shaved tailgate handle / antenna / third brake light and gas door / relocated gas door to inner fenderwell / molded roll pan / 4-inch flared bed sides / tubbed firewall / relocated clutch / Webasto power sliding sunroof / chrome grille shell / chrome front bumper / and Trenz billet inserts
Bodywork: Corey Hamburg and Anthony Rhodes
Custom Paint: Two-tone Phantom Gray Metallic and Silver Mist, split by flames pinstriped in Candy Apple Red
Painter: Anthony Rhodes at RAW
Interior: Paint-matched dash / '94 Acura Integra bucket seats wrapped with gray tweed and dark-gray vinyl / one-piece molded gauge pod by RAW / Auto Meter air gauges / Budnik Famosa steering wheel
Upholsterer: Owner's mom
Audio System: Kenwood MP-522 MP3 CD player
Special Thanks: Shaune Lewis, Troy Banks, Anthony Rhodes, Steve Nielsen, Derek Tyler, Corey Hamburg, Jason Robertson, Matt Klausing, Goober, Scraper, Aaron, Mom for the late nights to finish the upholstery in time, to all the who have helped make the Sonics Drag-Thru possible especially the Rail It Production (RIP) crew



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