Custom 1988 Mazda B2200 Mini Truck - Gravel Grater

Mighty Mazda Mini Truck

Mark Halvorsen
May 1, 2006
Photographers: Harley Camilleri
This 1988 Mazda B2200 got hit by the ugly stick, but you wouldn't know it. A tree smashed the front third of the pickup and, no doubt, the owner's heart. But Shane Simmons slapped down $200 to buy the truck and (with another $5,000 and a lot of help) rebuilt the Mazda to way beyond its original condition.
It's 'bagged with 2500 Firestones up front and 2600s in the rear, body-dropped two inches, C-notched, and suspended by de-arched leaf springs--this truck lays low enough to bulge a driveway in China. It tucks 16-inch Eagle wheels backspaced 5 inches and wrapped in 205/40R16 Nittos. The rear has a custom two-link suspension. The compressor for the airbags is engine-driven, and the valves are 3/8-inch SMCs. A 16-gallon RCI fuel cell replaces the factory tank.
Stepping back from the underbody minutia reveals a body that has been more than nipped and tucked. The door handles, B-pillars, cowl, antenna, emblems, drip rails, gas door, and taillights were all shaved. The license plate is angled into the tailgate in a cocky offhand salute, and it hides the gas filler. The grille shell was cut to accommodate 2003 Ford Ranger headlights. That front comes from a Toyota 4Runner, while a full-skin combo with flush Custom Classic 42-inch LEDs clean up and light up the rear. The roof was chopped 1-1/2 inches. Suicide doors open wide. Mercedes Red from model year 2005 looks great on this truck, while billet mirrors round off the bling.
Inside lies a 'glass house underscored by tan. The dash and center console are fiberglassed nicely and painted to match the exterior of the truck, while Malibu Sand tweed covers the door panels, headliner, and Mazda bucket seats (sans headrests). Billet door handles and window cranks dress up the doors, and a 14-inch billet steering wheel dominates the passenger...uh, driver's side of this particular truck. Yeah, it's right-hand drive. Clarion electronics, Memphis 6-1/2-inch components in the doors, and two 10-inch subs behind the seats deal the decibels.
That thunda from downunda comes from a 2.2L 4-cylinder engine modded with a Weber carburetor, MSD coils, and Pacesetter headers. The tranny spins a Mazda 4x4 slip shaft. An Optima battery upgrade was moved to the back of the bus.
Chop Chop Customs in Columbus, Mississippi, did the work on the chassis mods, body changes, mobile electronics install, and engine upgrades. Burchfield's Body Shop in Columbus laid the paints. Shane offers special thanks to Brian and Tiffany Bobitt, Allicyn Coleman, Jay Burchfield, Gerald Nolan, and Audio Advantage.



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