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  • Custom 1988 Toyota Truck - HiLux Plus Tacoma = Twisted Toy

Custom 1988 Toyota Truck - HiLux Plus Tacoma = Twisted Toy

Busted Knuckles

Calin Head
Oct 1, 2006
Photographers: Galen Armenta
Photo 2/5   |   "Have a plan when starting a build. It's much easier doing stuff once, instead of over and over again, but then again, that might take all the fun out of it." -Frosty
Randy "Frosty" Griffin II from Middlesex, North Carolina, has been in the truck scene for eight years, but it all started when a friend in high school bought an early '80s Toyota with a Truxarossa kit, convertible top, and purple scallops. That was enough to wake the grease monkey inside and get Frosty interested in mini-trucks. When he turned 16 and got his license, there was no time to wait for the '71 R/S Camaro that was initially planned. The parents broke down and gave Mr. Patience their '88 Toyota truck that was originally used to take the trash to the dump. Having a deep desire to show up his buddy, the truck became the platform, and in no time flat he took it to his auto shop class, where it was dropped and a set of rims installed. After a little time, the truck ended up with its first custom theme with 13-inch wires, white walls, red crushed velvet, and a full hydro setup. Needless to say, it was lowrider style. Frosty was happy with his ride, but in his own words, "I got smart, sold the wheels and juice setup, bought some 17s, started shaving it, and never looked back."
Photo 3/5   |   The same kind of out-of-the-box thinking was used for the gas door. He could have used billet, but that would be too common for this project. The door was cut out of sheetmetal, then attached to a Honda Civic hinge.
Fast forward to today and you can see the truck has moved away from the lowrider style and moved into true mini-truck status. On the outside, the sheetmetal has been heavily altered to produce this cross-year custom. The front clip was lifted from an '04 Tacoma, but not without a few mods to make it fit. The Taco hood was suicided with '95 Honda Civic trunk hinges, then stretched 7 inches to cover the cowl, and the corners radiused to match the cab. Then, 3/4 inch of the old '88 fenders were grafted to the back edge by the doors to transition the body lines and A-pillars. Just about anything that could be shaved was, including the cab vents and the body lines in the tailgate. By no means is that where the list of body mods stops. Frosty and Nathaniel Tharrington of Chicken House Customs spent a lot of time manipulating this truck. A Grant Customs rear skin was used to smooth out the back of the truck and a few hundred saw blades were used before the 3-inch body drop was complete. The doors were suicided, using the stock hinges, and a sliding rag opens up the roof on those nice days. Also, a custom star-shaped gas door was cut into the bed. Right now, the truck is in white primer with HOK Tangelo flames by Ben Batts, while Frosty figures out how he wants the final paintjob.
Photo 4/5   |   You can make a switch box out of just about anything like Frosty did here. Cigars, cigarettes, switches...
The suspension got as much attention as the body in the way of a three-link rear setup with 2,600-pound Firestone 'bags mounted on the link bars, step-notch, and a custom tube bridge. The front got a set of 2,500-pound 'bags and 2-inch Chassis Tech spindles hooked to the stock arms. The rest of the air system consists of 1/2-inch SMC valves, 1/2-inch DOT line, a 7-gallon tank, and as not to drag a hole in it, the gas tank was raised on custom mounts. The truck rolls a set of 18-inch Alba Battles, skinned with Nankang 215/35R18 low-pro rubber.
Photo 5/5   |   Is this a window into Frosty's soul? Nope, but as low as this truck is it's the best way to peep out the orange and gray tweed interior.
Inside the cab is a set of Honda Civic bucket seats covered in a gray and orange tweed combo by Automotive Interiors in Rocky Mountain, North Carolina. The floor was smoothed out with 1/4-inch foam and covered in the same gray tweed, and the doors were capped with custom sheetmetal panels. The dash was smoothed and painted a clean white by Schlitz in Goldsboro, North Carolina. In-car entertainment is provided by a Directed Audio CD/DVD head unit, Pioneer speakers, and a 7-inch Sony screen molded into the dash. The truck is still being worked on, and Frosty wants to give a shout-out to all who helped him get it where it is now. He would like to thank his mom and dad for the truck, Nathaniel Tharrington for bringing all of his ideas into reality, his son Tyler, the Ol' Lady, and all of his Twisted Fantasies homies.


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