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  • Custom 1985 Nissan 720 Truck - Thirteen Years of Fun

Custom 1985 Nissan 720 Truck - Thirteen Years of Fun

A Treasured Member of the Family

Joe Greeves
Nov 1, 2006
Photographers: Joe Greeves
Photo 5/7   |   OWNER: Adam Oldham RIDE: 1985 Nissan 720LOCATION: Fayetteville, NC
Adam Oldham, a custom painter and air suspension specialist from Fayetteville, North Carolina, got started in trucks because gasoline seems to be a vital part of the family DNA. His father has been a NASCAR fan and automotive journalist as far back as Adam can remember. It was a life-altering moment the day that Dad brought home his first copy of Mini Truckin' magazine. It changed everything! Before long, Adam was looking for his own ride - with an '85 Nissan 720 body style at the top of the list. The automotive gods finally smiled on him and he found one in 1991. Within three days the truck was already lowered, with a 3-inch drop and the lowering process continued several more times before the current super-slammed, 'bagged stance was achieved. Looking to create a style that embodied both the mini-truckin' scene and hot rods, Adam did almost all the work himself, picking up the skills by reading tech articles in Mini Truckin', getting information online, and (he says with a smile) learning from other people's mistakes.
Adam obviously learned well, since he tackled the complex task of the body drop himself. Lowering it by 2-1/2 inches, Adam used the standard technique of cutting the floor and lowering the body to the ground. Under the hood, he dispensed with the inner fenderwells to gain clearance, used a smaller '92 Toyota Corolla clutch master cylinder, and relocated the battery to the bed. Chassis Tech 2-inch drop spindles were fitted to '83 Toyota hubs, allowing the 5-bolt conversion. The rearend is from an '84 Toyota, again chosen so that he could convert to a 5-lug pattern. Adam designed and built his unique triangular-shaped C-notch in the frame using 2x3 box tubing. Bars from a 1989 Aurora were adapted to create the reverse triangulated four-link. He wrapped up the lowering process by trimming the fenderwells in the bed for additional clearance when the truck was on the ground and replacing the low-hanging stock fuel tank with a spun aluminum version mounted in the bed.
Photo 6/7   |   1985 Nissan 720 front End
Once the truck was on the ground, Adam needed a way to bring the altitude back under the driver's control. Air was the right choice, and he relocated all the new components under the bed using the original fuel tank location and extending the frame 9 inches to provide additional support. When Adam needs a little daylight showing under the rockers, he taps the switches in the skull switch box to inflate the four Firestone 2,500lb bags and provide a comfortable highway ride.
Body mods include a custom roll pan and shaved tailgate handle in the rear. Up front, the original three-piece bumper was molded into a single piece, the hood was cut for air filter clearance, and an H4 headlight conversion was added along with a Trenz Phantom grille. Wipers were eliminated to maintain the clean look. The latest wheels on the truck are the 17-inch Rozzi Detentions with Kumho rubber. With body mods and the lowering process complete, Adam turned his attention to the interior.
Photo 7/7   |   1985 Nissan 720 rear Passengers Side View
Inside the Nissan, the most obvious change is the smooth custom dashboard, created with fabric and multiple coats of fiberglass resin along with hours of hand sanding. The lack of instrumentation is not a problem, since it adds a Zen-like quality to road trips. Adam tells us he gets his mph information "from other drivers." There is no gauge for the fuel cell, but like a motorcycle, it is very easy to tell when you're running low. "Simply lift the cap on the 11-gallon aluminum tank and peer in." As far as oil pressure and water temperature, Adam just crosses his fingers. The custom center console comes from a 1979 Datsun and a 1993 Hardbody, blended together and smoothed into a single unit. The door panels were crafted from sheetmetal, and the seats are from a 1985 CRX. Todd's Upholstery in Sanford, North Carolina, did the stitchwork. Adam accomplished all his own fiberglass and sheetmetal work, even spraying the DuPont Corvette Dark Cloisonn Blue paint with Chromillusion Blazberry graphics himself.
What's in store for the future? Adam is planning to build a new frame for his favorite truck, one that will allow an even lower profile and maybe a lowered floor to allow him a little more stretch-out room inside.
The Lowdown

Rolling Attire
Wheels, front and rear: 17x7 Rozzi Detentions
Tires, front and rear: 205/40R17 Kumhos
Chassis Modifications
Front suspension: Firestone 2,500-lb 'bags and 5-lug Toyota hubs
Rear suspension: Reverse triangulated four-link, 'bags, and Toyota rear
Spindles: Two-inch drop spindles from Chassis Tech
Frame mods: Stretched 9 inches using 2x3
Gas tank: Spun aluminum
Misc: Toyota Corolla master cylinder
Body Modifications
Shaved: Tailgate handle, molded roll pan
Body-dropped: 2-1/2 inches
Front end: H4 conversion, Trenz billet grille
Brand and colors: DuPont Cloisonn Blue Pearl
Airbrushing: Chromillusion Blazberry
Performed by: Owner
Seats: CRX buckets wrapped in tweed
Dash: Shaved smooth
Door panels: Sheetmetal
Center console: '79 Datsun and '93 Hardbody
Performed by: Upholstery by Todd's Upholstery; all other work done by owner
Head unit: Pioneer DEH CD player
Mids & highs: Pioneer 5-1/4
Carburetor: Two-barrel Webber Redline Progressive
Header/exhaust: Two-inch stainless Dynaflow
Ignition: NGK wires
Rearend type: Toyota 5-lug
Inner fenders: Removed
Special Thanks
Mom and Dad; Adam's girlfriend, Jennifer; and all his friends for their help


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