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Custom 1986 Mazda Standard Cab - Return of the Dawg

Where Man and Metal Converge, Again

Galen Armenta
Feb 1, 2007
Photographers: Galen Armenta, Greg Ballard
Photo 2/17   |   "There just wasn't anyone in this area who could do what I wanted."-CHRIS MULL
Many projects have been completed, only to find the owner wondering what he is going to do next. Does he try to off it and start a new project, or is it in the cards to tear the whole truck apart and give it a new look? Chris "Billy Bob" Mull of Aberdeen, Washington, can attest to this with his '86 Mazda B2000, which he has reinvented three times to become the highly polished show truck you see now.
The body of Chris' pickup has been modified considerably to arrive in its current form. The Toyota front bumper and valance were welded together, and the marker lights were shaved before it was smoothed over. The door handles, emblems, and gas-filler door were sealed up, while around back, the tailgate was filled flush, along with the stock taillight housings, which were replaced with linear LED units molded into the custom-made roll pan. The most noticeable modification to this low-roller would be the roadster-style all-steel convertible. The roofline was chopped and modified in such a way that it could be attached and look like it was never cut.
Photo 3/17   |   1986 Mazda Standard Cab rear Drivers Side View
Chris' Mazda gets its slammin' stance up front via a set of Firestone air springs, which replaced the factory torsion bars. The worn-out rear leaf spring got chucked, and a triangulated TCI four-link was welded in to hold the axle in place. To raise and lower the ass end, a set of Firestone 2600 Air Springs was placed over the axle to give the truck a good 8 inches of travel. How low does it go? It was too low for the stock gas tank, apparently, which was scrapped for a polished aluminum one and relocated in the bed to give it enough ground clearance and to keep the go-go-juice safely contained.
Photo 4/17   |   1986 Mazda Standard Cab rear Passengers Side View
Inside the bed, things are kept flowing with smoothed side panels and a custom-fabricated floor section, complete with cut-out to reveal the rear suspension and boxed frame. The body was then cut and dropped 2 inches from stock to give it that rocker-draggin' stance, and sprayed with PPG's version of black satin paint. Atomic Apple Green flame graphics set things off and cover just about every panel of the truck, inside and out.
To continue the whole '50s motif on the inside of the truck, Chris went with the classic tuck 'n' roll. The bench seat and door panels were stripped of their old peach tweed coverings and replaced with black and white vinyl. Keeping with the retro style, the factory dash was given a one-way ticket to the scrap pile, and a smooth metal version, except for the 4-1/2-inch opening for the CD player, replaces it. All of the controls, including the CD player, have been relocated to the underside of the seat. Driving duties are administered through a BAD billet steering wheel and a set of Auto Meter gauges.
Photo 5/17   |   1986 Mazda Standard Cab led Taillight
Motivation comes from a mildly modified but highly detailed 2.0L engine. To give the motor a little kick in the ass, a custom-ground camshaft by Delta Cams is teamed up with a custom-made air intake and a side-draft Weber carburetor. With the performance mods out of the way, it was time to play dress-up. The block has been deburred, smoothed, and covered in purple paint, which can be found on other engine components as well. Anything that wasn't painted was treated to a buffing wheel and given a high-polished shine. Despite being a show truck, Chris hasn't forgot what his truck was built for and regularly drives his asphalt-skimming pickup about four times a week. After all the hard work, it looks like Chris was right-the third time is a charm.
THE 411

Chris Mull / Aberdeen, Washington

'86 Mazda standard cab

2.0L (1,998 cc) FE I-4 / five-speed manual transmission / Delta Cams custom-ground camshaft / Weber side-draft carburetor / custom-made air intake / deburred and smoothed engine block and painted purple / polished aluminum fuel cell
BY: Chris Mull

FRONT/REAR: 15x6-inch chrome-plated Allied wheels / Wheel Vintiques bullet center caps

FRONT/REAR: Toyo 195/55R15 rubber, fitted with Atlas white-wall simulators

FRONT: Firestone 2500 Air Springs / painted upper and lower A-arms
REAR: TCI four-link / Firestone 2600 Air Springs
ACCESSORIES: Polished CO2 bottle / Aeroquip steel braided air lines and hand-bent polished brake lines / MIC fast valves / chrome-plated shocks
CHASSIS: Boxed-in frame and all unnecessary holes filled / step-notch with custom bridge / painted PPG Atomic Apple Green
BY: Chris Mull

Shaved door handles, emblems, gas-filler door, taillights, tailgate, and side mirrors / molded-in tailgate / custom-made roll pan / linear LED taillights molded in to roll pan / handmade brushed aluminum body trim / modified Toyota front bumper / Trenz phantom grille and bumper insert / '72 Chevy truck headlights / roadster-style all-steel convertible top / custom Lexan windshield / Leer flush-mount bedcover / Mazda B2600 hood / hand-formed sheetmetal dash / 2-inch body-drop / smooth sheetmetal bed and front fenderwells / smoothed firewall
BY: Chris Mull

PPG DP90 flat satin black / PPG Atomic Apple Green Flames / PPG Purple pinstriping
BY: Chris Mull

Stock bench and door panels tuck-'n'-rolled in black and white vinyl / Lokar oval door handles / Auto Meter gauges in aluminum housing / BAD steering wheel
BY: Holcomb Upholstery, of Aberdeen, Washington

Honda Civic CD player mounted in dash / stock door speakers
BY: Chris Mull


Chris Mull / anyone who has helped with the rebirth of The Dawg



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