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Custom 1998 Toyota Tacoma 4X4 Truck - Second Chance

Three Wrecks Later, Cary Alder is Back with his New Truck

Kevin Aguilar
Mar 1, 2007
Photographers: Brad Walker
Imagine you bought a truck, fixed it up really nice, and in the blink of an eye, it was all gone. Such was the case with Cary Alder and his first ride. He had a '92 Toyota Tacoma and altered its height with a lift kit and a set of Parnelli Jones all-terrain tires with Mickey Thompson 15-inch wheels. While on his way to the third day of his senior year in high school, Cary fell asleep behind the wheel and his truck veered off the highway. While his eyes were shut, the truck flipped, end over end, six times in the ditch beside the road. During the initial flip, Cary's head hit the steering wheel, a blow that woke him up just before he sunk into unconsciousness again.
When his eyes opened, he found his left arm pinned between the top of the door and the pavement. All the glass was broken during the tumble and the truck came to a rest on the driver side. Freeing Cary's arm from the wreck, the Kentucky State Troopers righted the truck and the paramedics rushed him to the emergency room. The medical staff stitched up the cuts on his arm, and he was released from the hospital. Before this accident, Cary installed a chrome rollbar in the bed of the truck for looks. He would have never guessed that it would save his life. Cary lived through the unimaginable by completely wrecking his truck and then cheating death during the whole incident.
Cary may have gotten away from the wreck with only minor cuts and bruises, but the Tacoma was pretty well destroyed. During the accident, Cary was knocked out and all that he could remember was how he was rushed to the hospital. He did not get a good look at his demolished truck till afterward, when he visited the junkyard to see what was left of his custom truck. For the first time, Cary was able to see the damage of the Tacoma, and he freaked at how mangled it was. The only thing that was not busted on the truck was one taillight, which was miraculously left unscathed. Since Cary only had liability insurance on the truck, it was not covered for this self-inflicted collision. It was a total loss, and Cary had to pick up the pieces and move on.
With the help of his father, Cary purchased a '98 Tacoma one week later with the intent of keeping it stock. Cary learned from his previous mistake, and this time stepped up to get full insurance coverage on his new ride to cover him against any collisions. Six months later, an elderly woman happened to back into the cab of his Tacoma. The woman was not a very observant driver and did not even notice that she hit Cary's truck. Lucky for him, a nearby witness knew the woman and gave Cary her phone number. Later that night, he called to tell her what had gone on, and the woman relayed her insurance information so that Cary could get his repair done. Cary kept driving his damaged ride until he could get around to fixing it. During that same week, a deer ran in front of the truck on the highway at night and smashed right into the front end of the body. The accidents weren't exactly a bad thing because now Cary had two settlements that enabled him to not only fix his ride but make it cooler.
Most of the damage was merely cosmetic, so he tackled the truck's stance first before repairing the body. Cary knew a 6-inch suspension lift and 37-inch-tall tires would surely make his truck stand out. To clear those 37s, though, would also require a 3-inch body lift. Lee's Paint & Body would also accent the fresh stance with a fresh body. Lee Smith completed the repairs and then took things a step further with a marbleized flame job. Once flames stretched from the front fenders all the way to the bed, the truck was taken to Audio Specialists for a mobile entertainment install. Cary loves to listen to his tunes, so he had the shop craft a custom fiberglass sub box for the back of the cab and filled it with four JL Audio 12-inch subs. They would most definitely pound out the bass he loved. The shop also customized the stock door panels with fiberglass to provide a place for the speakers and a monitor in each door. The rest of the interior, including the dash, was smoothed down and painted to match the marble look of the flames.

Cary took his dream truck home, relishing in the fact that even after all the accidents, the truck looked even better. Even though he didn't plan on building his new truck, fate had it in for him to customize it. Cary learned a valuable lesson about owning a custom ride and that good insurance is a necessity. Lucky for Cary, fate was not cruel and he learned this lesson without too much pain and suffering, and he still managed to end up with a sweet truck.
THE 411

Cary Alder / Hopkinsville, Kentucky

'98 Toyota Tacoma 4x4

3.4L V-6 / Injen cold-air intake / dual exhaust with no mufflers / manual transmission / Centerforce Stage 2 clutch / 5:29 Yukon gear limited-slip differential, front and rear
BY: Cary Alder

FRONT & REAR: 22x10-inch Mazzi Hulks

FRONT & REAR: 37x13.50x22 Nitto Mud Grapplers

FRONT: 6-inch Trail Master lift / Fabtech 3-inch adjustable coilovers
REAR: Trail Master 3-inch blocks and a 2-inch add-a-leaf
CHASSIS: Performance Accessories 3-inch body lift
BY: Todd Thomas of Guthrie, Kentucky

Shaved tailgate / Sir Michaels roll pan and tailgate handle relocator kit / APC clear corners and carbon-fiber taillights / T-Rex billet grilles / Trenz billet antenna
BY: Lee Smith of Lee's Paint & Body in Hopkinsville, Kentucky

Factory black / marbleized flames in House of Kolor Candy Apple Red
BY: Lee Smith of Lee's Paint & Body in Hopkinsville, Kentucky

Stock seats with shaved headrest / smoothed and painted dash / modified door panels with black tweed, black carbon-fiber vinyl, and painted bottom section / custom-made billet overlay on gauges / BAD billet steering wheel / custom fiberglass subwoofer box
BY: Micah Williams of Audio Specialists in Hopkinsville, Kentucky

Panasonic CQ-C70003U 7-inch touch-screen / JL Audio 6.5- and 5.25-inch components with JL Audio 300/4 amplifier / four JL Audio 12-inch W3V2s / two JL Audio 500/1 amps for subs / 7-inch Exonic screens in each door
BY: Audio Specialists of Hopkinsville, Kentucky


His girlfriend, Whitney, his parents, Vaperz Car Club, his uncle Tom, and Audio Specialists



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