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1991 Toyota HiLux - Rag Doll

Father Built, Daughter Driven

Mike Alexander
Jan 1, 2009
Contributors: Makoto Okamura
Photographers: Ernie Macias
Photo 2/17   |   Owner: Hitomi Okazaki Ride: '91 Toyota HiLux Hometown: Tomisato, Chiba, Japan Club: Fascination Miniz
Tadaharu Okazaki has been a minitrucker since the late '80s. Like most fathers wish, Tadaharu wanted to share his love for minitrucks with his kids. So, Tadaharu bought a Nissan 720 king cab when his first baby was born in 1989. Where this story gets a little different is that Tadaharu had a baby girl! Tadaharu named his daughter Hitomi and never forced his love for trucks onto her. As soon as Hitomi got her driver's license her father asked her if she wanted to drive his truck. He kept his Nissan 720 that he bought in '89, but Hitomi replied, "NO!" because it had been sitting in the driveway for the last five years and wasn't in the greatest condition. Lucky for Hitomi, her father, happens to be a car collision-repair mechanic. Sometimes he buys a project car for a good deal to fix up and sell. One day he bought a blue Toyota truck and drove it home, only to have Hitomi say, "Oh sweet, I like the color of this truck!" So Tadaharu did what any loving father would do and decided to make his daughter happy and build her the Toyota, not the Nissan 720.
Tadaharu does bodywork for a living so most of the build came fairly easy. He did some of the interior, the 3-1/2-inch body drop, and shave work to the Toyota in no time at all. The truck was coming out so nice that he decided to have a show-stopping suspension built by Art Of Work in Japan. But he also wanted to keep the truck focused on his daughter's tastes, rather than his own, so the shop designed a heart-shaped link bar setup and custom made "Stitch" air bag covers. The link bars are one-of-a-kind. Art of Work notched the pumpkin, and built a hybrid setup that uses hydro-cylinders as remote-control height adjustment. The airbags covered with the custom "Stitch" covers push a short cylinder that is set under the bed floor. The other cylinder on the frame pushes the link bars. Those cylinders are tied in with stainless braided hoses.
Another major modification on this truck is the Toyota 3S-G motor from a Toyota Altezza, similar to the Lexus IS200. They added an aftermarket turbo kit so the motor puts out about 250 hp. A set of Wilwood rotors and calipers also add to the glitz and glamour of this amazingly detailed show truck. With funds drained, father and daughter enjoy showing the truck together, but with all the work that went into the build it is not driven daily, only on fun occasions. Shortly after finishing Hitomi's Toyota, Tadaharu's other younger daughter asked, "Why you don't start to build next truck for me, I want a red one!" So what's a father to do? Well Tadaharu had to start another truck for his second daughter. This means that not only is his bank account empty all the time, but also his original Nissan 720 is still sitting in the driveway untouched. Ah, the joy of fatherhood! HAHA good luck Tadaharu, we'll see you when you finish the "red one".
The Lowdown
Rolling Attire
Wheels: 18x7.5-inch Dante Vertigos
Tires: 215/35ZR18 Pirelli P7000
Chassis Modifications
Suspension type: Air
Front suspension: 2-inch drop spindles
Rear suspension: Custom made heart-shaped upper link bar, remote mount hydraulic cylinders that are pushed by air bags covered with custom made "Stitch" dolls.
Airbags: Firestone
Compressors: Two Air-Zenith compressors
Air Line: 1/2-inch DOT
Air / Hydro accessories: Custom made stainless link bars, four remote hydraulic cylinder with stainless braided hoses to push lower link bars.
Frame mods: Fully shaved, smoothed, and painted black
Gas Tank: Aluminum fuel cell
Brakes: Wilwood scallop shaped rotors on both front and back, Wilwood 4-piston calipers on front, Nissan 300ZX 2-piston calipers with parking brake on back
Misc: Notched axle housing to clear heart shaped link bar
Detail work: Candy-paint on rear axle housing done by Janis Car Service
Performed by: Owner's father, Tadaharu Okazaki, and Art Of Work
Body Modifications
Shaved: Gas door, door handles, tailgate handle, antenna
Body-dropped: 3-1/2 inches
Front end: 4-Runner front clip and 4WD fenders
Back end: Custom made rollpan
Misc: Webasto top-slider sunroof, clear taillights, HID headlights, Viper security alarm
Performed by: Owner's father, Tadaharu Okazaki
Brand and colors: custom mixed two-tone blue
Misc: Silver graphics and pink outlines performed by pinstriper "Ghost", back window sign by Sign Effects.
Performed by: Owner's father, Tadaharu Okazaki
Seats: Two Recaro seats, wrapped with suede, and owner's name "Hitomi" embroidered
Dash: wrapped with suede, cluster was painted
Door panels: wrapped with suede, power window conversion, custom made speaker mounts
Center console: Custom made, painted in candy blue, flushed in air, power window switches, and air gauges
Engine / Performance
Displacement: 2.0L with aftermarket turbo kit
Model / Year: 3S-G from Toyota Altezza
Header / Exhaust: Custom made stainless
Misc: Polished intake manifold, custom made tubing for turbo, painted valve cover, and other parts
Special thanks by owner:
Art Of Work for all the amazing frame and suspension mods, Janis Car Service for candy blue paint job, Shirato Jidousha for finding 3S-G motor, Ghost for pinstriping, Sign Effects for drawing back window sign, members at Fascination Miniz for all the help, and everyone that helped build this truck for Hitomi.


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