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1988 Toyota Xtracab Truck - Retirement Toy

Mike Alexander
Jan 1, 2010
Contributors: Ben Huffman
Photographers: Ben Huffman
Photo 2/19   |   1988 Toyota Truck left Side View
Owner: Gary Ellison Vallejo, CA
1988 Toyota Xtracab
Club: Simple Pleasurez
Gary Ellison is not your average minitrucker. While most of us are plugging away at our regular nine-to-five, Gary is in his garage customizing his '88 Toyota XtraCab pickup.
Why isn't he out working like the rest of us suckers? Because Gary has paid his dues and is now retired, so what better way to fill your days than to build the awesome minitruck pictured before you? Now don't go jumping to conclusions thinking that Gary cashed out his pension to have this Toyota built for him. Gary has spent quite some time building this truck entirely himself in his home garage!
Gary's Toy was originally bought to replace a different Toyota that he owner and was totaled awhile back. This truck was going to be used to haul tools to and from jobsites when he was a working stiff like the rest of us but Gary has been reading the mag you're holding in your hands since the early 90's. This prompted him to do a little customizing to the truck. As you can see, that quickly snowballed into the amazingly clean minitruck you see before you.
Photo 3/19   |   1988 Toyota Truck radiator
While putting many miles on the truck the wear and tear finally was too much for this little toy so Gary decided a new motor was in store for his project. A call to the Toyota pros over at LC Engineering and Gary decided it was time to play with the big boys and upped his game with a full Pro Street EFI motor to bolt between he framerails. To help the motor breathe, he installed a fully ceramic coated exhaust system going through two-inch pipe to a Borla stainless muffler. With all this newly found power, Gary knew he needed to upgrade the braking system so he installed Wilwood rotors with four-piston calipers from a Toyota 4Runner. With the truck running, sounding good, and stopping on a dime, it was time to slam it down a bit. With a Suicidedoors four-link, CanDo tubular arms, Slam Specialties 'bags up front, and Firestone sleeve `bags out back, things were looking up, or should we say DOWN, for Gary's amazing Retirement Toy. Now with the Xtra Cab fresh on the pavement it was time to tackle the outside. Doing the bodywork and paint in his driveway, the truck was nearing completion, which turned his intention to the interior where he used the simple and classic minitruckin' blend of tweed and vinyl.
Listening to his own advice, more often then not, Gary was able to complete his perfect minitruck as his own little retirement gift to himself. He said, "Doing it once and doing it right is something I try in everything I do," and not only does that advice apply to his project build but also to his enjoyable life that he's glad to share with us and all his fellow minitruckers of all ages! For more info on Gary's Retirement Toy check out the Lowdown.
Photo 7/19   |   1988 Toyota Truck kenwood Subwoofer
The Lowdown
Rolling Attire
Wheels: 18-inch Diamo 10-Karat
Tires: Nitto NT555 225/40R18
Chassis Modifications
Suspension Front: Belltech two-inch drop spindles, Slam 'bags
Suspension Rear: Suicidedoors four-link, Firestone 9000 sleeve bags
Control arms: CanDo Specialties custom arms
Shocks: Doetsch Tech
Compressors: Two Viair 380c
Air accessories: Air Lift Auto Pilot Control System
Frame mods: Notched
Brakes: 12-inch Wilwood rotors with 4Runner calipers in the front and 11-inch Mustang SVO rotors with Cadillac calipers for the rear
Performed by: Owner
Photo 8/19   |   1988 Toyota Truck undercarriage
Body Modifications
Shaved: Doors, gas door, Cal Combo with Supra lights, frenched license plate
Body mods: 4Runner doors, exhaust ports cut into rear quarter panel, LED third brake light, frenched antenna
Bolt-ons: 4WD front bumper, billet grilles, hella headlights, cowl hood
Performed by: Owner
Brand and colors: Radiant Metallic Red and Metallic Pewter
Misc.: Done in driveway by owner
Photo 9/19   |   1988 Toyota Truck rear Right View
Seats: Buckets covered in tweed and vinyl
Dash: Smoothed
Gauges: Auto Meter Phantom
Misc.: Custom center console flowing to sub box, and custom door panels
Performed by: Owner
Head unit: Kenwood CD
Mids and highs: JBL 4-inch in front, JBL 6x9 in rear
Subwoofers: Kenwood 10-inch
Amplifiers: Kenwood four-channel and two-channel
Misc.: Centech fan controller, Optima Yellow Top battery
Performed by: Owner
Photo 10/19   |   1988 Toyota Truck wheel And Tire
Engine: LC Engineering Pro Street EFI 22RE
Intake: Big Bore throttle-body
Header/exhaust: LC Engineering Pro Street Header, Borla Muffler, two-inch pipe all ceramic coated
Detail work: Stainless hoses, cool flex hoses, color-matched hose covers
Misc.: Billet Specialties overflow tanks, Spal electric fan
Performed by: Owner
Special Thanks from Owner
Gary would like to thank his wife Kathy, his sons Christopher and Michael, Dan and Phil at FBI, Seth at Twisted Minis, Mike Alexander, Mini Truckin' Magazine, Ben Da Pirate for the shoot, and his club Simple Pleasurez.


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