1996 Nissan Hardbody - 46 Days And Nights

Jerry Hatfield from Lakeland, FL, worked day and night to see this 1996 Nissan Hardbody through to completion in a little over a month and a half.

John Mata Jr.
Dec 1, 2009
Photographers: Justin Cross
Photo 2/7   |   1996 Nissan Hardbody 1996 Nissan Hardbody
More often than not, custom builds consume months, if not years, before they reach completion. But For a minitruck junkie like Jerry Hatfield, waiting longer than 46 days to get his next fix was simply out of the question.
Call him a hype, a fiend, or even an addict, but since the day he got his hands on his '96 Nissan Hardbody he just couldn't get the vision of creating a super clean mini out of his system.
Since time was of the essence, Jerry decided that the usual formality of building in phases would not work for the goal he set for himself. Instead, the truck was completely gutted and every aspect of the Nissan was simultaneously customized. The Hardbody was already equipped with hydros and a 23/4-inch body drop when Jerry purchased it, but he insisted on creating an impressive four-link back-half setup, which Mild 2 Wild Custom Accessories in Lakeland, Florida, was eager to fabricate. With the rear of the frame quickly sporting fresh 2x3-inch boxed tubing and Firestone 2,500 'bags at each corner, Jerry's prophecy was feeling less and less like a hallucination.
Now that there was a sweet intoxication in the air surrounding the quickly evolving Nissan, Jerry capitalized on the momentum by enlisting his friend, Zane, to perform the entire paint and body process. The usual parts were shaved and a 1992-1995 Toyota bumper and valance were scouted out then bolted on to the front end. Once the Nissan's metal was prepped and ready for paint, Jerry selected DuPont purple, white, silver, and Nissan 350Z blue hues to provide a clean and classic dress code for his mini. The entire exterior refresh was complete in a two-week period, a time frame that even Jerry couldn't argue with.
This two-week timeline seemed to be a consistent build period for the Hardbody, given that its interior was completely finished in the same time span. The euro-style sports car seats, dash, and door panels were wrapped in white and purple suede, which makes for a visually pleasing environment. Dale Meek from Xzibit Auto Upholstery in Tampa, Florida, handled the stitch work and did his part in getting the Nissan ready for its debut at SlamFest, the East Coast's premier custom auto show.
In about the amount of time most would spend deciding on which wheels to bolt on to a project truck, Jerry had completely finished his build, which would send any custom enthusiast into a state of euphoria. It pays to stay on the grind, and Jerry has proved that working through a jam can yield stimulating results. For complete details, check out the Lowdown.
The Lowdown
Rolling Attire
Wheels:
18x8 Boyd Coddington Harm
Tires: 215/35/18
Photo 6/7   |   1996 Nissan Hardbody toyota Front Bumper
Chassis Modifications
Suspension:
Firestone 2,500 'bags
Compressors: DC7000
Frame Mods: 2x3-inch boxed back-half
Performed by: Mild 2 Wild
Body Modifications
Shaved:
Door and tailgate handles, third brake light, roof seams, corner lights, hood, cowl, and antenna
Body-dropped: 23/4 inches
Body mods: Frenched license plate box
Bolt-ons: 1992-1995 Toyota front bumper and valance
Performed by: Zane
Paint
Brand and colors:
DuPont purple, white, silver, and Nissan 350Z blue
Misc: Crystal effect in the graphics
Performed by: Zane
Interior
Seats:
Euro sports car buckets covered in white and purple suede
Dash: White suede
Misc: Custom center console with switches and graphics, custom light tan carpet, billet mirrors, and window cranks
Performed by: Dale Meek from Xzibit Auto Upholstery
Stereo
Head unit:
Clarion
Mids and highs: Audiobahn 5-1/2-inch
Performed by: Owner
Photo 7/7   |   1996 Nissan Hardbody custom Interior
Engine/Performance
Engine:
2.4L 4-banger
Intake: Painted air filter
Transmission: 5-speed
Detail work: Polished valve cover and painted pullies and brackets
Misc: Optima RedTop, Pace Setter headers
Performed by: Mild 2 Wild
Special Thanks from Owner
Mild 2 Wild, Dale, Jeff, Zane, Anthony, Woody, Brandon, JC, and anyone else who helped.

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