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1986.5 Nissan Hardbody - Hard Knocks Nissan

Self Taught, Self Made

John Mata Jr.
Dec 1, 2012
Photographers: Grant Cox
Photo 2/9   |   1986 Nissan Hardbody wheel Vintiques
The best stories of success come from humble beginnings. They also happen to be the most inspirational. If reading about someone working their fingers to bloody stubs trying to make something from absolutely nothing pushes you harder to reach your own personal goals, by all means, get comfy and settle in.
You may remember our report on KC Autoworx last issue. Well, that outfit belongs to Pat Cox, as does the gnarly looking Nissan this page. The beginning stages of both shop and truck were birthed at his parent's house years ago with the most modest of goals. "I bought the truck in 2005 for $250. Back then life was simple. I started advertising to do automotive repair out of my mom's driveway, and I was using the money for new air ride parts and tools to handle the next job", says Pat of his first steps into what would soon become his everyday passion and livelihood.
"Soon I had built up enough clients to open a real shop. I packed up in 2008 and moved to the city." But Pat didn't put his personal build on hold during this exciting transition phase. His Hardbody stood as physical representation of his craftsmanship, so tending to both truck and business shared equal priority. "At this time, the truck was stock-floor bodydropped and had an old school small-block in it. As my talents grew so did my urge to build a truck nobody could ever dream of."
Now what seems like a fairy tale of sorts, really was for Pat, but with life being as unpredictable as it is, he had to overcome major obstacles to get where he's at now. And honestly, the adversity only strengthened his desire to make his visions come true. "I watched my parents divorce in 2005 and my mom pass away in 2009, so I decided to pass the time working on the Nissan. I took it back apart and threw it all away. I built a completely new chassis with three-link wishbone and tossed the carbureted small-block for a smoother and newer LS1 engine." This rebuild lasted for 3 years, and even though he was traveling down a less than ideal detour during these years, he was also dealt two of life's greatest blessings. "2011 was a great year. It brought me the birth of my daughter, and the doors to KC Autoworx were finally opened for business."
I'll be the first to admit that this brief rundown of events, which must've felt like an entire lifetime to Pat, isn't truly enough to give his story its due justice. Ending a story is always just as tough as starting one, and I think this last quote from Pat will sum this tale perfectly, "This truck has taught me everything I know. I have never been to school for automotive repair or business, but it's proof that if you want something bad enough, you can achieve it."

Photo 6/9   |   1986 Nissan Hardbody slam Specialties Re7
Owner: Patrick Cox
Ride: 1986.5 Nissan Hardbody
Hometown: Kansas City, MO
The Lowdown

Rolling Attire

Wheels: 15-inch Wheel Vintiques with stainless beauty rings (front) / 15x10 baby moons (rear)
Tires: Diamond Back classic whitewalls
Chassis Modifications
Suspension Front: Full tube chassis smoothed and painted, Slam Specialties RE6 'bags
Suspension Rear: Three-link with wishbone, Slam Specialties RE7 and RE8 'bags
Control Arms: Custom tubular uppers and lowers powdercoated red
Shocks: Bilstein
Compressor(s): Engine driven Sanden 508
Air/Hydro Accessories: Custom 8-gallon tank, four 3/8-inch SMC valves,
Frame Mods: Lines ran inside 'rails, custom crossmember
Brakes: Wilwood master cylinder, booster tucked inside firewall, cross-drilled rotors
Performed By: Owner
Photo 7/9   |   1986 Nissan Hardbody rear Three Link Suspension
Body Modifications
Shaved: Door locks, emblems, hood lines, tailgate, wiper cowl, mirrors
Bodydrop: 2-inch stock-floor, 1-inch traditional, rockers cut ½-inch
Body Mods: Nissan Pathfinder front clip, rounded hood and bed lines
Misc.: Custom bed, sectioned body 2 inches, handbuilt cab floor, firewall, and back of cab
Performed By: Owner
Photo 8/9   |   1986 Nissan Hardbody shave Tailgate
Brand & Colors: DuPont Root Beer brown
Misc.: Powdercoated A-arms, water pump, motor mounts, and wheels
Performed By: Calvin Santini and Tanners Customs
Seats: Stock bench shaved and dropped
Dash: '54 Pontiac Chieftain
Gauges: Ultra Gauge
Misc.: Lokar 23-inch swan shifter, shaved door panels, homemade steering wheel made from a stolen McDonalds bar stool
Performed By: Owner
Engine: 5.7L LS1 V-8
Camshaft: Texas Speed 228R 112 lc
Intake: Stock LS1
Header/Exhaust: Custom Lake style 3-inch cone
Transmission: 4160e, aluminum driveshaft
Rearend Type: Dana 40 narrowed 10 inches, Auburn LSD, 308 gears
Detail Work: Shaved rear axle carbon diff cover
Misc.: Comp 918 valve springs, custom tune, MSD wires tucked coil packs inside cab
Performed By: Owner
Photo 9/9   |   1986 Nissan Hardbody intake
Special Thanks From Owner
"My mom and dad, my wife Billie, my daughter Ruby, Bobby Kruse, Andrew Milko, Russ Palmer, Dave Duncan, Dan More, Mike Logan, Justin Tanner, Calvin Santini, Ross Thompson, Anthony, Brett Ingram, Mike Smith, James Miller, David Purser, and all of my other friends I have made in the last 5 years. Thank you."



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