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1987 Mazda B2000 - The Lost Maz

Back From The Dead

John Mata Jr.
Jan 22, 2014
Photographers: John Mata Jr.
Kevin Johnson could’ve finished this truck years ago. It could’ve been all the rage on MySpace. It could’ve ran in our magazine (probably in other truck rags too), and been history by now. But, it wasn’t. Not even close.
This Mazda has been in Kevin’s family tree since he was singing the high school blues. Back then it was a just a means to get to and from class. It slowly progressed into the realm of custom, but none of it happened until after graduation. Kevin recalls, “it was ‘bagged, painted blaze red, and had tweed interior. I got to know Brian Jendro, and we talked about bodydropping it. This was back in ’98. I wanted to be lower than most bodydropped trucks without destroying the bodyline, and it came out laying flat from wheel opening to wheel opening.” For a while, that was the truck’s last hurrah—the last occasion for celebration. Soon after that in ’01, Kevin stepped away from the truck as well as everything else that looked like it.
Making progress, let alone finishing the truck, was nowhere on Kevin’s radar of concern. 5 years passed before he even laid a hand on it again, and even that time of contact was nothing more than brief. “The truck sat in my dad’s shop for another long while. I just didn’t care too much about the truck during this time. My friend Ben Wood gave me a suicide door kit and convinced me it wasn’t hard to do. He was right, it only took 3 weeks out of on-and-off tinkering, but it was enough to get me back working on the truck again. Those few weeks took place over another 5-year stall period, I just wasn’t motivated.”
Photo 2/12   |   Orion Subwoofer
"Making progress, let alone finishing the truck, was nowhere on Kevin’s radar of concern."
Motivation did finally come about a year later. A few close friends rallied around the truck and got things back into motion. Kevin and his pals Ben and Eric Jackson started up on the bodywork, and Alex Anderson scouted for parts. These four dudes smashed on the truck for nearly two more years until it was done.
“The worst feeling throughout the whole time building the truck was thinking it would never be completed, and if it ever was, that I wouldn’t be happy with the outcome.” Well, it’s done, and although he hasn’t said it outright, you can tell he’s in love with the results. “Most of the time between ’98 and ’12, the truck was off the road, and my father stored it and paid the insurance on it the entire time. If I could start over, I would’ve stayed on the project and completed it years ago.”
Photo 3/12   |   1987 Mazda B2000 Rear Three Quarter
The Lowdown
1987 Mazda B2000
Kevin Johnson • Temecula, CA • Negative Camber
Rolling Attire
Wheels: 19x71/2-inch KMC Guido
Tires: 215/35/19 Pirelli P7000
Chassis Modifications
Suspension (front): Slam Specialties SS-7 ’bags
Suspension (rear): Slam Specialties SS-7 ’bags, chrome four-link
Control Arms: Tubular uppers and lowers
Shocks: Doetsch
Compressor(s): Viair 380c
Air/Hydro Accessories: Dakota Digital air pressure monitor, AVS seven-switch box
Frame Mods: Step notch, removed strut bars
Misc.: Five-lug conversion
Performed By: Brian Jendro, owner
Body Modifications
Shaved: Taillights, tailgate, door handles, wiper cowl, gas door key, rockers
Body drop: 3¼-inch traditional
Body Mods: B2600 hood, 4x4 sheet metal, Grant Kustoms bumper, phantom billet grille, one-off taillights
Suicide Doors: Yes, with mini bear claw latches
Bolt-ons: Billet one-off taillight bezels
Misc.: Electric sunroof
Performed By: Ben Wood, Eric Jackson, owner
Brand & Colors: PPG Electric Blue Pearl
Misc.: Engine and suspension painted House of Kolor Orion Silver
Performed By: Eric Jackson / The Kolor Factor
Seats: ’96 Honda Prelude
Dash: Sheetmetal
Gauges: Dolphin gauges
Misc.: Power windows, fiberglass console, suede inserts, and headliner
Performed By: Ben Wood / Wood’s Fabrication
Head Unit: Rosen
Mids & Highs: Orion XTR
Subwoofers: Three 10-inch Orion XTR Pro
Amplifiers: Two Orion XTR 15001, one Orion XTR 5004
Misc.: Two Kinetik 2400 cells
Performed By: Owner
Engine: Stock 2.0L
Intake: K&N turbo plenum and polished cold air tube
Header/Exhaust: Ceramic Pace Setter headers, MagnaFlow muffler
Rearend Type: Toyota five-bolt
Detail Work: Paint and chrome
Misc.: Weber 32/36 carb
Performed By: Owner
Special Thanks From Owner
“Thank you Ben Wood, Alex Anderson, Eric Jackson, Brian Jendro, and my father Paul Johnson.”



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