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1998 Toyota Tacoma Brand Loyalty

Brand Loyalty has its Rewards

Phil Gordon
Dec 29, 2016
Photographers: Phil Gordon
When you have an affinity for a certain type of vehicle and stay true to that vehicle, it’s known as brand loyalty. For William Finzel of Traverse City, Michigan, brand loyalty is what he lives by. Back when he was a kid, he would see Toyota trucks cruising around the neighborhood. He always loved the style, the look, and the quality of the Toyota trucks. He started picking up magazines, hoping every month there would be a custom Toyota truck on the pages.
Photo 2/13   |   1998 Toyota Tacoma Rear
When it came time to get his first truck, he showed brand loyalty by getting a Toyota Tacoma. It was an older one, but for the next eight years, he spent all his money and time making it perfect. He decided to rebuild the truck, but the aging truck just wouldn’t agree, and he ended up trading the truck away. As a daily driver, he was using a Chevy Blazer with minor modifications that kept falling apart. Finzel posted the Blazer for sale and was offered a 1998 Toyota Tacoma as a trade.
Photo 3/13   |   1998 Toyota Tacoma Grille
Finzel immediately jumped on the trade, and thereby, had the fortunate opportunity to remain loyal to the Toyota brand. The truck wasn’t far off from being complete. The original owner had painted it Electric Blue, but William needed to add his own touch to the mini. Within a month, he reworked the suspension, adding a full Accuair setup.
Photo 4/13   |   1998 Toyota Tacoma Wheel
His master craftsmanship was with the interior, as he hunted down plaid material that he wrapped in the cabin. Finzel engaged Jamey Jordan, who used this truck as his first project since starting his own business to build a polished aluminum bench seat with bead rolls and rivets with black cushions. Finzel wants to thank his Acrophobia family, as well as his parents for putting up with him taking over the entire garage. He extends a special thanks to his girlfriend Janae and their two children Alie and Jujuan for all their support. He wasn’t quite sure he would ever have that feeling of owning his dream truck, but with the luck of a trade, he could remain loyal to his brand.
Photo 5/13   |   1998 Toyota Tacoma Interior
Photo 6/13   |   1998 Toyota Tacoma Engine

Inside the build

Year/Make/Model: 1998 Toyota Tacoma
Owner and City/State: William Finzel; Traverse City, Michigan
Club Affiliation: Acrophobia
Front Suspension: Raised upper arms, flipped ball joints, airlift Dominator 2,500lb ’bags
Rear Suspension: Triangulated four-link, Airlift Dominator 2,600lb ’bags over axle
Shocks: KYB shocks
Engine: 2.4 4-cylinder, header, polished valve cover and intake manifold, custom air intake
Body/Paint: PPG Electric Blue metallic, ’01 Tacoma front clip, one-off Grant Kustoms rear skin with lower bodyline
Interior: Smoothed and painted dash and interior pieces, Handmade Seat Co. bomber bench seat
Stereo: Pioneer head unit, RE Audio components, four 10-inch RE Audio subwoofers with Rockford Fosgate amplifier
Wheels & Tires:
Wheels: 20x8; Dip Speedsters
Tires: 235/30R20; Achilles



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