1986 Mazda B2000- Strait Jacket
Some people would say you’d have to be crazy to stick with one brand of vehicle your entire life. For Adam Johnson of Sevierville, Tennessee, he might be exactly that kind of crazy. He first learned how to drive at a very young age from his grandfather on his farm. Then at 14 years old, Adam saw his first custom Mazda, lowered with ground effects. “I wanted one so bad,” Adam says. “It stood out more than any truck I had ever seen.” Once he turned 16, he started working at a grocery store after school and needed a vehicle to get to work. His grandfather decided to buy him an ’87 Mazda B2000 with the promise he would pay him back.
He began learning how to customize the truck by lowering and doing bodywork himself. He gained important knowledge during his trial and error process by transforming the stock mini-truck to something he was proud to drive. After high school, Adam joined the United States Navy and was deployed to the Persian Gulf twice. All together, he has traveled to 64 different countries during his time in the Navy. In 1998, after four years in the service, he came home to his Mazda and resumed his truck passion.
After his Mazda hit 250,000 miles, Adam had to find another truck. Of course, his sights were set on yet another Mazda. He located a 1986 Mazda B2000 in a local car lot around town and purchased the older-model mini. Once again, Adam began his customization by lowering it and adding wheels. It took a full eight years before Adam decided to go to the next level. In his one-car garage, Adam brought the B2000 to the ground by adding a full airbag suspension and a 3-inch bodydrop with the advice and guidance of friend David Duncan.
Next, he did the bodywork with the help of Dustin Boone, who added the suicide doors and shaved the truck down to a smoother look. The Mazda was primered and prepared for the Porsche Green paint. Originally, Adam added a sliding ragtop, but one morning outside his home, he caught a couple kids trying to break into the truck by slicing open the rag. From that moment, Adam knew he had to step up his security measures and install a full electric sunroof out of a Pontiac Grand Prix.
Adam constantly kept learning to make his Mazda into something unique. “I decided to learn how to sew,” Adam says. “I wanted to create a masterpiece in the cabin, so I needed to learn a new skill.” That skill paid off when he designed and built the entire interior himself by wrapping custom Mazda 626 seats with straightjacket-styled upholstery. Adam knows he’s been very loyal to the Mazda brand. He and his wife have owned a total of 10 different Mazda vehicles, and he has no intention of moving on from them.
Inside the buildYear/Make/Model: 1986 Mazda B2000
Owner and City/State: Adam Johnson; Sevierville, Tennessee
Club Affiliation: Low N Motion
Front Suspension: Standard torsion bar ’bag setup, 2,500lb Airlift Dominator airbags
Rear Suspension: 2,600lb Airlift Dominators airbags, ’bag over axle setup, new axle back rear frame setup, Viair 280 compressor, 5-gallon tank
Engine: 2.0L, Weber carburetor, Pacesetter headers, painted and detailed
Body/Paint: 3-inch bodydrop, shaved handles, electric sunroof from a Pontiac Grand Prix, suicide doors, full tailgate skin, Australian taillights, 4x4 sheet metal, Porsche Green paint by Dustin Boone, Cali full skin combo, sheetmetal bed
Interior: Custom dashboard built by owner and Rusty Lowe, Mini Cooper speedometer painted to match, full-custom ostrich Mazda 626 seats with straightjacket laces, Grant GT steering wheel dyed
Stereo: Pioneer head unit, Memphis components, 12-inch Memphis subwoofers, 1,000-watt and 500-watt Memphis amplifiers
Wheels & Tires:
Wheels: 17x8; MB Chaos 6
Special Thanks: My wife Crystal, son Aden, Rusty Lowe, Sam Beeler, Dustin Boone, David Duncan, Freaks of Nature East Tennessee chapter for the motivation by saying this truck will never be done.