1999 Dodge Dakota- Low Dakota

If You Can’t Beat It, Buy It

Phil Gordon
Jan 19, 2018
Photographers: Phil Gordon
Sometimes you’re late to the party, but you can have just as much fun as the others. For Sean Case of Salisbury, Maryland, a foray into the truck culture didn’t come until he was 21 years old. Working as a natural gas operation supervisor at a utilities corporation, he had a different mindset. Although he liked trucks, he purchased his first truck, a Chevy S10, for daily use to and from the plant.
Sean’s brother-in-law had been involved with trucks and convinced him to have the dime painted a bright Mustang yellow. Once the mini-truck was painted, a bunch of guys Sean worked with became closer and shared their passion of custom trucks with him. “It was like we were always trying to one-up each other,” Sean tells Truckin, “and because I’m pretty competitive, I planned on winning.”
Photo 2/12   |   1999 Dodge Dakota Low Dakota Engine
The Chevy went through many turns and changes as Sean added hydraulics, airbags, airbrush paint, and went back and forth between different rims. Through the process, he met Jeff and Cliff from East Coast Minis and became a member of their truck club. Sean did as much as he could with the S10, and since it was time to upgrade, he traded it in and purchased an ’05 Ford Explorer. Although he was more reserved with the Explorer, he customized it enough to get plenty of attention from law enforcement. “I must have been pulled over every day,” Sean adds. “It became so common that I just kept my license in my hand when I drove.”
Photo 3/12   |   1999 Dodge Dakota Low Dakota Interior
Sean’s next purchase came when he bought a brand-new ’00 Dodge Dakota R/T right off the showroom floor. The truck was bagged while still displaying the temporary tag. He added some Kandy paint and wheels and began doing bodywork. He was in constant competition with another Dodge Dakota in the area and couldn’t seem to upstage it. True to Sean’s competitiveness, he decided it was time to have his Dodge body-dropped. Unfortunately, the shop that was performing the work kept it for more than a year working on it. Sean was getting impatient and worried he would never see a completed Dodge.
Photo 4/12   |   1999 Dodge Dakota Low Dakota Bed
His club member Cliff called him and informed him that his competition, the ’99 Dodge Dakota owned by Tommy Warwick from Low Rollers, had put his Dodge up for sale. “Everything I wanted to do to mine was done to this one,” Sean says. “If you can’t beat it, buy it.” Tommy knew Sean’s passion and knew the Dodge would be going to a good home, so the two agreed on terms and the Dakota changed hands. After whole lot more work, Sean and his Dakota lived happily ever after.
Sean wishes to thank God, because without him, nothing would be possible. A special thanks goes to his wife, Laura, and their two boys, Dylan and Logan, for keeping him grounded and motivated. Sean thanks his brother-in-law, Trey Carroll, for the inspiration and bringing him into the culture in which he’s convinced he belongs.
Photo 5/12   |   1999 Dodge Dakota Low Dakota Wheel

Inside the Build

Year/Make/Model: ’99 Dodge Dakota
Owner and City/State: Sean Case; Salisbury, Maryland
Club Affiliation: East Coast Minis
Chassis: Custom full-square tube frame, stock floor body-drop by Kirk Simmons
Front Suspension: Custom upper and lower control arms, 2500 ½-inch port airbags
Rear Suspension: Four-link wishbone suspension with 2600 ½-inch port airbags, controlled by two Viair 480s compressors, eight ½-inch Parker valves, two 5-gallon stainless air tanks controlled by six switches
Drivetrain:
Engine: 5.2l Magnum with chrome valve covers, Eldelbrock intake, and Stage 3 chip
Transmission: Four-speed automatic
Rearend: Narrowed rear end
Body/Paint: Shaved door handles, frenched-in gas door, flush LED third brake, complete molded bed and wheel tubs, tailgate/roll pan combo, custom clear glass all the way around, taillights have been sprayed with candy to match, 42x40-inch sliding ragtop
Paint: PPG Kandy Maroon sprayed by Big Dog Customs
Interior: Custom two-tone vinyl seats; wrapped dash, door panels, and carpet to match designed and installed by Driven
Stereo: Two 12-inch Kicker Solo-Baric subs powered by two MTX amps and KDC Kenwood head unit
Wheels & Tires:
Wheels: 22x9, 22x10; Intros Twisted Vistas
Tires: 255/35R22, 285/35R22; Nitto 555
Special Thanks: God; my wife, Laura; kids Dylan and Logan; Trey Carroll; Jeff Wooten; Cliff Somers; my whole ECM family; and all the mini-truckers who inspire me.

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