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  • The 10 Best Mini-Truck Features of TruckTrend

The 10 Best Mini-Truck Features of TruckTrend

Aug 13, 2020
While full-size (and some midsize) trucks are normal fare here, we can't forget the small-frame pickups that, in many ways, are just as popular as the big boys.
By clinical term, the Chevy Luvs and S10s, Ford Couriers, Rangers, Nissan Frontiers, Toyota Tacomas, Isuzus, Mazdas, and other tiny rigs all classify as "mini trucks."
This is a rundown of ten tiny trucks that achieved feature status in Truckin and Mini Trucks magazines. A salute to the little guys and the enthusiasts who love them!
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1998 Chevrolet S-10

Staying true to the mini-truck game, Eric Higdon scored this little Chevy after his 1996 GMC Sonoma was totaled by a rear-end collision. However, the similarities stopped there when he went completely against the grain by installing a 250-cu in. I-6 engine, instead of the small-block 350-cu in. that is the engine-swap du jour for the S-10/Sonoma crowd.

1998 Chevrolet S-10 - Old Soul

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2001 Isuzu NPR

There's no CDL required to push this downsized "big rig" down the road! "Gabriel" designed, constructed, and owns the all-aluminum cabover. He's a bit of a recluse—living in Las Vegas, of all places—but we're glad he opened up enough to share this creation.

2001 Isuzu NPR Mini Semi

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1999 Toyota Tacoma

Jeremy Forsyth acquired this truck several years after it had its first day in the sun, appearing in Mini Trucks as Dennis Slamka's "Spicy Taco." While the truck theoretically was a basket case, a skilled crew at Sparky's Hardcore Customs in Central City, Kentucky, restored it to a level that surpassed its former glory and earned it a second shot in the magazine as "El Diamante Negro."

1999 Toyota Tacoma - El Diamante Negro

Photo 5/11   |   004 10 Best Mini Truck Features

1985 Ford Ranger

Although we're thankfully several years past the whole "rolling-coal-is-cool" way of thinking, this slammed, diesel-powered (Cummins 4BT) mini can't be denied the acknowledgement it deserves. BJ Bolden put this one together as a tribute to his father, who passed away shortly after they had come up with the plan to build it.

1985 Ford Ranger - Draggin' Range

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2000 Chevrolet S-10

Staffers in MotorTrend's truck division have discussed the topic of "vehicles that are built to handle a zombie apocalypse" on a couple of occasions, the most recent being a nod we gave to Cesar Cornejo's 10-wheeled GMC Sierra 3500HD in our Top 10 GM Features report. Built on a much smaller platform, Jason Parker's "Zombie Response Team" vehicle fits the bill, too!

2000 Chevrolet S-10 - Construction Zone

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1986 Mazda B2000

Michael Brott took his time (seven years) and put this one together perfectly. Props to his dad, who showed him how to paint. The truck is bathed (including the engine block) in Ford's Bright Atlantic Blue (a 2000-2003 Mustang color), and it really does look amazing.

1986 Mazda B2000: About Time

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1995 Nissan Hardbody

By a show of hands, who knew that in Japan, this truck is known as "D21?" Tim Davis scored this one, cut the roof off, slammed it, soaked it in red, and created the perfect mix of the mini-truck and Ferrari he wanted.

1995 Nissan Hardbody- D21 California

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1987 Chevrolet S-10

It took Austin Landon a few tries, but he finally nailed it on his third attempt at building a killer mini-truck (getting the suspension right was his nemesis). This rig features the small-block Chevy power plant supplement that he installed, and with the help of buddy, Joe Cane, it's dropped the way he wants it, shaved, painted and fitted with several one-off interior treatments that really make this a very impressive rig.

1987 Chevy S-10- Three Times a Charm

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1998 Nissan Frontier

Like all of the mini-trucks we've featured, Benji Harless's pickup has a wild "story." Follow the link, and learn how this cool rig came about.

1998 Nissan Frontier- 2 Mo Days

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Chevrolet S-10s of 2017

So, you dig the small Chevys? Here's 17 more for your enjoyment!

Top 17 Chevrolet S-10 Features of 2017