Twisted Tacoma
Matt's '97 Toyota

This '97 Toyota Tacoma has some serious get-down style, but it didn't take a truckload of cash to create. By carefully choosing appearance and performance modifications, the owner, Matt Vallessi, didn't brake the bank. Matt lives in Chandler, Arizona, and is a member of a local club, Pharcyde Customs. With little help from some friends and club members, Matt began the process of transforming his brand new, stock Toyota into a Twisted Tacoma.

Perhaps the biggest attitude-adjustment made to any truck is a serious slam, and Matt didn't take this issue lightly. He went for an all-out slam that would allow him to scrape frame on-demand, while providing total height-adjustibility and ride comfort. Matt put the chassis guru Trevor Bart to work on his suspension, who equipped Matt's truck with Firestone airbags at all four corners. Up front, the airbags replace the coil springs. An the rear, airbags now sit between the rear axle and custom-made airbag mounts on the frame. The rear frame was modified with a 4-inch bridge notch to allow suspension travel for driving at minimum ground clearance.

The bags get their air from a Firestone air compressor which is hooked up to a 7-gallon reserve tank for massive amounts of air on demand. The whole system is controlled by two Firestone air-pressure gauges, which are custom mounted in the dash. The result is fingertip control of ride height, front or rear, over a range of about 8-inches.

With the suspension work complete, Matt replaced the stock wheels with 16x7-inch Lexus SC400 wheels. They are covered by a set of sticky 205/40r16 BFG Euro Radials which keep the twisted truck on the twisted roads.

The exterior was deemed smooth enough for now, eliminating the need for cutting the brand-new sheetmetal (and saving a lot of cash too!). The front of the truck features a custom-made billet aluminum grille for a touch of style.

The interior of Matt’s Tacoma was livened up by painting the dash with Sunset Pearl by House of Kolor. The window cranks were replaced with custom billet aluminum. The custom air gauges look right at home in the center dash.

Under the hood, you will also find various components either pained in Sunset Pearl or covered with polished chrome.

Matt drives his twisted truck every day and has put over 20,000 miles on the odometer already. Matt said the truck wouldn't be complete without much help from Trevor, Worm, Benji, Ron, Jake, Cody, Drew, and most of all Tim for the inspiration to build the truck.


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