From Dakota Digital
Your intrepid author has a core group of friends in the Twin Cities that are head-over-heels into the mini truck scene, and they got to me, at least a little. Raised in a muscle car and hot rod household, my old man wasn’t too amped when I rolled home in an S10 with no plans for a V8 swap. Despite the differing opinions in our garage, I’m thankful for my truckin’ friends that helped me see another facet of this hobby we love.
Mini trucks have quickly run the gamut that all new trends face; fringe lunatics doing something unheard of, to mainstream, to over-the-top just-because-I-can builds, and now, the quality is going up and the paint schemes are toning down. You all watched it with the Pro Street movement, and we’re in the midst of the second-to-last phase with Pro Touring as I write this.
At the forefront of the custom-truck scene, making ‘bags and body-drops legitimate car crafting fodder, is The Little Shop of Horrors, located in steamy Tennessee. The truck you see before you made the cover of Street Trucks in 2008 looking quite a bit different. Sadly, The Spike Truck quickly turned into Ol' Crispy when, in a twisted twist of events, the truck caught fire.
In a frantic thrash last fall, the LSoH guys rebuilt the bionic truck to be better than it once was. Jet-black paint over incredible bodywork with a silver chassis and interior gave way to show-stopping silver body with blood red threads inside. The ’50 Ford dash with Dakota Digital instrument system was retained, as was the old-school Dakota Digital air ride controller. Something that I have always admired mini truckers for is their willingness to tear into a completed truck, and build something entirely different. Ol' Crispy follows that concept; the original iteration featured an exposed notch with large steel spikes on the rear suspension bridge, a smooth sheetmetal bed floor and taillights at the top of the molded-in tailgate. The silver version has a revised bed floor arrangement, with a very subtle notch cover (see what I mean about the hobby becoming less about shock-value and more tasteful?), a more classic interior and smaller LED taillights flush-mounted in the ‘gate.
The lil’ guy is still motivated by a bullet-proof 4.3L V6, and shifted automatically by the stock transmission. Sure, it doesn’t have the grunt most of our feature vehicles do, but custom trucks are for stylin’ and profilin’! Ol' Crispy melts (pun intended) faces with arrow-straight body work, a level of sanitary most can only dream of, and a killer body-drop over 22’s (a feat once deemed impossible).
While lowering my own S10, Ol’ Dad and I had a few conversations about mini trucks and ‘the point’ of them. The best I could come up with was that these are the kustoms of today. I mean, think back to the Pharaoh’s hammered Merc in American Graffiti; it wasn’t fast, but it wasn’t supposed to be. It was all about getting the look, and I say, Crispy and the boys at LSoH nailed it.