Looking at the front windshield of Josef Mackey's '00 quad cab may leave you with a few questions, such as, What the hell is Team Grandma? Is it a bunch of blue-haired ladies that use colostomy bags to lower their trucks? The truth is, Team Grandma is a bunch of guys who are dedicated to remembering Josef's grandmother, Helen, who passed away a few years back. Helen was the grandma that we would all love to have in our family. She was a true gearhead who helped Josef tear apart his first truck, a '49 F-1, and in doing so taught him everything he knows about trucks.
When she passed away, Josef and his friends dedicated their club to her, and a new project was born. The four-door Dakota was picked up from a dealer near Josef's hometown of Ranger, Texas, and since it was outfitted with a SnugTop shell, it offered plenty of room for stereo equipment.
The first thing on the list was to get the Dakota down on the ground. With the help of Josef's friend Bobby, the front springs and lower control arms were removed. A set of DJM drop pocket arms and Air Ride 'bags were installed in their place and plumbed with 1/2-inch line. Belltech shocks were chosen to help smooth out the ride. The rear suspension was updated to a reverse triangulated four-link and Air Ride 'bags were mounted to the rear links. VIAIR compressors feed the system, and 16 gallons worth of tanks store the air until the switches call for more. The stock rollers were set aside and a set of 20-inch Boze Slamm 6 wheels bundled in Michelin Pilot rubber were set in their place.
Next, Josef turned his attention to the exterior of the quad cab. All the emblems were shaved, as were the door handles and tailgate handle. To continue the smooth look on the truck, the antenna was frenched in and a roll pan was molded into the rear. The fenders were clearanced to enable the 20-inch Boze wheels to suck up into the rear fenderwells while the truck is aired out. Once the truck was blocked and all the panels were straight, it was taken to Dave Burnett of Dave's Paint and Body in Ranger.
Dave sprayed the entire truck with Dodge Viper Black and with the help of his son Josh laid out the tribal flames on the hood, fenders, and doors. Dave then created a silver-to-blue fade within the flame licks using Viper colors and finished it up with Viper Yellow pinstriping, thanks to Steve Cox. Once the truck had baked in the paint booth, the keys were handed back to their owner for the finishing touches.
Without wasting much time, Josef and his friend Robert started measuring the roof of the truck for a sliding ragtop. A 35x42-inch hole was measured out, then cut to allow the tracks and the rag to be mounted within the roof. Inside the cab, Josef modified the center console to hold the gauges and switches, then covered it in snow-leopard print. With the help of his mother Jeanne, the seat inserts, visors, and door panels were all treated to a dose of new material as well.
When it came to the stereo there was one goal in mind: loud. The stock head unit was pulled out and replaced with an Eclipse CD player and a slew of Eclipse mid, high, and component speakers, which were installed throughout the cab. A set of Precision Power amplifiers was secured behind the rear seat and wired to four 12-inch Eclipse subs housed in a custom sub enclosure in the bed. With a 154.0-dB hit measured at the dash during competition, we'd say Josef completed his goal.
Thanks to the help of his club brothers, his mom, and Dave Burnett, Josef was able to take a stock truck and transform it into a sweet-looking ride, just like his grandma taught him. We're pretty sure that his grandma is upstairs in hot-rod heaven giving him two big thumbs up, even though he's still running the stock 4.7L.