Terry Averitt's involvement in the mini-truck scene dates way back to 1989, when he began to work on his first custom mini-truck project, a '77 Datsun. After a few years, he upgraded to an '89 Nissan Hardbody that he spent a lot of time on, learning the tricks of the trade. He exhausted every spare hour - not to mention, every spare penny - to mold his Nissan into a true custom truck that he was proud to drag everywhere he went. Terry has learned a lot in his 16 years as a mini-truck veteran and continues to pass on his knowledge and experience to the next generation, particularly through the buildup of his latest creation, his bright-blue '01 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab.
Terry, being a family man, was ready to upsize his mini for more space and convenience, but he didn't want a huge fullsize pickup. He decided on a midsize Dakota that had plenty of interior room yet wasn't too big to park into a compact garage or parking space. Since Terry has been around the block before, he already had a fully mapped-out plan in mind for his Dakota: 'bagged, body-dropped, and a cool solid-color paint scheme was his plan of attack. With some cash in hand, Terry was ready to begin the process of turning his Dakota from stock to badass over the course of the next 2-1/2 years.
He started by finding a shop that he could trust with the suspension work as well as performing a stock-floor body drop. He got a hold of Suspension Dimension in Grand Terrace, California, and drove his truck down from Vegas as soon as the crew there was ready to get started. Terry bought a set of 18x7-inch Eagle alloys shod with 40-series rubber and bolted them on to set up the suspension and body-drop clearance accordingly. The truck's entire suspension was reworked to let the truck lay out when the airbags are deflated. Out back, a triangulated four-link replaced the leaf springs to keep the rearend in check while allowing the frame to sit flat on the floor. Once the air system was plumbed and the suspension was complete, it was time to go even lower.
Terry wanted to keep the stock floor intact for more head and interior room, so Suspension Dimension rebuilt the frame to allow for a 4-1/2-inch stock-floor body drop. After many days of measuring, cutting, and welding, the Dodge's rockers soon were at home on the pavement and it was time to finish off the rest of the details. Suspension Dimension got to work smoothing out the exterior by shaving the door handles, molding the tailgate shut, and installing a set of '03 Dodge Ram taillights to really set the truck apart. After all the body modifications were taken care of, Terry contacted Taylor custom paint to spray the truck with a few healthy coats of DuPont Intense Blue. The final sprayed touch to the exterior was the color-matched Line-X.
After the truck was painted, Terry wanted to keep the ball rolling, so he grabbed the bull by the horns and started on the interior. He wrapped the seats, dash, door panels, and headliner in a combination of blue and tan tweed. He also installed a full stereo and entertainment system that consists of an Alpine CD player, Rockford Fosgate amplifiers, a Boston 10-inch subwoofer mounted in custom fiberglass enclosure between the rear seats, an Accele Vision TV monitor, and a PlayStation 2.
When the interior was complete, Terry hit us up to capture his ride on film. However, he blew a head gasket on the way to the location, which postponed the shoot. Good things do come in disguise, though, because while the engine was torn apart to replace the blown head gasket, Terry was able to have most of the engine and accessories powdercoated, polished, or chromed. In addition to adding style to the 4.7L engine, he also added some power parts. The Mouse motor received a 360 Air Intake, Mopar Performance bumpstick, and intake manifold, complemented with ported and polished heads and a Gibson header and exhaust. This added a lot to the overall truck and makes for a much more complete package.
Terry would like to give a special thanks to Suspension Dimension, 360 Air Intakez, Taylor Custom Paint, his club brothers from Severed Ties, and, of course, his very understanding wife, all of whom helped him become a true veteran.