Robert Brown is one of those guys who lives for the sport, no matter what obstacle is thrown in his way. Nothing short of totaling his ride will keep him from getting it done, and that was certainly the case with this build. Poor fabricators, two girlfriends, an ex-wife, and things falling apart at inopportune times all came up during the five years that Robert was working on this truck. But, he just kept pressing on to deliver the stunning results printed on these pages.
It all started when Robert decided he just had to get rid of the junker car that he had been driving. He had always loved the look of the Nissan Hardbody, so he picked one up at the dealer and started tearing into it. A few fabricators and two botched hydraulic installs later, Robert had a problem. His truck was in shambles, and he needed to bring it back up to the high standards he holds in a build. That's when he decided to redo it all.
The truck was deconstructed and everything from the firewall back was thrown in the trash. In place of its stock framerails, the crew at Hellbent Customs welded in 2x3-inch, 1/4-inch-wall steel tubing to give the truck a 3-inch stock-floor body drop. While they were building the frame, the guys made sure the back half was welded airtight, and they plumbed it to function as a backup air tank. A scuba tank runs the daily duties for the Slam Specialties airbag setup, while a Firestone compressor fills up the backup tank. Six Hellbent 1/2-inch air valves push the air from corner to corner, and silencers were plumbed in after the valves to keep things on the hush. The new stance pushed the 2.4L four-cylinder engine out past the hood, so they dropped the motor 1-1/2 inches, which kept the hood stock looking. The result was a truck that laid down beautifully over the 18- and 20-inch Enkei wheels.
With the truck laid out and looking sick, it was time to move on to the interior and stereo. Robert wanted something different, and there's no bolder choice than gray tweed and yellow vinyl. Everything in the truck that could be unbolted was either wrapped or painted to match the theme. His air-ride switches were mounted in the front of the stock Nissan console, and the headrests were shaved for that custom hot-rod look. In the cab, Robert installed a cornucopia of stereo products from MA Audio, MB Quart, and Rockford Fosgate. Four 10-inch subs flex the windows hard and let everyone know when Robert is coming.
Outside, Robert kept it simple: no crazy body mods, no shaved tails or suicide doors-just clean and simple. A 35x40-inch sliding ragtop was put into the roof, and a pair of billet grilles were bolted onto the front end but nothing crazy-just a clean paintjob with PPG Avocado Green and a gold pearl over the top.
This truck was an uphill battle the whole way through, but Robert kept on keeping on and got it done. The whole time his parents supported him and his hobby, which seems to be a rarity in the sport. In the past two years, both of Robert's parents, Donald and Christine Brown, passed away, and Robert would like to dedicate the build of this truck to their memory.