Black Beauty

December 2nd, 2009


Jeremy Rice out of Glendale, Arizona, crafted his 1987 Mazda B2000 not only to display Hydroholics components, but also to showcase the historic timeline of mini-trucks. He took a cue from the history of mini-trucks while adding a modern, ultra-sano twist.

A Modern Mazda With Some Classic Mini-Truck Flair


Photos by Surface DVD

Jeremy Rice
1987 Mazda B2000
Glendale, AZ
Art of Noize

Jeremy Rice out of Glendale, Arizona, crafted his 1987 Mazda B2000 not only to display Hydroholics components, but also to showcase the historic timeline of mini-trucks. He took a cue from the history of mini-trucks while adding a modern, ultra-sano twist. The Mazda B-series is one of the most popular mini-truck models ever, especially the third generation, which was first introduced to the American market in 1986. For many it is the truck that brought them into the scene, with its clean exterior straight from the factory. That was that look that Jeremy wanted, so he kept the factory handles, mirrors and trim, while complementing them with subtle modern tricks. Retro touches have always been popular in the custom truck community, applying hot rod, custom or muscle car styling to a modern truck. In recent years, the term has been applied to trucks that hark back to the beginning of the mini-truck era, before the time of airbags, where static drops and walkthroughs were all the rage. Of course, what would be the point in building a custom mini without adding modern twists and techniques to it as well?

The suspension was the first element to be tackled. Rather than slamming the Mazda using a set of air shocks, Jeremy cut the floor and stepped up the rear frame to accomplish a 2 1/2-inch body drop. A set of 8- and 10-inch cylinders creates plenty of lift for the front and rear respectively. The rear cylinders were mounted upside down so that there would be no need to cut the bed up more for clearance. An early ‘90s Toyota rearend was hooked up to a custom-triangulated 4-link, and up front, a set of custom control arms and AIM spindles were installed to finish off the suspension. A two-pump/four-dump and accumulator setup were provided by Derek and Aaron from Hydroholics and mounted under a trap door in the bed floor. Hydroholics has a long history of performing innovative hydraulic work on a variety of applications. The company produces components geared towards the mini-truck and VIP crowd who are looking for reliability and comfort, not dancing or hopping like their lowrider counterparts. Of course, a hydraulic setup needs plenty of battery power to get the juices flowing, so Erik Harbour from Kinetik provided their powerful 1800HC cells for the task.

Going for an ultra-clean style while maintaining the factory look, the exterior of the truck was kept stock with the exception of modifying the front grille for Ford Ranger headlights and installing a chrome front bumper. Out back, a staple of custom trucks, a roll pan from Suicide Doors, was welded in. Terry at Illustrious Paint Works sprayed the Mazda black before it was buffed out to a glass-like finish. The door handles and trim were all kept intact, as many Mazdas were back when they first came off dealer lots and rolled straight to driveways everywhere, ready for a set of Porsche alloy wheels and lowering blocks.

The history lesson doesn’t stop there though. Jeremy came across a set of wheels styled after those more commonly seen in old Fresh Prince videos, but like everything else on the Mazda, they had a modern 20-inch twist. The three-spoke Incubus Lore wheels are modeled after the famed Opus One three-spoke wheels from Antera that swept the mini-truck scene in the early ‘90s.

On the inside, it is all modern mini-truck, complete with custom fiberglass work and vinyl and suede skins. Filling the extended cab portion of the truck is an Allante black vinyl-covered enclosure housing two 12-inch Realm Audio subwoofers and two Realm amplifiers putting out 1,000 watts to the subs and 600 watts to the 6 1/2-inch component speakers on the custom-built door panels. A custom center console by Jeremy and Andy Day flows from the sub box to provide armrests as well as housing for the switches and floor shifter. Scottie Taylor wrapped the box, panels and seats in Allante black vinyl and pewter Street Suede to complete the comfort zone inside the blacked-out truck.

Jeremy’s Mazda catches everyone’s attention at shows even though it maintains its stock trim and black color. Its cleanliness and old school flair is what draws people in. The attention to detail and custom hydraulic suspension are what keep everyone talking.

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Jeremy and Andy Day formed the custom stereo enclosure and center console to showcase the pounding Realm Audio 12-inch subwoofers and amplifiers.
A two-pump/four-dump and accumulator setup from Hydroholics provides fluid to the 8- and 10-inch cylinders to get the truck up, while a set of Kinetik 1800HC cells provides all of the power for the juice and stereo equipment found inside the blacked-out cab.

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