Have you ever been happily minding your own mundane workaday business when you were suddenly blindsided by a mindmelting vision that you couldn’t even dare think to try to make up? Then wish you had a camera and time to make sure it pics-or-it-didn’t-happened, before remembering you do and are therefore in (somewhat questionable) luck?
Case in point: a brilliantly disturbing custom I saw a couple months ago here in Frankfort, KY. My family and I were filling up the truckster with junk from Wal-Mart (don’t hate, it’s all we’re stuck with here), when a bonafide ?!?! started thuggin’ slow through the parking lot on its departure from the premises. I stared agape in a fruitless attempt to decipher it for a moment, before remembering the long worn-out camera I began keeping in the car for such an occasion. Which begat the careless tossing of the rest of our provisions, the hurried strapping of my gloriously patient kids into their padded cocoons, and the praying that the… the… whatever it was (did I really just see that?) merely relocated to go show off by Lowe’s.
I was not disappointed. In fact, to my better-than-hoped-for delight, they parked it in a prime spot not even in front of Lowe’s, but Shoe Carnival! How appropriate! Because what was this rolling assault I had to document?
I could say “a 1984 Toyota pickup with an identity crisis”, but that would sell it leagues too short. Indeed: there are multiple levels of insanity to fathom here that otherwise haven’t been seen since Uncle Bob tried to deep-fry a Turducken. For it spans not only multiple marques and multiple levels of intent and craftsmanship, but somehow transcends multiple schools of poseur-custom! Behold:
- Flat rattle-can black paint. Yeah, so all the cool kids are doing it these days, but how many scribe their satin “signature” across the hood?
- Preserved-and-polished OEM chrome. Hey, that’s called Bling for Cheap, thanks to the aforementioned 20 bucks of Krylon.
- Fart-can exhaust tip. Sigh...
- Honda CRV wheels and grille. I surmise this is not because the builders felt this is the truck the Ridgeline should have been, but because they wanted to pay homage to all those SBC-powered ’32 Fords that have bowties prominently displayed all over the bodywork. Those SBC-Ford guys do that all the time. Right?
- Euro-trash headlights. Which would be completely passé sans the fact these entirely eschew fit and finish by appearing to be sourced for a Chevy S-10. Why a Chevy S-10? Do not ask why, grasshopper. The question is, “Why not”? I mean, they couldn’t have been lying around the shop… because that’d mean there… could… be… more… of… No. Oh please, no. Better lock up your garages and tell the children in your life that you love them, just to be safe. *EDIT*: Baldy_pm points out these are stock 2000 GMC Envoy headlights. Who knew GMC installed Professional Grade Euro-trash? I didn’t, for shame. Nonetheless… does that make it any better? Didn’t think so.
- Rally lights, mounted WRC-style. Who needs a rally wing when you have the optimum traction provided by empty-bed down force? Oh, and KC Daylighters are so, like, 1984 when it comes to trucks.
- A red nose tow ring. On a truck? Ponder that for a moment.
- “Dawg! Jeremy Mayfield traded me this sweet Nascar COT wing for some smack! Think we can flip it upside-down and use it for an air dam?”
Now, take all these conflicting design paths and ingredients, then stir well and half-bake for Macaroni-art fit and finish. And just when you think this crisis of confidence, conundrum of craftsmanship and crash-fest of culture couldn’t get any worse, you walk around the tailgate, and get the full effect:
Perplexingly, there’s a fair amount of attention invested in the fake name. The typeface, kerning, and alignment on this one-of-a-kind custom-made vinyl badge is fairly authentic, and looks pretty much exactly as it would if Honda and Toyota consummated the way of Chrysler and GM’s aborted marriage.
The only way this could have been better (?) is if they had used one of the similarly bodied Nissan trucks of the period. Or maybe Hondota-san – son of Frankenstein – is a planned sequel? Again I implore: lock your garage!
But before you accuse me of being needlessly snarky, know this: I am, in all true sincerity, as genuinely perplexed by this as I am fiendishly amused. I don’t even know if it’s actually a Honda-powered Toyota in the vein of an SBC-Ford, or just a Pep Boys salvage title tack-on job. I’d even consider awarding credit for an incredible act of irony. Regardless, what say you? Is it truly just an ill-conceived and poorly executed – yet otherwise serious – attempt to do something different? Or is it so over the top that the builders were in on the joke the moment they stole the “H” off Superintendent Chalmers’ Accord?
Note: There is no need for you to schedule lasik or have another shot of brandy; the author / photographer hereby apologizes for the crappy photos. There IS a need for said Luddite to join the 21st century and get a new camera/phone/e-nagger. He endeavored to repair the camera after it crapped out during these shots, but did not have enough Liquid Courage on hand to reassemble it. You wouldn’t either when faced with three dozen microscopic screws which aren’t actually all the same.
(Have you escaped the clutches of a Ride of Frankenstein and lived to tell about it? If so, send it to me at goingincirclez at geeeeemaaail, with “Ride of Frankenstein” in the subject line. Remember: pics, or it didn’t happen!)