On those hot Southern days when the sun feels redder than Georgia clay, nothing would be finer than to drop the top on your truck and drive. Not because it's cool, mind you, but to cool down. Since convertible pickups have very little demand in the automotive marketplace, the only way to experience the soothing powers of a 55-mph slipstream is to take it upon yourself to get the roof peeled back. That's what Lefty Lawson, of Griffin, Georgia, did on his '88 Mitsubishi Mighty Max, but not for reasons of climate so much as the fact that there are not too many trucks like his around.
This truck works great as a chop-top. By culling everything but the windshield, cladding the body in curvy lines and retro bolt-ons, and dropping it to the ground, the truck relaxes on the pavement like a kid warding off the summer heat with a vanilla ice-cream cone - or make that Mary K Pink ice cream on an Electric Silver cone. Thanks to the staff at JP Collision in Griffin, Georgia, the Mighty Max has cool colors from PPG to go with its low-slung style, with graphics painted by Mike Prince at Motorsports.
JP also gave the truck a smooth, solid finish by joining the bed and cab into one smooth box with shaved doors, a shaved cowl on a Z24 Cavalier hood, a shaved rear-end, a frenched antenna, an S-10 roll pan, a full Phantom Trenz grille, Z3 fenders, a 4x4 Toyota bumper and valance, cool diamond taillights, and a side exhaust with steel plate. And check out the retro, streamlined motorcycle mirrors. Then there's the convertible top - these guys got busy!
Inside the Mighty Max is a mighty angular presentation in homespun strawberry and gray tweed that engulfs the cab and the boxed, cut-through truck bed, thanks to Allen Wells Interiors in Griffin. They swapped the factory seats for Hyundai Scoupe seats up front and a Geo Tracker bench in the rear, and installed APC seatbelts. Even the gas tank cover and hydraulic battery box got the same color treatment. A web-themed Colorado Custom steering wheel lends some flashy spider sense to the earthy interior. Tune Town Car Audio from Albany, Georgia, mounted a Pioneer DEH-4500 head unit into the dash at a severe tilt, complementing the overall boxiness of the interior. Two 8-inch Audiobahn subwoofers sit to the left and right of rear passengers in custom enclosures. Speakers are mounted in the doors and dash. The entire system is powered by an Audiobahn two-channel, 400-watt amplifier.
Under the hood is a very clean '88 four-banger painted pink and silver, topped with a PaceSetter header, backed by a shaved firewall. Get on your hands and knees to peer through the 1-inch gap beneath the truck and you might spy Belltech front 2-inch drop spindles, note the 3-1/2-inch body drop, and a CCE hydraulic system for the two-link suspension. Craig Wood of The Truck Stop in Griffin, handled the suspension modifications and the body drop, except for the hydraulics, which were the product of Jason Overby at Fat Boys Custumz. The truck rides on four 17x7.5-inch Trilogy III wheels from Budnik, and Kumho P205/40R17 tires.
Many people were mentioned as being part of this project, but there is one person that will forever be linked to all of Lefty Lawson's trucks: His father, Elder Marion Lawson, was a preacher at Sovereign Grace Assembly Church and a great influence upon his life and hobby. In light of that, and in commemoration of his father's passing 3 years ago, Lefty dedicates this and all future projects to his father's memory.