Moms, dads, grandparents, take out a pen and paper and prepare to be schooled. If you want to keep your sons and daughters out of trouble, buy them a truck and give them a project. If you don't think this method of keeping kids straight will work, then check out Kyle Braun's '97 Dakota. Instead of doing the stupid things teenagers do, every dime Kyle made went into his truck and every spare second was filled creating a truck that always grabs attention.
It began at the ripe-old age of 15, when the keys to a totaled Dakota were placed in his too-young-to-drive hands and he was told to build it the best he could. Accepting the challenge, ideas instantly popped up and began developing in his noggin. Like so many of us, the suspension was first to be modified. Now riding on air, the compressors, tanks, and valves were mounted inside the rear notched framerails. Performed entirely in the home garage, the 'Kota also sports a dump bed for extra show points. After some friendly pushing from a certain feature editor, the wheels were removed and replaced with a sweet set of 20-inch Giovanna Anzio dubs wrapped in Hankook rubber.
Outside the dumped framerails lies a bevy of body modifications that include shaved door handles, tailgate handle, antenna, taillights, and gas-filler door. The factory white pearl received three coats of pearl along with House of Kolor Kandy Apple Red flames - a subtle touch that turns heads like a Wimbledon match. Watching the flames separate is easy with the doors opening suicide-style - again a trick installed by Kyle and his buddy Tracy. Up front, a Xenon front bumper adds style, and the billet grille inserts add class.
Opening the trick doors reveals a host of interior enhancements ranging from mild to wild. The smoothed and painted dash is accented with a billet steering wheel and 5-inch monitor, while the white and red flamed seats add some heat to the mix. Black suede door panels are offset by the white and red leather headliner, looking down on the diamond-plate floormats. Tunes are heard from a JVC head unit, MA Audio mids, two 10-inch subs, and an 1,800-watt MA Audio amp. For gaming, the PS2 is ready to play, and in the bed, the 15-inch monitor provides plenty of jaw-dropping fun.
Under the flamed hood lies a Magnum V-6 equipped with plenty of paint, red wire loom, and chrome valve covers and breathers. Engine mods were minimal, after all, this truck is driven everyday when it is not being worked on. To his credit, Kyle and his father have spent countless hours modifying every aspect of this hard-to-build Dakota, and the results were well worth it. Because of readers like you, we have the greatest jobs ever.