Does Joe Hughes feel enthusiasm for the minitruck lifestyle? A look at his e-mail address answers that question: It starts with ThreeAndAHalfBodyDropped. In fact, Joe's e-mail is an understatement, he spent 2 years and $25k to give his Nissan Hardbody Extended Cab a 5-1/2-inch body-drop and a whole lot more. Let's go into the details of Joe's Asphalt Assassin.
Beneath the body's Cobalt-Blue DuPont paint lies a minitrucker's array of body mods. The old factory grille was replaced by a phantom model, and that bold, chrome front bumper came from a Toyota. Nissan 4WD fenders make room for the 20x8-inch Mob wheels and Nankang 225/30R20 tires. Cadillac taillights bookend the shaved tailgate and offset the license plate. The door handles, the third brake light, the mirrors, the antenna, and the firewall were all shaved. Even the rockers were cut off-not just for looks, but so the truck would lie lower. A sliding ragtop sunroof lets the sunshine inside, and the lid hides the 20-gallon fuel cell, air horns, two Optima batteries, and the custom frame that houses the suspension's air works.
Speaking of the suspension, 2-inch Belltech drop spindles and Contitech airsprings drop the truck to the ground in concert with the body-drop and amputated rockers. Underneath the hood, the valve covers and pulleys were polished. The custom four-link was made of stainless steel and the air valves were plugged into the frame. Joe, Paul Rodgers, and the Dropmob Crew did the bodywork on the truck. Joe and Paul did the suspension. Anthony Henderson and Joe laid on the paint.