Accelerating out of the past into the present, mini trucks are making a comeback. At least according to Kenneth McCay, who recently posted his rad retro-ride on the Maverick Truck Club forum. Slammed down to the rockers courtesy of a custom airbag setup, stuffed with bumpin’ Alpine audio components and wrapped in old-school graphics, this Maverick is one ‘laid out’ build.
Mini truck history is a bit obscure. According to Mike Finnegan, co-host of several automotive shows, and more importantly, the former associate editor of Mini Truckin’ Magazine, the late 1990s custom phenomenon did not start with the compact truck. Instead, it was an offshoot of 1970s van culture and small, first-generation haulers like the Ford Econoline and Chevrolet’s Sportvan.
By the 2000s, the movement had developed into a global phenomenon. Part hot rod and part low rider, mini trucks never really fit in, scraping out their own identity onto the pavement. Partly due to a lack of stock trucks to modify, they faded out of sight, but the aptly named Maverick could turn that around—a point not lost on McCay.
It was McCay’s intent from the get-go to turn his new, 2022 Maverick XL into a mini truck. He stated in a Motor Trend feature, “I put 70 miles on it before driving straight to my buddy’s shop.” True to form, the first order of business was to install air suspension. He reflected, “I never considered any other route.”
McCay elaborated, “I had to cut and raise my upper strut towers to get it this low.” Resting the frame rails on the ground is the name of the game when it comes to mini-trucks—otherwise known as ‘laid out.’ He explained, “I got tired of my buddies making fun of it not laying out, so I had to go with smaller wheels and tires.”
NTX All Terrain, in Forney, Texas, handled the ride setup. A modified Chassis Tech air suspension system was installed, along with a set of 20” MSR 087 wheels. With the tires now protruding from the body, the fenders required a bit of massaging. Air Designs fender flares were added to cover the new rolling stock and clean up the wheel wells.
With the Maverick dumped to the ground, shaking it was the next requirement. This was achieved with an Alpine Audio setup featuring four 12” subwoofers, two 10” subs, six 6.5” component speakers, and two five-channel amplifiers backed up by a pair of sub amps. Most of this was housed in the truck’s 4.5-foot bed and covered with a Retrax cover.
For a little extra ventilation, a hole was cut in the new truck to fit a ‘Sliding Ragtop Folding Sunroof Kit’ from Legacy Products in Scottsdale, Arizona. McCay reflected on the overall build, “It definitely gets mixed reactions. Love it or hate it, it gets your attention.” Inherent to mini trucks, that duality could be making a comeback with Ford’s hot-selling Maverick.
Source: Ford Truck Enthusiasts