I am 19 years old and live in the heart of the American-Japanese car scene... western Washington. My dad was an old hot rodder in the day and I have always loved his stories about his C10, Nova and his chevelle's. I remember him saying his favorite car to drive was a old Toyota Celica. I grew up loving old Mustangs and other old hot rods, always have (I take after my dad in most things).
His best friend and him toyed around with many 520's, 521's, 620's and 720's, and to this day Steve (his old best friend) lives in New Mexico will give me tips on things to this day and give advice.
When I was a sophomore in high school I started to hang out with the car guys at my school of 350-400 kids. These kids got me into the ever growing drift and "JDM" scene in this area (I'm about 2 towns away from evergreen speedway, arguably one of the biggest tracks in western Washington). I had bought my dad's old car after a long summer of working at a drive in, a 1996 Nissan Maxima with just a hair under 400k when I started my driving lessons and he got his new car. This car had been rear ended when my grandpa bought it new (fixed right after), then hit a deer with my dad at the wheel a few years before I got the machine. I loved that car, learned a lot of what I know now from it. Although, I put it through hell... Jumped it twice, rallied it on dirt roads, slid it on fast food trays, just the usual stuff a 16 to 18 year old would do to their first car.
Me and my buddies would go and race and street drift with other rigs. My friend Justin had a late model S13 hatch that he would slide around and from me and him being such good friends at the time got me into knowing all the drift guys in the area and another really good friend that had a couple E36's that he slid on street and track. I remember sitting in Justin's driveway and being bored as all hell going through Instagram. He showed me a picture of a Mitsubishi Mighty Max that was slammed and look pretty. I hated the idea of minitrucking (boy i was wrong). Looked at him and just explained how I didn't like mini's at all, and talked about the old hot rodding, 4 wheeling or whatever I loved at the time.
After a few years of being in and out of drifting, I was 18 with about 3 months left of high school. I started to look at more and more Datsun's (I love 510's and Z's). But a new truck caught my eye... The 620. I loved them, every curve, every angle just every part of these trucks. This got me into mini trucking. I caught the itch.
My beloved Maxima got hit finally in the parking lot of my high school, chick backed up HARD into my passenger fender that was already in bad shape, with the ECU having problems I just let the insurance company take it. So I had way more money in my pocket than what that car was worth, and wanted a mini. My dad's friend had a 96 Ranger with the 2.3L under the hood and a 5 speed. Learned really how to do real work and how to actually drive a stick in that thing.
I started a job shortly after high school at a parts store that has been local for 30+ years and every hot rodder uses. Met a friend Brandon who works there with a 1977 half gen Toyota that sits as low as physically possible. This made my itch even worse... So I did what any sensible guy would do, lower my ranger. Over the summer I flipped the rear springs, and put on the DJM drop beams. Later put on some tires and wheels that dropped it a little bit lower to my liking, made a nice daily out of it that I could call mine.
I would occasionally look around randomly for 620's that were reasonable to me. BTW this state is terrible for Datsun's, everything is rusted through. But about 2 months ago I look because Brandon and I were talking about them and how much I love them. I found a 76 single cab long bed in perfect shape in my price range. Met up, didn't have the money and the guy stood me up, go on with 2 weeks of Brandon bugging me to get one and checking out other random pieces of shit, I found the one. A cream white single cab, short bed 74. I bought it... Good ole "Pancho Vila", truck had that all over the key chain. Beautiful truck and has a lot of meaning and personality already. Had a 5 speed in it when I bought it and I recently picked up a L20B I'm building for it. I'm in love and I've bought one of my dream trucks. Truck turns heads and is fairly stock. I don't ever see myself getting rid of it. I already have plans for show's and ect. This community has helped me answer so many things already, and without it I would be a lot more lost than I am. Thank you dad, Steve, Justin, Taylor and everyone else who has inspired me to get to where I am at now. Also a very special thank you to this community.