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2000 Tacoma From A Guy Who Aims High

Posted in Features on August 15, 2017
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Kory Mackenzie is a man on a mission. The 22 year-old Palmdale, California, resident is presently self-employed, which is impressive in itself, but he’s also in the process of becoming an air traffic controller.

To do a job like that takes intense concentration and focus—two traits he used when he built this ’00 Tacoma in his Palmdale, California, garage. Yep, this capable and fun prerunner was garage built and has seen plenty of use in the surrounding desert.

Mackenzie tubed the front and rear together and caged the interior before he installed custom-made and home-built billet stamped upper control arms and equally home-built spindles. A trio of King products, 10-inch 2.5 coilovers and 2.5 external bypass shocks are joined with 3.0 bumpstops to put big hits in their place. A long arm three-link setup anchors the rearend and again it’s King 2.5 coilovers with external 2.5 triple bypasses shocks, though this time they’re 16 inches long. That rearend is a Currie 9-inch that features a Spartan locker, Yukon 4:86 gears, and 32-spline, 4130 axles.

A set of 17-inch Center Line RT2 alloy wheels attach to the six-lug hubs and are encircled with Atturo Trail Blade tires.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and make do with what you have are two phrases Mackenzie seems to embrace as the exterior is an eclectic mix. The fiberglass consists of a Fiberwerx Xtreme one-piece conversion and McNeil bedsides that now adorn the Tundra, while the paint is Rust-Oleum that was applied by Mac too. Dr. Pepper Burgundy Rust-Oleum to be exact. All quality products in themselves, and AT Control classes aren’t free. The stock cab has a few dings in it too, but who cares?

Besides, Mackenzie had other things to spend money on and spend on lighting he did. There are five Xprite 9-inch round spots hovering over the windshield and four per side Rigid Industries LED lightbar and pods, some covered in amber lenses and some in pure, white light.

The bed area is all tubed too, but a fuel cell has been added, as has a spare tire, a couple of fire extinguishers, and a cooler for those hot desert days.

There’s not much room left inside after the cage was installed, but Mackenzie installed the good stuff with Beard seats and PRP harnesses, a quick-release–equipped Grant steering wheel and a Parker Pumper fresh air system.

Decked out in Dr. Pepper Rust-Oleum and everything it needs, this Tacoma is what can be achieved with willpower and persistence.

A custom aluminum dash is packed with all kinds of Auto Meter Phantom gauges, switches, stereo, Rand McNally GPS unit, and intercom.

Power comes from the Toyota 3.4 V-6 engine. It’s been upgraded with TRD injectors, a K&N air cleaner, a set of TRD headers and MagnaFlow exhaust tubes and mufflers. The five-speed manual transmission gets the ponies to the rearend.

“This truck has taken a lot of Harbor Freight flap disks and cutoff wheels to build,” says Mackenzie. “I haven’t had a lot of money to put into this build or into buying the proper tools. Yet I put everything I have into building and taking my truck out with my desert family.”

This Tacoma may not be a “luxury” prerunner, but we still think that it represents what’s good in off-roading. It’s capable, it’s fun to drive, and—maybe best of all—it was built by a guy in his garage who had more moxie than money and who’s working hard to ensure that his future takes off.

Owner-built suspension pieces work with King shocks and bumpstops while the 3.4L V-6 engine has been upgraded with a K&N air cleaner, TRD injectors and headers, and MagnaFlow mufflers.
A long arm, three-link rear system controls the Currie 9-inch while being controlled by King coilover and bypass shocks.
Thirty-seven-inch Atturo Trail Blade tires encircle the set of 17-inch Center Line RT2 alloy wheels.
Five 9-inch round Xprite LED lights reside inside a custom light mount that attaches to the interior cage.
A host of Rigid Industries LED light pods provide lights as the headlights are nowhere to be seen. There’s also a Rigid LED lightbar that spans the pushbar.
A Grant steering wheel gives the driver something to hold on to while the many Pro Comp gauges share space with switches and GPS unit in the custom aluminum dash.
Race-ready describes the interior as Beard seats, PRP harnesses, and a Parker Pumper unit are all ready to roll. And we mean that in a good way.
We first saw this truck at Jump Champs, where Mackenzie was having a blast airing out his Ranger. We hope you enjoyed the look at this home built beauty.
PhotosView Slideshow


Auto Meter
Sycamore, IL 60178
MagnaFlow Performance Exhaust
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
Currie Enterprises
Corona, CA 92880
K&N Engineering
Riverside, CA 92507
Garden Grove, CA 92840
Center Line Wheels
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
Mcneil Racing Inc.
n/a, CA
Fiberwerx Offroad Fiberglass
Santee, CA 92071
Rigid Industries
Mesa, AZ 85215
PRP Seats
Murrieta, CA
Beard Seats
Riverside, CA 92504
Yukon Gear and Axle
Grant Steering Wheels
Glendale, CA
(800) 688-5912

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