Loud and Proud

Shawn Bennett's High-Flyin', High-Wattage, High-Horsepower 4Runner

Joel Mollis Illustrator, Writer

Most of the prerunners and race trucks we feature in this fine publication are of the form-follows-function mindset; that is, design and build for function, and if the finished product also looks killer, well, that's OK. However, some builders of prerunners march to the beat of a different drum.

Case in point: Shawn Bennett and his fab 4Runner.

What makes Bennett's Toyota different from most prerunners lies in the form-as-well-as-function concept. This '98 2WD SUV is highly detailed and stuffed to the gills with high-end electronics, verifying its status as a show truck. To counter the claims of all show, no go, Bennett's toy sports a Camburg long-travel front suspension and King coilovers in front and rear, along with a TRD supercharger for the DOHC V-6 engine.

Power of an altogether different type is found within the cockpit: a Panasonic head unit signals multiple Audiobahn amplifiers, which power Audiobahn component speakers in the doors. The 4Runner's cargo area is stunning, stuffed with a quartet of Audiobahn subwoofers and the aforementioned amps displayed on scratch-built brackets.

The buildup of almost any vehicle will cause compromise to its overall function and usability, but certain vehicles -- and select enthusiasts -- seem to be able to overcome the bane of compromise, creating a machine that is adept at multiple tasks. In the case of Shawn Bennett's 4Runner, we see a vehicle that's quick and composed on the pavement, is a bona fide show winner, and is more than capable on the dirt -- a true multipurpose, go anywhere, do anything kind of machine that's an inspiration to truck enthusiasts who want it all.

Specifications

Year/make/model:'98/Toyota/4Runner

Owner/hometown: Shawn Bennett/Orange, California

Suspension: Camburg long-travel control arms, King Technologies coilover shocks, Sway-A-Way air bumpstops, 15 inches of wheel travel (front); custom multilinks, King Technologies coilover shocks, Sway-A-Way air bumpstops, 14 inches of wheel travel (rear)

Engine: 3.4L V-6 with TRD supercharger, Nitrous Express N2O system, Downey headers, Gibson exhaust, K&N air filter

Wheels/tires:16x9-inch Axis Regulator/35x12.50R16 Pro Comp Xterrain Radials

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