Cherish Her – Bear’s Nissan Hardbody

Nissan, Custom paint, Ragtop, Slider, Trueblue Pearl

You’ve  probably met guys like Jerry before. He’s a good guy, always worked hard at his job, been around the local club scene for a while, and has built a few cool rides in his time. Then one day, he steps it up a notch and builds something really wicked. That’s just what happened to Jerry Taylor, of Glendale, Arizona and this Nissan Hardbody.

Except Jerry doesn’t go by Jerry. Most know him as “Bear,” a nickname used by all of his fellow club members in Kastawayz. He’s built a little stable of rides over the past few years, including a pair of Hondas, a bodydropped Nissan Hardbody, and a Toyota mini. When Bear bought this particular Hardbody a few years back, the goal was to really go above and beyond what he had done in the past. Something that would get some attention, and really take the custom scene by storm.

Sliding ragtop, slider, Bonspeed, Billet grille, nissan hardbody

It started in Bear’s garage, a cozy little spot named “Bear’s Customs.” In that 20X20 space, he tore into his hardbody, starting with the suspension. The factory Nissan 6-lug had to go, so Bear did a spindle and rear axle swap with a ‘90’s Toyota pickup, giving him the coveted 5-lug he needed to get some decent wheels. Next, it was time to get it on the ground. Up front, Slam Specialties bags smooth out the ride, while the back was completely redone from the cab rearward, with a custom cantilever setup built around a pair of Firestone airbags. In the bed live a pair of 3-gallon air tanks, which are flanked by an Air Zenith compressor. The whole truck was hardlined with copper tubing, for that extra step of reliability.

Bridge notch, Bridged, Air Zenith, Air tanks, Air bags

With the frame resting on terra firma, it was on to the body. With a welder in hand, Bear went on a mission to weld up all the extraneous parts on his truck. That meant the third brake light, cowl vents, antenna, tailgate handle and gas door all went the way of the dodo. While the welder was out, he frenched a license plate box into the tailgate, and welded in a roll pan as well. As a finishing touch, Bear cut in an electric sliding ragtop to let the sun shine in.

The sheetmetal work was out of the way, so now he had to get it all straightened out. Around that time, Bear had started a new day job at Autostyle in Peoria, Arizona, and just two doors down was the crew at Auto Renew. Dave took control of the project, first by blocking the truck down to flat perfection. Then he sprayed the truck with a House of Kolor True Blue Pearl basecoat, then laid down a simple graphic in House of Kolor Light Blue. The result is a paintjob that plays tricks on you; It looks like a single color from some angles, and from others it’s got a killer graphic job.

Painted, Smoothed, Speaker pods, Component set, JL Audio

At the time, Bear’s hardbody had a full interior, but it needed some work. Out it came, and with the help of Cameron from Autostyle, it was all replaced with a Katzkin black leather and blue suede kit. Now he needed a system, so he hopped next door to talk to Jason at Autostyle about doing his stereo. The crew installed a pair of 9” Icon monitors in the doors, and an Eclipse in-dash dvd player up front. Then the extra-cab section was gutted and in its place a mammoth fiberglass box was built. It holds the trio of JL Amps: one 450/4, and a pair of 1000/1’s. Those amps power a quartet of JL Audio 12W6’s, subs known for their poundability. Everything that needed paint, including the dash, was sent off to the legendary Krazy Kenny to lay down some more True Blue Pearl.

Billet wheels, ragtop, frenched, shaved

For a long time, the truck was rolling on some 18’s that were neat, but nothing crazy. A few phone calls later, and a set of 19” Bonspeed Laguna II’s were rolling Bear’s way, wrapped in some super low pro 215/35 Kumho tires.

It’s been a long, strange trip as they say, but Bear’s pretty happy with the results. He’d like to throw some shouts out to Scott at Autostyle, Air Zenith, Kumho, Auto Renew, his car club Kastawayz, his brother Justin for helping put things back together, and a special thanks to his wife Bobby Taylor, and their son for all their support.

Amp rack, Custom stereo, JL Audio, Suede, Leather