Every now and then i get to missin’ my old truck. It was bad. Never been one for the mega lifted monstrosities, but the utility of a truck is hard to deny. This was a regular cab 1994 Nissan “D21” so named by the first 3 digits of the body code.

Bad truck, with Bad Bike, on proud display.

It was not and still is not uncommon for vehicle manufacturers to not have any official name for their mostly-utlity vehicles because the target market doesn’t care about names / vibes / brand equity. (Proof? The number one selling vehicle on the planet is still designated by its technical name, “f150.”) However, within the next year or two, Nissan released the D22 which did have a name, the Frontier. I guess mine was the end of an era.


Bed featuring drop in liner, mesh tailgate (for less wind resistance), 2-by drop ins to hold 4×8 sheets & bike fork mounts with locks. And yes, i still had the stock tailgate.

Anyways, we used to joke that as time passed this truck got younger; by the time i sold it, i had replaced so much junk end-of-lifespan parts that by shear statistics, the average age of the vehicle MUST have come down. Immediately upon purchasing the truck, i could tell the tires were dry rotted. (For less than i could purchase new tires mounted to the existing narrow-width wheels, i was able to score some mudder BF Goodrich All Terrains, mounted & balanced on some nicely offset chrome American Racing rims.) Beyond all the regular stuff (wipers, plugs, cables, battery, stereo, speakers, subwoofer, light bulbs, oil, fluids in general, etc) were talkin’ alternator, starter motor, fan, rebuilt transmission, bushings, bearings, paint work, body work, frame work, bucket seats, rear sound insulation, and THEN a whole slew of little plastic panels, switch housings & plugs literally sprinkled all around the truck.

Seriously; it got younger!

You can see the Sword graphic i had designed for my truck, which i printed on some scrap “perf” vinyl (which meant there were thousands of little holes that allowed you to see out fine); i took what was normally a solid logo and did all all this cosmic overlay stuff. It was pretty sweet.

What you can also see – above is a zoom – was two super low-pro bike fork mounts. Much like any good project, this was quite a learning curve; it involved pattern matching & transferring, welding, sanding nuts (because they don’t tent to be small enough), paint & all sorts of diligence. But the result was awesome. (The bicycle i had frankensteined from odds & ends through Velocipede, a volunteer youth-targeted bike-education program that allows you to build a bike for free as incentive to volunteer. To my knowledge, it was the only mountain / dirt / downhill bike they had ever seen anyone build)

 

It also came with a color-matched cap which gave you the vague sense that if you now left objects in your bed, there was a slightly lesser chance someone would steal them.

 


This interior shot is totally un-sexy, but it shows a few things: for one, there were exactly zero broken and/ or missing panels anywhere. For another, the truck came stock with a bench seat (which i still have! and is totally where i chill out and play guitar from, in the basement) – but it only had seat belts for two. Doing my research, i had a small hand full of donor vehicles to pull from, namely other 2 doors, 2+ Extended cabs & Pathfinders.

 

I miss ol’ Red.

 

But with a kid on the way, the wife said the rusted frame was a no-go and i had to get something mature.

 

Something family friendly.

 

GO LITTLE GTI GO!