ERIN GO BRAGH
Mike Muldowney’s display at The Detroit Autorama last month didn’t just grab my attention, it grabbed me by the collar and pulled me over to say, “Hey muscle car guy, look at this mini truck!”. His Mazda B2600 was a stunning emerald green, slammed to the floor on a mat painted like the Irish flag. His stanchions were pots of gold and there were golden shamrocks scattered about.
Mike’s truck is a hot rod in the truest sense, take the parts you have or can afford and make it all work. Not only do they work, but they work well and blend together to make this pickup something even greater than what left the factory in 1993.
It’s powered by a small block Chevy 350 backed up by a 700r4 transmission. The front track was narrowed 6.5” and the rear by 18” to allow for massive wheels and razor thin, low-profile tires. Back up front, the suspension is a mix of GM upper and lower control arms, along with Toyota and Mazda components. “Unlike other slammed mini trucks, when mine hits the ground, the wheels stay vertical, there’s no camber to them. I worked really hard on that,” Mike proudly tells me.
He also did the Celtic cross airbrushing on the roof. “I knew it would be too expensive for me to hire someone else to do, so I did it myself, more than once.” Mike goes on to say that the cross comes from a set of rosary beads his mother had and the inscription is what she’d say to him at bedtime, “That’s how she’d say goodnight. It was always ‘Goodnight, God bless you, I love you.’” While the truck was green and white when he bought it in 2006, the two-tone felt dated, so he painted it entirely in this Mitsubishi emerald green.
On the interior, the gauge cluster from a 1948 Oldsmobile hides in plain sight. When I asked where it came from, I was expecting to hear that it was an aftermarket unit, but Mike told me he found it in a junk yard and knew instantly it would fit in the stock position. He also placed a 16oz Guinness Draught in the cup holder, a call out to Irish heritage and culture as well as the fuel filler at the rear of the bed, which is a can topper.
To top it all off, the truck’s name is “Erin”, the Gaelic word for Ireland. A fitting ride to share on the week of the feast of St. Patrick and a salute to everything from the Emerald Isle.