Hector “Paisa” Gutierrez knows a thing or two about great builds. After all, the veteran automotive enthusiast was a founding member of one of the nation’s largest car clubs – Nokturnal. With more than 20 years of car show scene, he knows the qualifications of an award- winning custom, the work that goes into building one and the efforts needed to prepare. Although his Nocturnal days are over, he still has a passion for building and his latest creation demonstrates just how deep that passion is.

The Toyota Tacoma was actually never supposed to be shown, initially buying it as a daily driver – which it was for almost two years. “It had a small 6” suspension and some TIS wheels, but nothing more,” he confesses. “I didn’t even know I wanted more until John Ramos of DUB Magazine mentioned I should build it up for SEMA. I had never built anything for SEMA before, so I figured why not?”

With a mission to create something SEMA worthy, Hector began the road to the big show – an experience he’s waited a long time for. Under the guidance of John, his preparation was fairly seamless and uncomplicated – a rare event for many builders. The first step in the build process was the stance for the Tacoma, which was enhanced via a 12” Bulletproof Suspension that provided it with its dominant height needed to garner the glances needed to make it a competitor among a sea of other builds. He then switched out his TIS wheels for a set of 24×14 Dropstars 657 wheels and wrapped them in 40” Nitto Grapplers. “The wheels have to be my favorite mod,” he says. “Just the look they give the truck really sets off the entire build and helps with its aggressive exterior.”

Not wanting to take away too much from the Tacoma’s look, Hector went for a few subtle additions, including Fab Four bumpers, Heise lighting (in the form of cubes and bars), Oracle undercarriage lighting and upgraded the stock filter to a K&N one for more horsepower (when he did drive it on the weekends and to and from shows). The RK Sport hood provides a menacing look, while the AMP Research steps make getting in and out of the lifted rig a breeze. Other mods include: a Borla exhaust, HornBlaster air horns, DUB IR Tint, ARE roof rack and shell, and an Optima battery. The orange graphics give the Toyota a clean, yet standout look that Hector was initially striving for. Inside, a Kenwood sound system bumps his favorite tunes on the weekends.

“The entire build came out just as I first envisioned it,” he admits. “I couldn’t have asked for anymore more and think it came out great!” As his first “big” build, Hector enjoyed the road to SEMA and is already planning on what his next project will be. “Not dealing with airbags was a huge relief, and I’m looking forward to what’s next!”

2018 TOYOTA TACOMA

Owner: Hector “Paisa” Gutierrez 

WHEELS & TIRES

• 24x14Dropstars 657 wheels
• Nitto Grappler 40X15.50R24 tires

SUSPENSION

• 12” Bulletproof Suspension

PERFORMANCE

• K&N filter
• Borla exhaust

EXTERIOR

• Fab Fours bumpers
• AMP Research steps
• RK Sport hood
• ARE shell cover and roof rack
• Rhino hitch
• DUBIR tint

LIGHTING

• Heise light cubes and light bars
• Oracle undercarriage lighting

ACCESSORIES

• Optima battery
• Hornblaster

AUDIO

• (2) Kenwood XR-1001-1 EXCELON amps
• Kenwood DNX996XR EXCELON head unit
• Kenwood EXCELON speakers
• (2) Kenwood KFC-XW100F 10” subs

INTERIOR

• Papago dash camera