If you were in the business of selling auto parts for import cars, what would you choose as the ultimate parts hauler? For Wayne Mertz of Canfield, Ohio, that choice was simple. It had to be sizable, reliable, look cool, and perform, something not found from the overseas crowd. Realizing that, he knew this '99 Dodge Dakota was the answer. Still, when Wayne was searching for that "just right truck," he never envisioned ending up with anything this eye-popping.
He eventually purchased this particular truck from the pre-owned section at a local Dodge dealership because the paint on this thing-applied by Harvey Palmer of Custom Creations in Omeonta, Alabama-has the visual ability to stop a tractor-trailer driving on marbles! Come on, let's face it, how many trucks can yell "whoa" without murmering a single word? This one won't get lost in the parking lot, that's certain. The lower half of the original Solar Yellow paint is covered by an awe-inspiring shade of Absolute Purpleen that changes from purple to blue to green and then red depending on how the sunlight hits it.
With 15,000 miles on the odometer, the factory stock 250hp 5.9L engine has a K&N Filter Charger and Mopar Performance valve covers as the only hop-up modifications, but the beast is still enough to make the little hauler turn those factory- installed rear 255-55R17 tires into asphalt crayons. The suspension and the rest of the drivetrain are in factory-delivered condition.
The interior of Wayne's wheels is a combination of factory and aftermarket components that gives his Dakota the right style for long highway miles. The seats were upholstered by Classic Soft Trim Interiors in a complementary contingent of contrasting yellow-black, while the steering-wheel cover was found on that newfangled contraption of the World Wide Web and supplied by Leather-People.com. And if you're gonna have a truck this cool, ya gotta have tunes as well. Since Dodge already supplies a quality head unit, the only upgrades were two MTX 10-inch earth shakers powered by a 100-watt amp installed under the seats.
In the end, what Wayne has attained is the perfect combination of eye candy and power pleasure that anybody with a pulse would be happy to own. So if you're ever around Canfield and see colors roaring by, most likely it's Wayne, haulin' more parts in style.