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Take 5: Island Style SAS Taco

Tropical beaches, drinks with little umbrellas and really big Toyotas. The Hawaiian islands are full of unique and intriguing trends, but none more in-your-face than a solid-axle swapped Tacoma, jacked to the sky, skating on some really wide wheels wrapped in mud terrains. This island style of building Toyota trucks has been around since the '80s, and it isn't going anywhere soon.

Chris Santos, a small engine shop owner on the big island of Hawaii, has been performing solid-axle swaps on Toyotas for years on local trucks and his own alike. But his crown jewel is his 2008 Black Sand Pearl Tacoma. We caught up with Chris for a quick Take 5, but you can see more of his builds on his Instagram page.

Chris Santos  |  @therealmccoy808

2008 Toyota Tacoma

Solid-axle-swapped Tacoma front end sitting mean

1. Best mod to your vehicle:

The suspension. I built a custom parallel 4-link design with 2.5-inch diameter Fox coilovers up front and a custom rear triangulated 4-link system with 2.0 inch Fox coilovers in the rear. I also like the Nitto Trail Grapplers because they look and ride best on my 16-inch wide wheels.

Chris' custom suspension shines in the wheel wells

2. Favorite driving music:

Lately, it's been classic rock. AC/DC is the first that comes to mind.

The Hawaiian style is all about wide

3.  Favorite car movie:

The Fast & Furious movies.

4. Favorite road to drive:

"The Country Road," or Hamakua Coast. It's a road that runs over 100 miles from one side of the island to the other.

5. Next truck adventure:  

I'm going to build a full-blown Toyota "truggy" with either a tube chassis rear half or flat bed, dedicated to rock crawling. 

355/40/22 Nitto Trail Grapplers mean business

Do you have any suggestions for new Take 5 questions? Let us know! Leave a comment or email us: editor@drivingline.com.

Photos courtesy of Shone Mandaloniz and Monica-Lynn McKeague

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