THE NIGHT WATCHER WITH THE RED BANDANA
’92 Mazda B2600i: The night watcher with the red bandana
In the late ’80s and early ’90s, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were the craze in America. Almost everything green was referred to as Ninja Turtle Green. When Jonas Taylor originally purchased his ’92 Mazda B2600i, it was a bright green, and all his friends named it The Ninja Turtle. When he was a child, Jonas was initiated into the truck scene by his father, Stan. He and his cousin Johnie were always fascinated by the truck culture.
Jonas and Johnie started a truck customizing business called J&J Kustoms and began honing their newfound truck talents. Johnie was searching for a truck to use as a creative billboard to showcase what he could do, but he also wanted to drive it. For months, he looked through online ads, until he came across a Mazda mini for $500. Once Jonas obtained it, he ripped out the original suspension and added a full airride suspension.
The Mazda was swapped to a five-lug Toyota front and rear and was laid out on the Toyota axle. Of course, the outside was still the obnoxious green color. When Jonas began doing some bodywork and found the original color, he thought it was fitting to bring the Mazda back to the stock hue. A PPG Cinnabar Red was sprayed on by Anthony Holder (who added a little extra mix, which he keeps a secret). Once the Mazda was painted, Jonas’ friends changed the nickname from Ninja Turtle to Raphael because of the color.
For the interior, Jonas got a deal on aluminum bomber seats. Based on recommendations from good friends Matthew Lawson and Greg Miller, he brought the truck to Gulf Coast Upholstery for the interior wrapping.
During the build process, Jonas was dealing with a serious family emergency. Twenty days before her seventh birthday, his daughter, Marley, passed away from complications of a heart condition she was born with. “She was everything to me,” Jonas tells Truckin. “She loved this Mazda even more than me.” Jonas says the Raphael build was done in her honor, and he and his wife, Callie, carry on their love for Marley through the Mazda.
Jonas lost the motivation for Raphael when Marley passed, but he was eventually able to continue the build to get his mind off things. Jonas wishes to thank his beautiful wife, Callie, for her support as well as their daughters Celina and Cheyenne for their understanding. A special thanks to his parents Brenda and Stan for their love and for always being there. Raphael will always be the best ninja turtle in the Taylor family.