Turner’s Black Nightmare – Part 1
When I first met my wife, she had a 1999 Isuzu Amigo 4X4. Man, I loved that truck, and it was hard to leave it behind the day we traded it for a Nissan Juke. So the other day, it hit me, “Why haven’t I been interviewing Isuzu owners from the web’s best Isuzu off-road forum – PlanetIsuzoo.com?” The interview request thread was posted, and the first response I got was from Pvt. Turner, asking if I was interested in his Project Black Nightmare. Yes. Yes I was.
A couple things make this truck special, before we get to Turner’s responses in this, Part 1, of our multi-part conversation. This is a guy who doesn’t let others tell him what is and is not possible. He took a rather pedestrian, 2WD and turned it into what might be the highest-lifted, 4WD Rodeo in North America. As a gearhead, I suspect you can appreciate a gearhead who takes responsibility for figuring out how to do something everyone else says can’t be done.
[bt] My name is SGT Brandon Turner, I am 26 years old and I am from Madison, MS, but currently live in Clinton with my girlfriend and our 6 furry children (cats). I am a disabled veteran struggling with PTSD, depression and anxiety. I have not been able to work due to mental issues and not liking to be out in public. Luckily the Wounded Warrior program and the VA took me in and are caring for me, as well as paying me compensation which will be the rest of my life. This is a sensitive subject so we will move on.
[bd] Tell me about the Black Nightmare. Why have you chosen the mod path you have with this truck, how challenging has the overall experience been, and what makes this truck special? I mean, where did this all start?
[bt] When I was a kid, I always wanted a huge, lifted truck. All my friends had jacked up Z71s in high school so that just made me more anxious to get a truck I could call mine. I wanted something unusual, something you don’t see everyday, which has turned into “the only one in the U.S. My Rodeo is featured all over the world, advertising different things. Countries such as Australia, Italy, Ukraine, England, Canada, and Thailand.”
My Rodeo was given to me by my dad for a sum of $2000 back in 2008. I needed a vehicle after basic training, so I figured I would hang on to it for awhile then buy something I wanted. Well, the more time went by, the more I fell in love with it. It was only 2WD at the time, but that didn’t stop me from modifying it.
It wasn’t until 2010, when I came home from Iraq the first time, that I found the Thailand lift. I sold my 38” TSLs and installed 39.5” Iroks, but we will get to the mods later. The build has consumed alot of time and money, and as far as difficulty, it wasn’t too bad. Of course I say that now, back then I would probably tell you different.
Some things have given me trouble, hence the name “Nightmare.” Overall it has been a great vehicle, has never left me stranded, does exactly what I want, and goes where I want. It’s special to me because of its uniqueness – a lifted Rodeo is not something you see everyday, which is why I pursued the biggest and baddest Rodeo. I wanted something nobody else had. I cant go anywhere in it without somebody looking at it and asking me what the heck it is. It has been rebadged as a Vauxhall Frontera, which is the UK’s version of the Rodeo.
More to come in the next installment. Coming soon.
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