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Story by Jonathan Wooley   :   Photos by Matthew Jones   :   From Issue 27   :   4×4

toyota 4x4

Allow us to introduce you to our new lawyer… and his lifted Toyota 4Runner on 35s.

They say that it is lawyer’s responsibility to represent you in court.  Be your council.  But what kind of ‘representation’ are they really?  What do they represent?  They don’t represent us.  We don’t live in their society.  We don’t wear suits to work like they do.  We don’t check the stock market when we get into the office.  We don’t comb our hair to the side.  We don’t hobnob at the country club on the weekends.  And the only reason we stop in at any dry cleaners… is to find out which Asian dude owns the yellow hatch parked out back.  So the way we figure, having ‘that’ kind of booshie lawyer to represent us… would not be fair representation.  We’d already be lying under oath, before the gavel ever dropped.  And that’s not our style.  It’s not us.  Besides – how could THEY ever ‘council’ us, when they can’t even get a real-world grip on what motivates us, moves us, or who we are?  Nah – they can go elsewhere.  This is our guy.

His name is Mr. Costyn – attorney at law.  He graduated from the University of Georgia Law School, and things started happening quick for Costyn.  Shortly out of college, he got picked up by a powerful & respected law firm.  And within a short time – he was making a quarter-mill per year.  The dream = won!

lifted Toyota 4runner 1st generation 80s

But what was the trade-off?

That kind of immediate success can be dangerous if you’re not real careful, and it definitely comes with a price.  So what was it costin’ him?  Funny huh – that his name is Costyn… and this was his lesson to learn.  The lesson of true Cost in life. A lot of us go through our entire lives, and never grasp this… because we stay blinded to what’s really going on.  Our ultimate goal is to drive a new BMW, because it makes us look successful to the other people in traffic.  We have to have heaps of money stashed away in a bank, because it’s never enough.  And we’re trading literally ‘the time of our lives’ to get those things.  Life is time.  It’s that simple.  So essentially, what does society’s version of ‘success’ cost you?  A lot of times… it costs you your life.  You lose the valueable moments of your life, chasing what society tells you is success.

turbo 4runner 1jz swap

So on paper, Costyn was living a real success story… living the dream.  But who’s dream was it exactly?  He felt like he was starting to sober up to what was really going on… but they were trying to keep him drugged and seduced with ‘the image and the income’.  He was looked up to, admired, and respected in all the right social circles.  But he kept having feelings that he was a slave.  He owned all eyes & ears in any conversation… but his gut told him – he was owned.  And he was only going deeper and deeper into the web.  $250,000 per year given… sounds great.  But not at the cost of 100% of everything taken.  80 hours a week.  What good is cash-flow… it it ends up being the very leash that ties you down. You’re a hamster with the nicest cage and spin-wheel in the whole neighborhood.  But don’t let the glitter blind you to the reality that – you’re still in a cage.

lifted toyota 4runner 1985 1986 1987 1988

Costyn felt the cage closing in, so he broke out.  You know why?  Because he’s f*cking wild – that’s why.  And that may sound dramatic. But the truth is – that there are a lot of people out there who just can’t wait to be domesticated in life, and protected by society, and fed every night at 6:30 before bed.  (PS: When I say ‘domesticated’… I don’t mean married.  Love is a totally independent thing from being umm sackless.)  And if you don’t stay in touch & true to the living spirit within yourself – that will be you.  The numbers grow with every generation, especially in America.  But some people, at their core, will always defy the guidelines of society.  It doesn’t mean they’re dangerous; it just means – they’re wild. And they’re an inspiration to all.  The domesticated breeds always seem to look upon the wild ones with wonder & awe… because it’s who we ALL are at our roots – wild.  It’s the way we’re supposed to be.

lifted toyota tacoma 4runner 35s

So here’s what happened:  Costyn looked the $250,000+ in the face, and walked away from it… in search of something better, more meaningful, and more real.  He ditched the corporate chains, took a huge pay cut, and opened his own law firm – to do it on his own terms.  And for that, he gets my full admiration.  Because it’s truly admirable to come from ground-level, and make your own way up.  But it’s a whole different league to take everything you ALREADY had (that society says is ALREADY success)… question it, give it the finger, and throw it all away… only to try and do it again by your own rules.

Today – Costyn still works hard, but he’s not working in the herd.  There’s a big difference there. His life belongs to him, and the dude lives it with an absolute realization & appreciation of that fact.

lifted toyota tacoma 4runner solid axle

1985 Toyota 4Runner


1JZ GTE twin turbo motor – moderate boost – approx. 420 BHP

154F 23-spline 5-speed transmission with a custom mounting plate

Custom radiator/intercooler mount

Marlin Crawler transfer case 2×4 high, 4×4 high, 4×4 low

Custom drive shafts

Braided steel fuel lines

Custom 3” single exhaust

solid axle toyota


Frame and body bobbed 8” in rear for better approach angles

Frame and body stretched 3” in front to accommodate engine swap

10,000 lb winch

Custom welded front and rear bumpers



Mostly stripped & painted with truck bed liner.

Sony head unit

Sony door and rear speakers

Rockford Fosgate 12” Subwoofer

600 watt amp powering all speakers

Sheet metal console cover to accommodate shifter and transfer case lever



Solid front axle – Detroit locker

Detroit locker rear axle

Upgraded disc brakes – 1” larger than stock (cannot recall the donor vehicle)

Braided steel brake lines

BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/A 35” tires

15” off road steel wheels

Rancho shocks

Relocated leaf spring brackets

8” suspension lift

lifted toyota



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