On this “episode” of 67 Designs Customer Spotlights, where we share the stories of some of our customers, we get to know Kelvin Tso. Born in Hong Kong, Kelvin was raised in Hawaii and still makes his home in Ewa Beach on the island of O’ahu working as an auto mechanic. When not working, he enjoys shore fishing and RC crawling with his co-workers.
Proud owner of: 2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X.
Featured upgrades: Kelvin’s Frontier is outfitted out with the following gear...
- JBL door speakers
- Kicker Hideaway 10" subwoofer
- All Dogs Offroad Diff Breather Kit
- Z1 Baffled Oil Catch Can
- Z1 Offroad Cat-back Exhaust
- Nismo Bed Rack
- Nismo Roof Rack
- Z1 Offroad Cold Air Intake
- 67 Designs Dash Mount Series 55 Rail
- Auxbeam Gang Switch controller
- Diode Dynamics 6" Amber light bars
- Diode Dynamics 30" Amber light bar
- Diode Dynamics SSC2 White LED pods
- Diode Dynamics SSC2 Amber LED pods
- Diode Dynamics C1R Hitch pod LED
- Z1 EcuTek Tune
- Maxi Trax Tire Deflator
- FieryRed Traction Boards
- Factor55 Hitch Link
- ARB Snatch Strap
- Radflo 2.0 Extended Travel Coilovers
- All Dogs Offroad BROverland Leaf Pack
- SPC Upper Control Arms
- Z1 1" Wheel Adapters
- 285/70/17 Toyo MT Load E Tires
- 17x 8.5 +0 Rays Gram lights 57DR-X Wheels
Customer of 67 Designs since: 2022.
Inspiration for buying his Frontier and getting into off-roading: Kelvin has always liked cars. He got his first Frontier in 2017 because he needed a truck for moving stuff at work. As a rookie auto tech, he knew how to install a lift but never really got too involved in offroading. That daily-driver was only two-wheel drive, but he immediately lifted it and put on new all-terrain tires. While he liked his Nissan, he wanted to be able to do more. A couple of years later he sold the Frontier and bought a Toyota FJ Cruiser. That’s when he started venturing offroad, and his passion for the offroading way of life was born. The FJ was only two-wheel drive as well, but it did at least have rear lockers. Toyotas are very popular among the Hawaiian offroad scene and Kelvin wanted to see what all the hype was about. He was impressed but given the Toyota’s high mileage he knew it wouldn’t be sustainable. He was also waiting for Nissan’s redesigned Frontier to come out and when it did, he reserved one right away. Now he has a four-wheel drive vehicle that is more capable. As his love for offroading grew, so did his knowledge and skills as a mechanic. This is his dream truck so Kelvin figures he might as well build it how he wants it.
Early adventures: Kelvin also enjoys photography so two weeks after he got his new Frontier, he took it out to Ka’ena Point Trail to so some night shooting of the Milky Way. He’d been feeling the pressure from co-workers to get off-road anyway and that just fueled the fire. The nearby Peacock Flats Trail is one that stock trucks can and do attempt but is better done with a more capable vehicle. If Kelvin was going to start going to places like that, he needed to be better prepared. He also didn’t necessarily want to tear anything up on his new truck. He wanted to see what it could handle but didn’t want to get too crazy and spend too much on modifications, so he opted for a lift and different tires.
Recent adventures: Kelvin and his co-workers try to go to Peacock Flats at least once a month, depending on the weather. It’s a trail that’s largely covered in dense vegetation so if they get a lot of rain, it stays muddy for weeks.
Most memorable adventure: Kelvin thinks fondly about a fishing trip he and his co-workers took to Kualoa Park. Most of the fishing is catch and release only but there are also a few invasive species that you can catch and either eat or otherwise dispose of to reduce the population.
Upcoming trips: He and his friends mostly hit the same trails in their area. With Hawaiian trails, there are so many people that go, it’s a little different every time. The terrain will change, and rutting or erosion will introduce different challenges. They’ll also do different things while they’re out, like RC crawl.
Dream trip: Kelvin’s dream is to one day bring his truck to the mainland. He’s heard of so many great places to offroad, but he’d probably go to Moab or the San Juan Mountains in Colorado.
Off-road community involvement: While there aren’t really any organized clubs in Hawaii, the sense of community there among offroaders is strong. Kelvin prefers to go with a few of his friends and co-workers, and never goes alone.
Notes from the writer: Since there are only a few modified Nissans in Hawaii, he wants to make something different and stand out from the rest. His modification philosophy is one of careful consideration, but he also knows that “if I send it too hard on the trails then I can always upgrade”. Offroading in Hawaii presents challenges not only on the trails but also to modifications. Between the regulations and permits, scarcity of local offroad shops and freight costs, it can be very difficult and expensive to modify an offroad vehicle. For example, he’s in the market for a steel bumper, but with the weight it simply costs too much to get it shipped. The local offroad shop there mainly services Toyotas, it’s still a good source for such things as lighting and recovery parts. But despite the challenges, Kelvin loves offroading as an escape from the daily grind. It’s a time to have fun and immerse himself in Hawaii’s natural beauty that can get overlooked when he’s focused on work every single day.
Check out his work here: Check out Kelvin’s Instagram account below for more of his adventures!
This Customer Spotlight by Tricia Soderstrom.
This series was envisioned and created by Kate Della Pietra in the summer of 2020 when she worked for 67 Designs as a marketing intern.