Building her first car – Jasmine Green and her story

April 6th, 2023

From “not a car person” to an award-winning mini truck builder, get a sneak peak at who we’re profiling in our upcoming Sunday Driver episode.

A barista by day and a dirt biker in her spare time, 2012 was the year Jasmine Green searched for an affordable truck to haul her bikes from track to track. She came across a well-loved 1991 Toyota HiLux that she saw potential in, and that would ultimately change the course of her life.

As we ramp up for the next episode of Sunday Driver featuring Jasmine and her HiLux “Khaos” — coming out soon — we had a chat with Jas, her fiancé Michael and her boss Greg Maskell on the journey she’s been on so far.

The year it all began

With no experience building cars, Jas embarked on what most people would consider, a “huge project”. But the way Jas talks about it makes it sound like the obvious and only logical solution to her problem, “I couldn’t afford to buy a mini truck, so I had a go at building one myself”.

How Jasmine built her first car

Without any automotive background, Jasmine learnt what she needed to know through a combination of YouTube videos, the mini truck community, and her partner Michael — a metal fabricator by trade. Michael gave Jas tips on general fabrication and welding techniques, and it didn’t take long before the mini truck community had a new member, “I kind of caught the mini trucking bug,” Jasmine said.

The work that went into Khaos: Here’s the details

Since picking up “Khaos” a decade ago, Jas has also picked up a stack of new skills. She’s done everything herself, from the chassis and suspension to the wiring, metal fabrication, and painting. She even stretched the body after doing a front-end swap from a Gen 3 Toyota Surf.

It’s inspiring the lengths (and distances) she went to get the exact parts she needed! To find a bedside to match the new Toyota Surf front-end, Jas and Michael headed to the US. There, they found a Toyota Tacoma, and had the bedside removed and cut up to fit into their suitcases for the journey home. Once back in Australia, Jas added welding to her list of skills and welded the bedside back together to fit into the HiLux tub. 

Jas also made the wheel tubs from scratch, bead-rolling all the triangles into the steel for strength and visual appeal. She sourced a sunroof from a Toyota Surf and incorporated that into her design as well. She put a V8 5.7 LS engine in the truck with a T56 gearbox and even hand-made a new firewall to accommodate it. She also used Skyline callipers and BA Falcon rotors for the front brakes.

As Jas explains more about the aptly named Khaos, “The back’s got a diff out of a VP Commodore. Pretty much everything from that car went into Khaos, including the wiring loom. It’s also got a Commodore key and cluster, so you know…it pretty much thinks it’s a Commodore.”

Jasmine built Khaos with both beauty and function in mind. She made an airbag mechanism that works like scissors to lift the back tub so it can allow her access to the air suspension for maintenance, but also it’s a great way to show off all the impressive chassis work she’s put into the back-end.

Jas has even cut out a viewing window in the tray to show off some of this work along with a custom “Khaos” plaque she designed — did we mention she has a background in graphic design?

How Khaos created new and exciting opportunities for Jas

Building a car from scratch may have been a huge challenge, but her dedication to the project paid off as it opened up some fantastic opportunities. In 2020, Jasmine received the Laurie Starling Scholarship, which led her to meeting Greg Maskell, owner of Maskell’s Custom and Classics, at the award ceremony.

Once Greg realised who Jasmine was, he offered her an apprenticeship at Maskell’s as a motor trimmer because he was frankly amazed by her one-of-a-kind work. “I actually don’t know of another person that can build a complete truck on their own,” he said. “She excels at everything she does.”

In 2022 Jasmine’s hard work and talent was recognised yet again when she won Street Machine of the Year for her work on Khaos. “That’s an amazing achievement,” Michael gushed. “It’s really shown what’s possible for someone that’s come into the industry, not knowing anything at the start.”

Jasmine’s story is an inspiring one for any beginner enthusiasts with dreams of building their own vehicle. It shows how dedication, hard work, and a drive to learn can pay off and that passion, determination – and a big enough suitcase – have the potential to change your life.

Don’t miss Jasmine’s episode premiere!

Sunday Driver featuring Jasmine Green and her 1991 Toyota HiLux is coming soon, to ensure you don’t miss the premiere subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Facebook or Instagram.