I have always been a fan of the off-road world. Memories of Ivan “Ironman” Stewart and his Toyota Baja truck still spark brain cells. Even as a kid I had the Team Associated RC10 and RC10T to race at the local tracks. I think as kids we all fascinate about jumping and wanting to ride dirt bikes, quads, and drive buggies. For my life path, it stayed on the street. Starting from a 1991 Honda Accord as my first car, I would eventually get the 2002 Subaru WRX, which kicked off Vivid Racing. In-between the last 16 years, a slew of other cars from BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, and McLaren have happened. With life, other activities happen, kids, family, etc. Some of us choose a mini van, some of us go SUV. For the past 8 years or so we had a family SUV, but it was time to change it up and go with a truck! While my partner Rob has a Supercharged Roush Ford Raptor, I could not just get any truck. I wanted something that would become equally as awesome as the truck that changed it all. I didn’t want a vehicle that would tank in value and I wanted something that had brand equity in owning it. Falling in love with the Toyota Tacoma, its V6 power plant and size would not take care of the activities and Polaris RZR towing I needed. So I went with the big dawg, the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro.
This is a great vehicle for us to build up for marketing and to showcase. The Toyota platform has a major following and tons of quality brands with products available. Before I dove head on into the project, I needed to pick out the truck. You would think buying a Toyota would be easier than finding a Porsche or Lamborghini in another part of the country and having it shipped. Well, it isn’t. This is a volume manufacture and the most of the car sales people care about volume only and making “that deal”. My first go at finding a TRD Pro was at the Toyota dealer in Tucson. HORRIBLE experience. I got the ole, “we will give you X for your car on trade. That’s more than any other place would”. That was a sleezy way of rolling in the tax credit trade like I was newb. With that dealer a bust, I spoke with another local one here in Gilbert, Arizona. We ended up working out a deal as we had actually bought our Project EVO VIII from them 13 years earlier. However that experience was blah and slightly misleading. I eventually got connected with Jeff Capshaw at Earnhardt Toyota in Mesa for the truck I wanted. At the end of the day, I paid $1000 more for the better service, experience, and long term relationship. Saving a buck or two is always good, but you can’t beat service, transparency, and honesty.
So I ended up with this Cement Gray 2017 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. Options… bedliner and remote start LOL. There is no nonsense like configuring a Porsche with embossed crest headrests, navigation, color seat belts, 14 way seats or 4 ways, these wheels, that wheels. You pick a color and you get your truck! The new Tundra TRD Pro is a 5.7L V8 that cranks out 381 horsepower with the ability to run flex fuel. Basically this means you can run E85 gasoline if you desire. On a normally aspirated engine, no desire here. This feature in the long term does not appeal to me. The Crew Max quad cab features a foot shorter bed space but tons of room in the back for family and friends. As a first time truck owner, what were my thoughts? Well, I have 11 cup holders, a key that goes into the ignition with a dangly remote that looks like if a I press it, it will say “Viper armed”, and some really lame headlights like you would find on a Chevy Astro Van from 1999. But that’s about to change… In Vivid Racing fashion, nothing will be left untouched. No this Truck won’t be competing in King of the Hammers, but it sure will look the part and be equipped with some serious high end quality products. On deck for this build we have:
- N-Fab Bumpers and Side Steps
- MBRP Exhaust System
- Magnuson Supercharger
- Fuel Wheels
- and more!
Picking it up at Earnhardt Toyota
Only 200 miles on the dash, did the Apache Trail here in Arizona