We have all fantasized about what vehicle would make for a perfect day at the track. Converted cargo vans, trusty pick-up trucks, and trailers are the standard, but each rig has their shortcomings. The cargo area of the van can be cramped, a truck leaves your bike and belongings in the open, and a trailer is almost impractical for the roads required to make it to some tracks. If one could take the positives from each ride and work them into one vehicle, you would truly have a “dream ride,” but doing so would require a garage of tools, sharp fabrication skills, and a solid base to build from. Coincidentally, the fabrication staff at Toyota, JGRMX, and N-Fab have every single trait necessary for such a task, and with the same goal in mind, teamed up to create a Toyota Tundra unlike any we have seen before. Introducing the “Let’s Go Moto” Toyota Tundra.
The Let’s Go Moto Tundra is part of Toyota’s Dream Build competition, an annual event that coincides with the SEMA Trade Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Occupying every inch of the massive Las Vegas Convention Center, the SEMA Show is the place to see the latest products for every automobile imaginable and is the largest trade show for the automotive aftermarket industry. This makes it the perfect venue for Toyota to display the creations made by their partnering brands and athletes, which in 2013 includes Kyle Busch Motorsports and NASCAR driver Parker Kligerman, Skullcandy and BMX rider Drew Bezanson, Oakley and skier Simon Dumont, and JGRMX/N-Fab and motocross racers Josh Grant and Justin Brayton. Each team was given a vehicle suited for their sport, and nothing is more prepared for motocross than a 2014 Tundra. Once JGRMX and N-Fab took delivery of their rig, they devised a plan to put every component necessary for a day at the test track onto the Tundra’s beefy chassis.
The majority of the build took place at N-Fab’s shop in Houston, Texas, and TransWorld Motocross was invited to watch as the truck came along. There, the JGRMX team and N-Fab owner Thomas Fichter decided that essentially dropping a NASCAR style pit onto the bed would be the perfect place to start. “The design for the truck stemmed from a conversation I had with Coy on what they do on the Cup side of the company,” said Fichter. “They have big boxes at the track that they watch the driver from and have all the data feed into. I always thought that they were cool, and through the conversation, I told Coy how it would be to have one on the back of a truck.” Fabrication of the box began at JGRMX’s North Carolina shop, where Spencer Bloomer began the build of the box.
The basis of the bed is simple, but the numerous compartments, components, and tools hidden throughout are astonishing. The bike itself is kept in a small area in the middle, and built around this opening are two massive cargo on each side and a canopy system that unfolds when the roof of the box is extended. The rider and mechanic are each given a side of the box for their needs; the rider’s side has an area for gear storage, a helmet dryer, and a place to rest between motos, while the mechanic’s side has drawers for tools, spare motor, suspension, and wheels, and numerous programs for data acquisition.
Fitting all of this on a standard Toyota Tundra CrewMax body would be next to impossible, and to make room for the necessary parts, two trucks were actually used. “Spencer and Coy fabbed the metal section of the box in North Carolina on a double cab long bed Tundra,” stated Fetcher. “Then I took a CrewMax Tundra and a double cab long bed Tundra, and cut them both in half to form a chassis like one they fabbed the box on.” This added valuable length to the truck and allowed for the cab and box to both be as large as possible.
Next, the Tundra and the box were sent to a nearby Houston auto body shop, The Collision Lab. There, a scheme based on an Ivan Stewart off-road truck using Sherwin-Williams water-based paint was was added to the silver base. Long hours were spent at the shop, and the staff stayed overnight while the paint hardened enough for another round of work. When all was said and done, a flawless finish complete with red and black accents captivated as much attention as the rest of the massive machine.
Once the Tundra returned to the N-Fab shop, the build crew headed by Mike Simms went to work on adding the final parts. To support the addition weight and help the truck overcome the obstacles sometimes faced when heading to a track, long travel suspension by Fox and steering components by Camburg improved the truck’s ride. To make room for the parts, the stock shock mounts were cut and relocated onto the undersides of the axles. N-Fab bumpers, lightbars, and steps helped make the truck off-road ready. Once in place on the chassis, the box was stocked with its parts and accessories. In just a few days time, the truck was complete and en-route to California, where it was shot by Toyota for promotional photos for the Dream Build competition.
With stiff competition in the Kyle Busch Motorsports Camry, Fitcher stated the goal is to, “engage everyone that is involved in moto with this vehicle. I think that when everyone looks at all of the vehicles and sees the detail that JGR brought to the table, they will be surprised at how gnarly this truck is.”
The public has a chance to say which of the four impressive builds is the best, and voting for the 2013 Toyota Dream Build is now open and will run until Monday, November 4th. The winner of the voting will be announced on Tuesday, November 5th, when all four vehicles will be unveiled at the 2013 SEMA Show.
To vote in the 2013 Toyota Dream Build, head to www.toyota.com/dreambuilds.
A special thank you goes to Toyota, N-Fab, JGR, and the respective teams for the invitation to Houston and allowing us the chance to chronicle the work that went into an impressive finished product.