Toyota Tundra to Tow the Space Shuttle in L.A.

Toyota Tundra to Tow the Space Shuttle in L.A.

Toyota Tundra to Tow the Space Shuttle in L.A.


6:50PM EST October 9. 2012 – Toyota has cranked up the publicity machine when it comes to its planned towing of the space shuttle Endeavour across a Los Angeles freeway overpass with one of its Tundra pickup trucks.

The automaker has created a pretty cool website devoted to its bit part in the move starting Friday. The decommissioned shuttle is on its way from Los Angeles International Airport, where it was dropped off by its Boeing 747 hauler, to its retirement home at the California Science Center near the city’s downtown.

While the shuttle is going to be along 12 miles of city streets, the Tundra will only get a chance to show its stuff over a few hundred feet — on Manchester Avenue across the San Diego (405) Freeway. That be enough for its publicity coup and to capture enough footage for a TV ad. Commercial vehicles will handle the rest of the shuttle’s journey. Toyota no longer plans to use the pickup for the last quarter mile to the doorsteps of the museum.

On its new microsite devoted to the move, Toyota is showing a video as the pickup prepares to pull two trailers loaded with concrete blocks. Together, the whole rig weighs 307,000 pounds and Toyota emphasizes that it is making the pull with a stock Tundra full-size pickup with a V-8 engine. The truck doesn’t come yet come in a hybrid version — Toyota’s signature powertrain these days — but if it did, we imagine the crew would have tried that one first.

“We want to make sure this is going to work,” an engineer identified as Greg Bryant says in the video. “This is the same Tundra you can buy off the lot.” The video shows the loading of the trailers, side-by-side. The video builds into a dramatic space-shuttle-style countdown. It ends there. You never get to see if the pickup can pull the pair of trailers.

The video says it was shot July 7 in Lodi, Calif., proving that Toyota was on to the potential for the shuttle tow job long before others realized its publicity potential.


Link: http://www.toyota.com/tundraendeavour/#mission/the-challenge

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