by John Gerwatosky | Jan 1, 2018, 11:00AM
When it comes to offroad racing trucks, Toyota is not the first make that comes to mind. Just take a look at the Baja 1000 winners. As most of you know, the Baja 1000 is the most grueling and intense desert race around - it’s over 800 miles and full of booby traps, after all! Since the first race in 1967, Fords and Chevys have taken the winner spot for the most part, with a string of Volkswagens taking the lead for a couple years in the 80s. A Toyota has only won the race twice, and by the same driver, no less. In 1993 and 1998, Ivan “Ironman” Stewart crossed the finish line in a souped-up Toyota.
If you’re looking to take your own ‘Yota off-roading, be sure you have the right parts to do it. Advanced Fiberglass Concepts is a leading provider of aftermarket fiberglass body parts, including hand-laid fiberglass fenders and bedsides. Our Tundra bedsides and fenders are made in America and are a cut above the rest - each fender and fiberglass bedside is designed to fit your specific make and model like a glove. Take a look at all of ourToyota fiberglass fenders for Tundras, Tacomas, and Pickups.
Toyotas are an incredibly popular make for the average American. In fact, Business Insider recently released a list of thetop 20 best-selling trucks and cars in America in 2017, and Toyota held three of the top 10 spots. The RAV4, Corolla, and Camry all made the list. And while the Ford F-Series took the top spot for last year, the Toyota Corolla remains the top best-selling car in the world. So how does a brand that is known for making some of the most popular small cars available find itself making trucks that can hold their own in a race?
Toyota has been making trucks since the 60’s, with the most notable model being the Hilux - also known as just “The Toyota Pickup.” These trucks were well received and offered the convenience of a compact vehicle as well as a pickup truck. However, as time went on, drivers leaned more towards American car brands like Ford which offered a little more power.
In 1993, Toyota introduced the T100, which is essentially the Tundra-Before-The-Tundra-Existed. This was Toyota’s first full-sized pickup, and many believed it was lacking in power and pizazz, especially in comparison to the Ford F-Series that was dominating the full-size market at the time. A few years later, Toyota upgraded their classic pickup and released the Tacoma, a midsize truck that soon became a favorite of off-road racers everywhere (affectionately called The Taco).
Even though the Tacoma became Toyota’s best selling truck, the road wasn’t over for their full-size models. In 1999, the T100 was phased out for the introduction of the Tundra. This pickup boasted a V8 engine with decent towing capabilities. It even earned Motor Trend’s coveted Truck Of The Year award. This was due largely to the Tundra’s ability to drive like a car but haul like a truck. Though some critics claimed it wasn’tquitefull-size, with many claiming the truck to be a measly ⅞ size.
However, the 2nd Generation Tundra blew everyone away. It was substantially larger and had a 2000-pound payload and 5-ton towing ability. The truck boasted a 5.7-liter V8 with 381 horsepower. With three bed lengths, four wheelbase lengths, and three cab options, there was truly a Tundra for everyone. With the new generation came a brand new production plant located in San Antonio, whose sole purpose was to pump out Tundras.
Tundras were soon a truck-of-choice for many off-roading enthusiasts. They were just as powerful but generally less expensive than the F-Series from Ford, making them a great choice for tumbling through rocky terrain. Toyota took advantage of this use for their popular truck and introduced a few special editions. In 2008, they introduced the Ivan “Ironman” Stewart Signature Series. Thanks to his numerous wins in the Baja 1000, Baja 500, and other popular desert races in Toyotas, the automaker showed their appreciation by offering a Tundra with a TRD Supercharger. In 2009, the Tundra Rock Warrior Package was made available. Available for 4x4 Tundras with Double Cabs or CrewMax Cabs, the package included 17-inch TRD forged aluminum wheels with all-terrain tires. OF course, it also featured Bilstein shocks and a color-matched front bumper and grill for a sleek, badass look. By 2011, the Rock Warrior Package included a rear sliding window and Rock Warrior graphics.
Of course, for a true off-roading experience in a Tundra, you’ll need some bigger wheels and better shocks that are ready for climbing mountains and skating across deserts. Even the Rock Warrior model might not give you the space you need - or perhaps you even went a little hog-wild and did some irreparable damage to your fenders. Advanced Fiberglass Concepts is proud to provide professional racers and off-road enthusiasts with the best Toyota Tundra fiberglass fenders and bedsides on the market. Check out our fiberglass body parts designed for the 2000-2006 Tundra, the 2007-2013 Tundra, and of course, the new 2014-2019 Tundra.