Over the last decade, Toyota may not have the most exciting reputation for passenger cars, but its trucks have a long history of being rugged, dependable, and great starting points for customization. The highlight of Toyota's trucks at SEMA this year were Antron Brown's Dragquoia and Alexis DeJoria's PreRunner Tundra, but there were plenty of other Toyotas at the show, including Tacomas and the ever-popular FJ Cruiser.
Toyota Sequoia Dragquoia by Antron Brown
When the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge was initially announced, many were puzzled by NHRA drag racer Antron Brown's choice of the Sequoia full-size SUV. After all, how sporty could you make what amounts to a suburban school bus? Well, Antron and Toyota Motorsports silenced the doubters when the sheet was finally pulled of his project Dragquoia. One look at this mean machine tells you it means serious business. Featuring a supercharged 5.7-liter V-8 with a nitrous injection system producing in the neighborhood of 700 hp, this Sequoia has been radically lightened, with polycarbonate plastic side and rear windows, a drag-style functional hood scoop, and old-school "zoomies" headers. Being a family man, Antron made sure his wife and kids could go along for the ride, and despite its radical appearance, the Dragquoia can still carry three kids in the back.
Interview: Antron Brown and Chuck Wade, Team Antron, Toyota Dream Build Challenge
Toyota Tundra Pre-Runner by Alexis DeJoria
Antron Brown wasn't the only NHRA driver represented in the Dream Build Challenge, with Nitro Funny Car star driver Alexis DeJoria jumping into the action with her Tundra Pre-Runner. Employing the skills of legendary Southern California fabrication shop Racer Engineering, DeJoria and her team gave the Tundra a comprehensive makeover with custom-fabricated long-travel suspension, a custom rollcage, and a sweet custom dual-spare carrier at the back. You're sure to hear the Tundra coming with the custom-fabricated side-exit exhaust, and you'll see it too with the ultra-bright front LED driving lights. If she wins the contest, DeJoria says she wants to jump over all her competitors!
Vote for your favorite vehicle of the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge at toyotaracingdreambuild.com. You have until October 29 to vote for your favorite, with $50,000 going to the charity chosen by the winner.
Interview: Alexis DeJoria and Andy Petersen, Team DeJoria, Toyota Dream Build Challenge
Pro Bass Anglers Ultimate Fishing Tundra
Toyota teamed with Bassmaster Elite Series pro angler on the Ultimate Fishing Tundra, which has a bed that's been transformed into what is essentially a portable fish shop, stocked full of tackle gear including reels, rods, and a refrigerator. Most mods were performed by the folks at CS Motorsports, a company owned by Myers. The team also customized the interior with rear bucket seats, video monitors, and a Navionics lake-mapping system. Other tweaks include a 12-inch suspension lift, bigger tires, and a TRD supercharger and exhaust system.
TRD-Tuned FJ Cruiser Concept
The FJ Cruiser is already one of Toyota's most capable off-roaders, but this SEMA special gets a number of modifications inspired by the Baja Series Tacoma. The most significant upgrade is an underbody "exoskeleton" that increases body rigidity to allow for more intense off-roading excursions. Suspension mods include Bilstein race shocks on all four corners and tires have been upgraded to 17-inch TRD beadlock-style wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich All-Terrain rubber. Performance gains come courtesy of a TRD supercharger, a rotor pack, air-to-water intercooler, and cat-back exhaust. The mods help boosts the 4.0-liter V-6 to 345 hp and 340 lb-ft of torque, 30- and 25-percent gains over stock, respectively. We wonder if the TRD-tuned FJ Cruiser could lead to a cool, low-volume special-edition model before the FJ Cruiser eventually ends its production run.
1978 Toyota Pickup by Asfir 4x4
Although it may not be considered by many to be a hotbed of off-roading, Israel-based Asfir 4x4 is showcasing is products and expertise at the SEMA show in this vintage 1978 Toyota Pickup. This truck features a 4-inch lift, custom front leaf spring hangers, front and rear tube bumpers, and custom rock sliders. Interior modifications include Jeep Wrangler seats, a custom gauge cluster, wrapped dash, and spray-lined floorboards.