Toyota Tundra - Desert Tundra
Pro Motorsports' Speedy SEMA Project
Hopefully you're reading this newest issue of Truckin' with your freshly detailed, completely finished truck parked in your garage, gleaming from bumper to roll pan. If not, you're like us, and have too many distractions to get in the way of finishing your favorite toy. Imagine what it would be like to have everything, if just for a while, focused on completing your project. Imagine you've got some great sponsors behind you, you've got the newest hot products to work with, and you plan to debut your truck at the biggest annual meeting of aftermarket minds, SEMA. Sounds like fun, huh? Now imagine that you've got to start with a perfectly stock truck and you've only got 45 days to make your truck noticeable amongst a sea of the most extravagant customs ever built. Sounds a lot like work, doesn't it?
That was exactly the scenario facing Jim Lewis, owner of Pro Motorsports in Kansas City, Kansas. General Tire's new Grabber off-road racing tire would be the centerpiece of the truck, and with their bright red sidewall lettering, Jim's go-to bodyman, Clint Drabek, mixed up a special batch of BASF paint that he calls DW Sooner Red to complement them. Jim knew that despite the eye-catching color on the truck and the tires, it wasn't quite enough. Armed with a disc grinder, Jim subjected the pristine body of the Tundra to a herringbone pattern of grinding. Sort of like a primitive version of engine turning, the process is still not something that can be stopped mid-panel and restarted. Each side took at least three attempts to create a flawless pattern before it was sprayed in clear-and lots of it. The end result is a body that looks clean and simple, but upon closer examination, you realize that's beautiful bare metal looking back at you.
Obviously the General Grabber tires were meant for a life in the dirt, so a dirt-loving 6-inch suspension system from Pro Comp was lined up. The truck's body was removed from the frame so that it could be prepped and finished to the same standard as the pieces from Pro Comp. Just in case you feel inclined to do the same for your next project, Jim warns that having the frame and body apart makes it very easy to misplace parts that are necessary to put the truck back together. With the freshly painted lift kit and frame in place, the body was bolted back on, which made room for the Tundra to clear a set of 35-inch General Grabber competition tires mounted on 20-inch KMC Monster wheels. The flat black wheels make the red sidewall lettering come alive. Now that the truck was looking the off-road part, Pro Motorsports installed a front N-Fab bumper bar with high-output Light Force HID off-road lights. A stealth-mounted Superwinch winch was mounted to the front bumper and a black RBP grille adds to the aggressive appearance. N-Fab side steps, rear bumper bar, and Bushwacker fender flares completed the tough look. The clock was ticking and no show truck is complete with a stock interior, so the Pro Motorsports crew switched gears and got to work making the interior really stand out.
It is too bad that Jim wasn't able to fire the Tundra up inside the show, because the 5.7L V-8 was fitted with a K&N intake, Corsa exhaust, and Doug Thorley headers. That combo makes the already-spirited engine come to life with a rumbling authority that we were able to witness first hand at out photo shoot. We were also able to get a better look than most at the interior that was treated to a slew of Kicker audio, including four 10-inch L7 subs and SS65 components. Soundgate supplied the interface for adding the additional audio upgrades while keeping the factory head unit and accompanying steering wheel controls. Clint Drabek was responsible for the paint-matched pieces, but the remainder of the interior was handled by Albert May Interiors in Edmond, Oklahoma, where the factory gray carpet was removed and replaced with black carpet before Mastercraft racing seats and four-point harnesses were installed. Each seat was wrapped with black leather and red suede Roadwire upholstery that matches the Alcantara headliner.
Jim and his crew pulled off yet another nail-biting project build and delivered their Tundra to SEMA with time to spare. Jim would like to thank the following sponsors for making the truck build possible: Toyota, General Tire, Kicker, KMC wheels, Roadwire, Escort Radar (how else do you get to Vegas without a speeding ticket), Pace Edwards, N-Fab, Soundgate, McGard, Corsa, Bedrug, BASF paint, Pro Comp suspension, Lightforce, Bushwacker, RBP, K&N, Doug Thorley, Royal Purple, Optima, Husky Liners, Hella, Motorola, Dynamat, Thule, Oracal, Ringer gloves, Go Rhino, and Universal Laser Systems.