- The Tundra will tow Endeavour on Oct. 12.
- The tow requires a special rig.
- The shuttle weighs in at 300,000 lb.
The full-size Toyota Tundra pickup is just days away from displaying its might by towing a 300,000-lb space shuttle down a Los Angeles street. On Friday, Oct. 12, the Tundra will pull Space Shuttle Endeavour over I-405 in Los Angeles on the shuttle’s way to its final resting place at the nearby California Science Center.
While the Tundra is normally rated to tow just 10,000 lb, a specially designed rig created by lifting and transport company The Sarens Group will help the pickup haul Endeavor, which weighs in at a whopping 292,500 lb. Although the truck was originally intended to tow the shuttle on the last leg of its journey to the California Science Center, Toyota recently announced it will instead pull the shuttle over the Manchester Avenue Bridge, which spans Interstate 405 in Los Angeles’s Inglewood neighborhood.
That’s an even more visible location for the Texas-built Tundra, which will haul the iconic space shuttle without any modifications. According to Toyota, the Tundra that will pull the shuttle is a 2012 model in 4-door CrewMax configuration. It’s powered by Toyota’s robust 5.7-liter V8 powerplant, which produces a healthy 381 horsepower and more than 400 lb-ft of torque.
"There is no larger or more recognizable icon of the US space program’s success than the shuttle, and to have it towed by the Toyota Tundra is not only an incredible example of the capabilities of the truck, but an honor to be part of history," said Ed Laukes, vice president of marketing communications for Toyota Motor Sales. "The entire journey is something the world will be watching, and gives us a chance to prove that the ‘overbuilt’ Tundra is built to do any job–even tow the space shuttle."
Once the shuttle’s journey ends, it will be prominently displayed beginning Oct. 30 at the California Science Center, allowing visitors to view the now-defunct symbol of American space exploration. The Tundra used to pull the shuttle will also be displayed at the Science Center as part of an ongoing partnership between Toyota and the center to provide support and awareness of the space program.
Anyone looking for more information about the Tundra’s space shuttle haul can find all the details–and a live stream of the event–on Toyota’s Tundra Endeavour website. The event will take place during the evening on Friday, though the exact time is still uncertain.
What it means to you: By hauling Endeavour over the 405 freeway, the Tundra showcases its impressive might–and provides an image that will likely stick in truck shoppers’ minds as they consider their next tow vehicle.