Toyota Tundra Will Tow Space Shuttle Over L.A. Bridge

Toyota tundra shuttle sep14 II

After extensive coordination among police agencies, city leaders and the California Science Center Foundation, the previously reported use of a Toyota Tundra to pull the space shuttle Endeavour from the Los Angeles International Airport to its final resting place on the campus of USC has been modified. 

A heavy-duty autonomous electric trailer will carry the shuttle for most of the 8-mile route because the Endeavour is so large and heavy. Extensive route modifications to trees, powerlines, and traffic signals will needed to accomodate the beheamoth payload.

The only section along the route where a fullsize pickup truck, a Tundra, will be able to pull the space shuttle will be on a freeway overpass. There, the Endeavour will be off-loaded from the electric hauler and put onto a much lighter, multi-wheeled trailer. The Tundra will pull the trailer and shuttle across the 405 Freeway on West Manchester Boulevard, on the way to downtown Inglewood, Calif. 

The changeover to the new trailer will take several hours, and once the shuttle is across the bridge, it will take several more hours to reload back onto the original electric hauler. This HD hauler is the same type of machine that moved the largest rock ever moved to another of Los Angeles' museums earlier this year. That move covered more than 100 miles, only ran at night, and took almost two weeks to complete. 

The Endeavour will leave the airport hangar sometime Thursday, Oct. 11, and is expected to arrive at the museum facility late in the day on Oct. 13, at its final resting place just south of downtown Los Angeles. 

Endeavour Route



So why was it changed? Couldn't hack the original route?

On the other hand, if it pulls this think UP the overpass, I will become a fan

Probably to take advantage of the lighter load. I assume the electric motorized trailer added too much weight or size to fit across the bridge.

It's nice California has occasional distractions away from those ugly budget issues.

@toycrusher84 - The route is about 100% flat that's why it'll be cake and likely any VW or Yugo could pull this parade float. The 405 fwy is cut under W Manchester Ave, btw.

You've seen the guy pull a semi with his beard or similar stunts, haven't you?

Don't believe the hype.

I wonder how much Toyota payed to do this? I am sure we will see it on a commercial some where. I imagine the electric hauler is to wide or to heavy to fit across the bridge so they need a truck. And I am guessing the Toyota was picked cause they donated the most cash to do it. Just a guess, but a highly educated guess.

@ Dale -- As we understand it, Toyota already has a relationship with the museum where the Endeavour Space Shuttle will be housed so they were the first ones to be offered the chance to make the pull. The bridge pull will only be a few hundred yard and will likely show up in future campaigns.

Welp time for Ford to put this out, just replace Chevy with Toyota now lol

Go Toyota,
Im sure most other trucks could have done this, but whats important to keep in mind is Toyota Tundra (even though a Japanese Company makes it) is the most American Truck out there. Sad but True.

the most American Truck out there. Sad but True.

Juan, You lie.

Go Tundra!

A truck that actually has it expensive components like its engine and transmission made in the USA.

Not like some of the others that make them in Mexico/Canada and then use BS games to call it "American."


Tundra is the most American made in TEXAS with 75% parts content!

Go Toyota!

It would be more impressive to see a tundra tow 10,000 lbs a few hundred miles through the mountains without any major faults. (such as frame failure)

@Mark Williams - The 405 Fwy overpass is a surface level bridge as the 405 was cut below ground.

The arguement shouldn't be about how much of what truck was made where. It should be about whether the American space shuttle Endeavour should be marketed AT ALL, and if it must then it obviously should have been to Ford, Chevy. Dodge et al.


Tundra and F-150 both have 75% American parts content.

Toyota makes most of its engines in the US, and some of its engines and trannies in Japan. Ford makes most of its engines and trannies in the US, and the 5.0 in Canada.

Tundra made in Texas. F-150 made in Michigan and Missouri.

Ford sells a lot more trucks and is an American multinational company. Toyota USA sells a lot less and is a subsidary of a Japanese multinational company headquarted in Tokyo. Ford headquarters are in Detroit.

Tundra is doing a good job, but F-150 is the most American.

Jeff W has it: the shuttle is not a marketing opportunity of any kind. It is an icon of American ingenuity, and that should not be lent to any commercial enterprise. It is also a national treasure, and will now be subject to whatever risks, major or minor, that this pointless reloading before and after crossing the 405 will bring, not to mention the additional time that local residents will be inconvenienced. It's an absurd ploy, regardless of where Toyota subcontracts Tundra bits. When and if it shows, a commercial using the shuttle will be one possible reason to consider not patronizing the brand -- if one is so inclined. Just one more way someone somewhere found another way to be crass in this wonderful country of ours.

The Tundra Is Now America’s “Most American” Pickup

Jason (Admin) | Jun 25, 2010 | Comments 126

Every year, uses domestic content data from NHTSA and automaker-supplied data to pull together a list of the “10 Most American” vehicles. Over the last three years, the Tundra – with 80% domestic parts content – has been on this list.





Ford F150 Rankings

1st overall

1st overall

2nd overall


Chevy-GMC LD Rankings

3rd overall

8th overall

5th overall


Ram 1500 Rankings




7th overall*

Toyota Tundra Rankings

10th overall

5th overall

7th overall

8th overall

* – The Ram 1500 ranking excludes regular cab trucks, which are assembled in Mexico.

On the list, the Tundra is now the second-most American truck available…but only if the Ram 1500′s stats exclude regular cab models. If Ram’s “American made” numbers reflected the foreign-built reg cab’s it’s likely that the Tundra would be the only truck in the top 10 most American vehicles. For that reason, it seems clear to us that the Tundra is now officially the Most American truck you can buy.

What do you have to say about that, Ford, GM, and Chrysler-Fiat truck owners?

Why Ford and GM Trucks Fell From The Top 10

If you looked at the table above carefully, you’ll note that the F150 fell out of the rankings pretty dramatically this year. The reason? Ford’s newest F-150 uses more foreign-made parts than ever before. The “F-series” has only 55% U.S./Canadian content according to this NHTSA document (pdf). While the moniker “F-Series” includes all of Ford’s trucks, lately Ford and GM have been moving manufacturing to Mexico where workers earn $26 dollars a day instead of $26 dollars an hour.

Also, because this list is sales-weighted, GMC and Chevrolet – which currently source all of their crew cab pickups from their assembly plant in Silao, Mexico – don’t get as much credit for building all of their regular and extended cabs in Roanoke Indiana. The idea is, if about 30% of GM’s 1500 series trucks are built in Mexico, then the domestic content of the entire 1500 model line should be adjusted accordingly.

Whether you agree or disagree with how the list is generated, the basic facts are undeniable. Toyota’s Tundra has the highest domestic content rating of any pickup, and it’s 100% assembled in the USA.

The Ram Doesn’t Belong

While has excluded hybrids in their calculations over the past 4 years, 2010 is the first time a specific sub-model has been excluded from the rankings. The Ram 1500 is the 7th most American vehicle on their list…unless you buy a regular cab. In that case, never mind.

Anyone else think that’s a little screwy? Maybe if GM could have excluded all of their Silao built crewcabs, they could have been on the Top 10 list too. This inconsistency doesn’t make any sense.

Here’s Why The Tundra Wins By Default

1. ALL Tundras are built in the USA. Since 2007, the Tundra has had 75% or more domestic content (80% in 2010). Every Tundra has either been built in Texas or Princeton, Indiana since the model debuted in 2000…the F150, GM trucks, and Ram have all been built in Mexico at one point or another over the last 10 years.

Tundra owners, click on the image above to get your very own Made In Texas sticker.

2. Toyota has invested more in new US plants than Ford, GM, or Ram over the last decade. While GM, Ford, and Chrysler stumbled and shuttered plant after plant after plant, Toyota has invested $1.5 billion in San Antonio, $514 million in Alabama, and $800 million in Mississippi (down from an initial plan of $1.3 billion). While it’s true that Toyota oversaw the closure of NUMMI, GM’s decision to pull out of NUMMI forced Toyota to do the same…so they only get half the blame on that one. BTW, Toyota offered NUMMI workers a $250 million dollar severance.

So, while the domestics closed plants, Toyota built new ones.

…But All The Profits Go To Japan

This is a classic argument for people to “buy American,” but it really doesn’t make sense. First of all, it’s not true that ALL of the profits go to Japan. We’ve proven that a big chunk of Toyota’s profits stay in the USA. Secondly, so what if they do? Toyota earned $12 billion in profits in 2005 (Toyota’s most profitable year EVER), but that was only 6.3% of their total revenue. The amount of profit Toyota sends to Japan is SMALL in comparison to the amount of money GM, Ford, and Chrysler-Fiat are sending overseas for parts and labor!

If the Tundra has 80% domestic content and costs $35,000, than 80% of that money – about $28,000 – should stay in the US and Canada (give or take).

If the average F-Series costs $35,000, and only 55% of that truck is domestic content, then only $19,250 stays in the US and Canada.

While this is clearly an oversimplification, the fact of the matter is that buying U.S. manufactured vehicles with U.S. content is good for the U.S. economy…even if those vehicles are made by Toyota. Buying Fords, GMs, and Chrysler-Fiats manufactured in Mexico? That might not be as good for the U.S. economy as everyone seems to think.

See the whole 2010 most American list here.

@Tundra Fan - Good point and if it just came down to American content, Tundra sales would be equal the F-150's. In the bigger picture, it's just us nerds sitting around splitting hairs.

You'll agree that Ford no longer builds pickups in Mexico and although that can change at any time, I guarantee you Toyota is taking Spanish lessons as we speak. It's easier than learning English, actually, and for Toyota to remain #1 in the world, it will be done.

Tundra Fan, Thanks for the outdated 2 year old info.

Who's trailer is this Truck towing??

They are doing it for a commerical. Read the LA Times.

Amen, Dave. Toyota has nothing new going on with the Tundra so they had to think of something for a new marketing capmagin.

5 years in and Tundra still doesn't have an ITBC. Trailer sway control will only brake the truck's wheels, not the trailer's too. I'll also mention GM, Ford and Ram beat Tundra's fuel economy.

This country is on the road of self-destruction if American icon is pulled by Japanese truck - so sad.

The Tundra has more American parts and build then any other truck, except maybe the F-150. And really isn't this what America is all about, not having to buy a government motors car if we don't want too? to be able to buy and do as we please.

I'm planning on being there for the whole thing. I'm really looking forward to it. Have set aside three days for this once-in-a-lifetime event.

This has nothing to do with the fact that I drive an old 2009 Tundra with over 85K trouble-free miles on the clock, but it has everything to do with the marketing stunt Toyota managed to pull off. Great stuff!

If Ford, GM and RAM could have done it, they would have. They didn't think of it first. Besides, they would have to make major modifications to pull off the same stunt.

All the Tundra drivers will be meeting at the overpass (either side). You can only get there by walking. No parking spaces around there. You may have to park a few blocks away, but it will be packed there with people, crowd control and law enforcement.

Be sure to wear an American flag on your lapel, shirt, or coat, to identify yourself as a Tundra driver. Things could change, so be sure to ask for the latest info when you get there. The TV crews will be the most knowledgeable. Ask them.

@ jason

yeah such a shame that toyota doesnt put on an ITBC...... they give you the option to choose the one you need for your trailer. OH i should mention that FACT that although the Tundra DOESNT have an ITBC the sway control works BETTER than the trucks that due have an ITBC because the BRAKING SYSTEM IS SOOO FAR SUPERIOR to the others. see not only does the tundra have a better 4 wheel independently controlled ABS system it ALSO has EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution) so unlike the other trucks the tundra can tell where the weight is actually at on the truck front to back AND left to right so it can more accurately apply more brakeforce to a wheel that has more weight on it, you know more weight more traction.......... it also has BA (brake assist) so when you make a panic stab at the brake you get 100% of the brakeforce so you get stopped sooner.....

Next, fuel economy......... I love this one Jason, if you can read well go look at the trucks your talking about. In order for you to get a truck from them that has this better fuel economy you lose towing capacity. If you look at the AVERAGE REPORTED FUEL ECONOMY you will find that although the EPA ratings show one that they "should" get better they actually get about the SAME as the Tundra that is not only getting that fuel economy but ALSO tows the max reported!

So finally Jason i ask you, what exactly does Toyota need to change? its been 5 years and the tundra is STILL the best choice if you want the best bang for your buck. its been kicking the rear end off the competition since 2007. If you dont believe me ask someone who ACTUALLY owns one and tows with it, you'll find out i'm right. just a couple highlights for you.

1. the only truck with fluid to fluid heat exchangers on oil and trans. heat is the enemy right?
2. the only truck that has 4 piston calipers with stainless steel pistons, and might i add the front and rear brakes are LARGER than an F350!
3. 10.5 ring gear with a SOLID STEEL AXLE, not some dopey dana design with a cas rear pumkin and steel axles shoved in it.
4. Dual independent variable valve timing that enables over 90% of the 401 lb. ft. of torque to be available from 2200 RPM to 5500 RPM.
5. the only truck with a motorized headlight assembly so you can adjust your headlights where you need them whether you have a load or not.
6. the only truck with a driver and passenger side knee airbag.
7. the only 1/2 ton truck with a transmission that is smart enough to adjust shifting schedule based on the load its pulling AND the only one to adjust for wear and tear. furthermore the only other trans that is capable of ANYTHING like this is the Allison thats bolted to a duramax.
8. the only truck that you can open the tailgate and let it go and it wont SLAM down, you know Ford guys cause your hands are always full right? (quoting fords stupid commercial for a foot activated hatch on the c-max) for those who havent seen the commercial.
9. the only truck that you can buy that you can slide the rear seats forward and backward and recline 41%.
10. the only truck you can buy that the WHOLE rear window will roll down.

JASON, i can go on and on and on................. next time you need to study up before you blast a product YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT.

Before everyone gets all bent out of shape over this stunt, I wonder how much of the shutle is still intacked? are the heavy rocket engines still there? are all the flight systems still there?, the hydrolic systems still there? I am will to bet that there are at least 5o% of the content is not there, and that they are only moving mostly a shell! a shell of a Great historic American object of American ingenuity! I think it is a shame this stunt is being done at all! with the seeds that are required all thay need to use is one of those airport buggies! that the airports use to manuver the huge aircraft around, no need to make this an advertizement, expecialy for a foreign company! no matter how much $ as at stake here, after all we TAX PAYERS are the ones footing the bill, we paid to build it, fly it, maintain it and most of all develop and have Americans blod sweat and tears that have been shed for it, and if any street leagal truck should be used it should be from a lottery of American manufacturer, headquartered in America!

Toyota pulled off an amazing Coup d'état with this stunt. The "dumestics" got caught sleeping at the wheel once again.

Hemi LOL, I am shocked that to this day Toyota still has not added an ITBC. This is 2013. IMO, you need to understand the trailer and truck market a little bit better. Mike Levine explained it best...

There's no right or wrong about the lack of an ITBC in the Tundra. But IMO, if Toyota wants to say they really understand the needs of truck buyers who tow trailers, they need to offer it. Why should I have to scratch up my hands (speaking from experience) reaching under the dash to find the TBC wires and then have to secure an aftermarket unit in an inconvenient place? Plus, I do want my ITBC to be integrated with the ABS system from the factory and also control the trailer brakes, not just the truck's.
Posted by: Mike Levine | Aug 12, 2011 12:32:36 PM

but whats important to keep in mind is Toyota Tundra (even though a Japanese Company makes it) is the most American Truck out there. Sad but True.

- Absolutely correct outside of Ford. Look at Chevrolet. The supposed "Heartbeat Of America" and "America's Truck". They have John Mellencamp singing their praise. Yet the 4 doors are Made In Mexico. They roll on wheels Made In China. And who knows what else that truck has that is sourced from China since GM is the cheapest manufaturer in the world. Just disgusting. Look at Dodge, Made In Mexico as well. Ford and Toyota should be praised for keeping America alive.

@ dave

there are many ways to look at this subject. if Toyota offers something like this ever it will most likely be in ALL of the trucks. there are so many applications for trailer brakes from axle count to style of application by way of pendulum or timed or any other style. also, if not explained properly the average joe that buys a boat will think that controls his boat trailer as well............. it wont. 95% of all boat trailers are equipped with surge brakes and an ITBC will not help you one bit to control trailer sway. THE BEST way to make this happen is design the suspension to help stop sway before it starts (toyota did this) also develop a system that is very effective regardless of whether the trailer has electric brakes or not. (toyota did this as well) lots of trailers have no electric brakes so that system is rarely effective in the grand scheme of things. My point is it doesnt protect the dummy from him or herself, it will only help the person that knows better anyway and can install the controller they desire anyway.

PS understand the truck market better seriously??? did you read my last post in its entirety? who do you know that would be able to spout out that many specifics if they didnt understand the truck market. furthermore i am part of the truck market, i tow very frequently and multitudes of different items as well.

Mike Levine typed out his "opinion" which doesnt make him the only authority on the topic. Furthermore since he is a Ford employee now it may have been a ford advertisement that he was typing since they were advertising the idea at the time.

If the ITBC is the biggest issue big effen deal

Tundra is the most American made in TEXAS with 75% parts content!

@TundraSolutions, the Tacoma is even more than that. It's the sole reason I bought one and I love it. I snicker at the Big 3 and their American nonsense. They are traitors to their own homeland as far as I'm concerned. It's treason of the highest order.

I bought one and I love it. I snicker at the Big 3 and their American nonsense. They are traitors to their own homeland as far as I'm concerned. It's treason of the highest order.

David- hold on ther pal. FORD IS AMERICAN AS AMERICAN COULD BE! Maybe Not Government (China) Motors or Dudge. THOSE 2 are sellouts and traitors who should be condemned and closed forever. Especially GvtMoCo! NOT Ford. Ford Trucks are Made in the USA!

@David: you mean your Tacoma must not be an access cab? Cause they do build some of those in Mexico.

@trx4 tom

actually all access cabs are built in texas, a small amount of double cabs are built in the baja california plant.

@ Blue Oval Empire

Boy do you drink the kool-aid! Did you happen to know that IF you WORK for Ford and you go to a union event they wont let you park some of FORD'S OWN vehicles with the others. They will make them park way out in no mans land with any other manufacturers cars they may drive. i'll throw one at ya. the MEXICAN BUILT FUSION.

Ford is and ALWAYS has been a sellout! they are FULL of misleading adds to misdirect the public, in your case they have done a MARVELOUS job. deceiving marketing is job #1 at Ford. LOL LOL

"2. the only truck that has 4 piston calipers with stainless steel pistons, and might i add the front and rear brakes are LARGER than an F350!"

LOL, it was second to the Chevy in the last shootout for most additional space needed to stop when 1000 pounds was in the truck, vs. the empty stopping. So, it stopped really good empty. You buy a truck for what? Oh, YOU bought one for running around empty?

"TUNDRA, the truck that is stuck in 2007"

It didn't matter if the domestics wanted to do it. Maybe alot of you missed this.

"@ Dale -- As we understand it, Toyota already has a relationship with the museum where the Endeavour Space Shuttle will be housed so they were the first ones to be offered the chance to make the pull." -Mark Williams

Basically, some higher up at the museum likes Toyota. Yippy ky yah!

@LOL, actually the stickers on some access cabs say built in Mexico. Good try though!

This has too be the worst posts I've seen in awhile! Guys are arguing on what truck is more American, give me a break. Ford, Chevy, and Dodge should all be ashamed of themselves.

If you want an American truck or vehicles the big 3 should only make them here. No outside contracts! Til then what exactly is the problem?

@Hemilol, LOL @ YOU. I care about REAL AMERICAN trucks and REAL AMERICAN cars like the Mustang. The Fusion is just Americans following a trend of the rest of the world. I care not about that car. It's not a REAL AMERICAN Vehicle. It doesn't even count. It's a numbers vehicle with no American soul. As such, I don't care where it's built. It's garbage to me. Ford or otherwise. Sell your soul some more why don't you America. Ford already has me pissed of about the French sellout transmissions in the American Mustang. If they EVER do that to their trucks like Govt. Motors and Dudge, I'm done with them. I'll buy a Toyota just for spite.

Hell Ya! I say if it takes a Japanese company to bring back America, so be it. The so called Big Three suck. They aren't American anymore anyway. Just false pretenders. And 2 of them GovernmentMotorsCo. and Dodge have swindled our tax money to finance their global foreign operations. Not so with Ford or Toyota or Nissan. I hate and I mean HATE with a passion GM-GMC.

What is US content by Toyota standards? Do they machine all the gears in there tranny and engine etc. I know where F150 and F250-550 are machined. Sharonville Ohio USA!

No matter what, toieletoder is a japanese company pure and simple. No matter how much they build here in America, the money still goes back to jaypan. We thank them for the jobs but it all goes back to them. So many people and so much blindness.

Dodge Avenger most AMERICAN car!
1. Dodge Avenger – 83%
2. Chrysler 200 sedan – 81%
3. Toyota Camry – 80%
3. Toyota Avalon – 80%
3. Honda Accord – 80%
4. Chevrolet Impala – 77%
5. Cadillac DTS – 76%
5. Buick Lucerne – 76%
6. Chevrolet Malibu – 75%
6. Chevrolet Corvette – 75%
6. Lincoln Town Car – 75%
6. Acura TL – 75%
7. Dodge Caliber – 73%
7. Chrysler 300 – 73%
8. Dodge Charger – 70%
8. Dodge Challenger – 70%
8. Honda Civic – 70%
9. Chevrolet Camaro – 66%
10. Toyota Matrix – 65%
10. Cadillac STS – 65%
10. Cadillac CTS – 65%
10. Ford Taurus – 65%
10. Ford Mustang – 65%

Read more:

This is only the beginning.

More Guts

More Glory

Ram 2013

I'm hoping it's drops a driveshaft or burns up the transmission or something like that.
Chevrolet should be towing this, they need some good press.

I drive a F150.

I read with some interest and amusement some of the pathetic comments made by what appears people with a limited capacity for thought, or some of you guys are real jerkoffs.

The US isn't the "holder" of mankinds achievements and technology. Alot of you guys view your vehicles the same. I recommend most of you leave your Counties, States and Country to visit other countries around the world, you will be amazed at what you should be proud of and what you are missing.

Most space programs around the world are multinational. Multinational doesn't mean Texas and Oregon.

The US does contribute a significant amount towards space both financially and technologically. But the success of the Shuttle program was multi national ie US, Canada, and a host of other nations in the world.

At the moment NASA has 3 joint facilities around the world for communications, California, Australia and Spain. The Japanese have contributed a signifcant amount of finances and technology towards NASA programs, even Isreal and yes the Russians as well.

The ISS wouldn't exist as it does right now if it wasn't for the Russians. I'm not pro Russian, but respect them for their contributions and of all the countries involve in space exploration must be realised.

Space, as it appears, is the most successful tool so far for international co-operation.

Who give a rats ass if the Shuttle is being towed by a Toyota.

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