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



@Big Al from Oz - bravo.

I'm sorry I didn't add.

At least the public get an opportunity to view the Shuttle.

wy you dont tack about ford stolen the fuel injection ideal...this is everywhere ,,

Ford sued over F-150 fuel injection

What a bunch of man-babies crying over their little red crapwagons.

Mama, We're all crazy now.

Your name explains it all.

Don't have a swipe at the US. Its like any country there are people just like you and some of the contributors on this site.

I wasn't putting down the US, there is no need too.

Both types of attitudes are unwarranted.

Tundra and Tacos are American vehicles.

What model year will be the next gen Tundra?

Please don't say 2014. If it was 2014, we would have seen many spy photos by now.

For the idiots who know nothing about economics, content of a vehicle has nothing to do with where corporate profits go. Tundra isn't an American vehicle, it's Japanese, that's where the profits go, MONEY LEAVING THE UNITED STATES MORONS! So many dumb asses on this site!

@Hemi V8 nice list....but your math is a bit off. there are 23 vehicles on your list yet your #s only go to 10. The impala would be considered 6th on the list not fourth. Malibu would be 9th etc.

@jch are we seven years old? You have nothing to do with fords quality good or bad.

@tj - I'll only buy domestic, Big 3 trucks and it has little to do American content or where profits end up. It's just a personal choice. The Titan and Tundra fall short anyways and luckily, I don't have to buy a sedan or I might have to go with a foreign brand. Who knows?

At least with the Tundra/Sequoia line, there's likely not much, if any profits going anywhere. The Camry would be a different story though, and possibly best in class.


2014 model year out in late 2013 is still the anticipated date of updated designed tundra. But GM has had several spy shots. Ford has talked about new angines, aluminum and massvie weight savings. Yet, mum's the word from Toyota. No spy shots, no specifics. Either Toyota is still are unsure about a lot of things or they plan to rock the half ton world and they don't want anybody to know how until the last minute. This could get frustrating for people who are in the market in the next year or two.

Gotta wonder if maybe they have some test mules in the works and are just trying to get more intel about the competition before they decide which one to go with. They could be holding off to let Chevy and Ford come to market with something and then one-up them one year later. If so we could be looking at 2016.

What Tundra really needs is an entirely new frame. Due to bad press, the rust issue, bed bounce and towing, they need to go in a different direction this time around from the ground up.

Please permit me to clarify why the location for the Tundra pulling the shuttle was changed: The Manchester Blvd. bridge over Interstate 405 is the only portion of the route where the giant self-propelled transporter CANNOT carry the Endeavour. This is because the combined weight is too heavy for the bridge. The shuttle must be moved to light weight dollies and towed by a separate, smaller and lighter vehicle. Toyota offered its assistance to the California Science Center and it was determined that a Tundra would fill the need.

Why is there is no news on the next gen Tundra? Will there be a next gen?

@Mike Michels, Toyota USA - Thanks for the clarification, it makes sense now.

I noticed that particular fwy overpass is about 100% level or I should say the bridge is level to the ground and the 405 fwy actually passes under W Manchester Blvd. Really the whole trip is nearly 100% flat and that bridge is no exception.

Since there's only about 30,000 lbs of rolling resistance on a 300,000 lbs loaded trailer, a Toyota Yaris could pull that parade float across that couple 100' ft flat section of roadway and bridge.

@Dave, I heard that they were going to discontinue it.

This wouldn't surprise me. Poor sales numbers and Toyota not really supporting the vehicle, there is no telling. Plus the current economy and it leads to not much room for development of a new model Tundra.


seriously........... discontinue a truck that is 5th in sales? do you really think that at 75-100k of sales a year doesnt support selling it?? Just for kicks how many sequoias do you think they build a year? currently YTD its 7,921units and they trickle them out or they would sell MANY MORE. Land Cruiser is only a little over 2,040 (in the US) but its made world wide. FJ Cruiser is at 9,929 YTD but they still build it. Yeah Bill in your world they should hang it up, fortunately for people that understand business they know better.

the next GEN Tundra is slated for 2014.....

For the rest of you readers, Toyota is EXTREMELY good at covering up their prototypes and test mules do to the unbelievable size of the San Antonio facility. Noone saw the new camry until a month before its release, expect nothing different from them on the Tundra.......

I don't think the Tundra will be discontinued, but the next gen might be or it has been put on hold.

Speaking of the Sequoia, I heard that it was slated to be discontinued at the end of its lifecycle. At it's peak in 2002 it sold over 70k, last year it dropped to 13k.

A source speaking with confirmed that the Sequoia won't live on, partially due to slow sales.

@ bill

again noone really knows for sure, but dont just assume its going away..... you may get suprised. Toyota has more models under one roof than ANY manufacturer and there are many models that are low volume. Sequoia sales are slow because Toyota MAKES them slow and no other reason. There would be MANY more on the road if Toyota decided to push them like GM does the Tahoe Yukon twins. The Sequoia like the Land Cruiser and 4 Runner and FJ Cruiser NEVER have incentives on them. They supply and sell them as a niche vehicle plain and simple.

A "source" speaking with could be a street bum, or someone important at Toyota. Simply put there is Zero evidence either way. It would make ZERO sense for Toyota to add Blind Spot Monitor to the Sequoia in 2013 if it had plans to discontinue the model line. Furthermore the Sequoia has features you simply cannot buy on any other SUV like it other than highline vehicles. and it has more legroom than EVERY SUV on the market period. 1st, 2nd, and DEFINITELY on the 3rd Row.

you can try and blow smoke up peoples ass all you want but a toyota is a foreign brand .It is not or will it ever be american built america owned company.

If the tundra was 100% assembled here its still a japanese brand.

If it closed all its japanese assembly plants and built every vehicle here its still a foreign co by origin and nothing toyota fan tries to tell anyone will make a difference.

Ford is pure us of a co as well as chevrolet even if it did have gov help.Toyota has also had assistance by its japanese goverment over the yrs.look it up!

The botton line is the tundra is a bull dog looking truck with elephant doors and a floppy chassis letting the bed flop even on smooth rds. Its not a tough work truck and will never be considered as anything but a yota ride around program.

I don't fully understand the Parts content calculations i know that they are based on the dollar amount of the parts, but does a transmission assembled in China with American made gears and components count as an american or chinese part, or does the assosiated dollar amounts play in, what about a us made frame from chinese steel?

The thing that confuses me in the ratings is with tooling costs being as high as they are it would not make sence to resource parts every model year when you look at the f150 this does not make sence

2009 75%
2010 55%

2011 60%
2012 75%

THis is the current body style with new pwertrain being added in 2011 and a new guage cluster option, and different front grill on fx4. the 2009 and 2010s are indeticaly equiped I just dont understand where a 20% drop in domestic content came from, surly ford did not set up a new 5.4l factory for one modle year, and the cost of relocating tooling seems prohibative, could their source of materials, I.E. steel, plastic and fabrics be a factor?

On the Tundra pulling the space shuttle is it a publicity stunt? yes, but only a pick up would fit the bill due to weight restrictions, we all know ford would do the demo with an ecoboost, RAM with an 8 speed penstar, and GM with a Duramax, and nissan with a frontier (than they could stop putting that truck in imposible comercials) if they had sponsoured the museum.

So what if toyota sways some uninformed buyer to their dealership to buy a tundra, there are plenty of people who buy dodges b/c they saw a comerical where a bunch of cumis powered vehicles shoed up behind it despite the fact that the motors are not related. Or people who by chevys because its about base ball and apple pies. Or an F150 b/c it rolled out of the back of a plane and stopped it. ITs marketing so get used to it. An inteligent person will see through the lies and gimicks and buy what suites their needs the best.

On the future of the tundra, i feel that toyota cannot stay competative in the faster design cycle of full size pickups with fuel economy pecoming a major issue. R&D costs have to be spread accross fewer vehicles driving up the cost and making them uncompetative, or redisign gets ignored and the tundra will be left in the dust. I hope for god competition as it will help us to have a better selection and more choices ant competative prices. But i belive that toyota will team up with one of the big 3 to provide them with the main design for the next gen tundra and build them under licens in Texas, either complete trucks, drivetrains, or bodies. These type of relations ships have worked in the past and would provide toyota with a full size option to keep loyal customers. I could see toyota rebadging an f150 as a tundra, they have already announced that they are working together on a hybrid system for pickups so this is a concivable option to lower costs and risks to both manufactures.

@TJ- do not call anyone an idiot when you are one of the biggest ones around. Companies are entitled to profits and any shareholder gets a piece of the pie. GMC Colorado was designed in Brazil and tested and build in Tailand. GM's profits left the country to make that truck. Most of Ford's cars are European. All that R@D money left the country. Fiat owns Chrysler. What about that foreign company? The largest amount of money spent on a vehicle is assembly/manufacturing. If it is built here, wages, operation costs etc. stay where it is built. Look up the definition of GDP.

New Toyota pickups were supposed to arrive for 2014, but will not due to poor sales and the economy.

To the people who seem to be fixated on what is and isn't from certain countries.

I think if you look at the overall quantities of vehicle components between manufacturers that are imported it would be relatively equal to what is exported. If it isn't then there are other political influences causing it.

The title FTA is a bit of a misnomer, as there are caveats attached. FTAs are not equal.

The same goes for GM and Ford to set up shop in China. I bet the Chinese wanted vehicle components to be exported from China to the US to allow them to set up shop. Its not just that the labour is cheaper in China, it about wheeling an dealing.

I think in Australia our imports are about 10% (value wise) from the US, but only 5% of our exports are destined for the US market.

And most of you probably spend more money on foreign imports than any other investments. You couldn't afford to buy USA only, or you would be living in the gutter or you have very good paying jobs.

So, I think it is BS all the rhetoric you go on about being "American" made and how American you are just because you buy an American branded pickup. Its just chest beating.

Its good to have a healthy and local manufacturing industry in any country, but if everyone bought "local" like you guys want to think, then there would be no trade and the world would be the worst for it.

We have the same attitudes here.

And to the people who think all of the money leaves the country because you buy a Tundra are the same people who then complain that Ford, GM are supporting Chinese manufacturing when the profits are coming back to the US.


Maybe Tacoma lost Ultimate 4x4 Shootout... But still, Toyota shows quality... Tundra will tow space shuttle... Where are you now, Ford? :D

i remember when toyota used to make realiable trucks. back in the 80s and 90s.

i just hope the truck dont burst in flames like the other 7 million that are been!

"1985 toyota truck SR5 Xtra Cab fun truck to go muddin with.

This is just to show how powerful the Tundra. I am now convince. When it comes to trucks this is on the top of my list. Amazing!

@Jose - 3 words: 71 years ago.

To use your logic:

Chrysler is owned by Fiat.
Fiat is Italian.
Italy was an enemy of the USA in WWII.

All of the automakers make vehicles in Mexico.
Remember the Alamo?

Does that also rule out anything British?

or German?

Oil, what about oil?

15 of 19 "9-11" attackers were from Saudi Arabia.
Bin Laden was Saudi Arabian.

Iraq X 2.


That rules out Vodka.
(Can't think of anything else important from that country.)

Don’t you just love the hype? This is the kind of ‘pay for the opportunity’ stunt that distracts most American consumers from understanding facts and deciding what to purchase and why based on real data. Toyota is great at employing watch dogs to scan the internet for anything that would tarnish their brand then spin information and incorrectly correct bloggers to further the Toyota reputation even if it means stretching the truth. Even more disgusting is that there are “Americans” willing to do this! They are genius at over-exaggerated promotion. (As a former employee of Subaru-Isuzu, I have experienced the spin first-hand.) It looks like these lovers of the last-place (e.g. mpg, tow capacity) Tundra love their import so much that they will go to great lengths to falsely pronounce it as more "American" than what remains domestic related to GM, Ford, and Chrysler LLC (Fiat). Look behind most of the big-ticket “American-supplied” components for this “American" truck and you'll find more Japanese transplanted ownership. These transplants seldom hire and employ Americans above the Operations level of management / leadership. If you wonder if your college graduate child will have a tech job, realize that most of the Research and Development and Engineering for this company is being done in Japan by Japanese citizens. The CEO and his management team are all Japanese. They take their earnings and spend it down the street; in Japan. The bigger impact here is loss is economic power felt in America every time an American buys a “Built in America” (but the economic power and cash flow to Japan) Tundra.
I’m sure it is a capable vehicle. America had and still has three excellent truck manufacturers. As is always the case, Toyota got here late to the game by lobbying with our federal and state elected representatives. Representatives in states like Texas brokered pocket-lining deals and tax breaks that lured transplants like Toyota to our soil. These America-wins deals are losers for America and have ended up costing states like Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Missouri, and Wisconsin thousands of good paying, medium tech, manufacturing-based jobs. When an American consumer purchases an import good or service instead of a domestic good or service, the net-effect is economic loss for the country. We must do better and regain our manufacturing strength, and politely tell Toyota and other foreign brands to pay much, much more for being allowed to be here. Their gain puts Americans in the unemployment line and our children in government aid programs for education. We all need to be asking our government where that money is coming from. Less of it was needed when Americans were working strong middle-class jobs and could afford to put their children through school without government aid.

If you know anything about the custom NASA trailer the Shuttle was sitting on, then you know that this is one of the biggest lies put forth by a car company.

Every wheel on the has it's own motor and steering which is run by a remote. The trailer itself could have been driven across the bridge with only an operator running by remote control. It's a joke to think NASA wouldn't have the most state of the art self sufficient trailer in known to man to handle a delivery of this magnitude and it's a joke that are country would even let a foreign company like Toyota buy there way into such a historical American event.

Didn't Toyota just have to settle the biggest lawsuit in history in order to fix a simple part in their new cars that has already killed several people including a young family?

Our country is no longer a feared nation and instead is laughed at across the world and this is just an example of that. See by letting Toyota do this they prey on the ignorant and moronic people of our country that don't use common sense and will actually believe this type of blantant false advertising. Not to mention the reason are country is in a downward spiral is because we not only continue to the let the ignorance of our nation breed, but we also continue to allow other nations ignorant to come into our country. Then we make sure all these lazy Americans and foreigners, her illegal or not, to just be given free food, shelter, and money, all for doing nothing but being here and breathing. Who pays for all these freeloaders, the tax payers, the people who make this country run and do there best to keep there kids educated and help them to become hard working adults.

Every time you buy a Toyota, whether it was made here in the US or Canada, more of that money goes back to Japan than stays where it's made or bought. I don't know about you, but we don't need help from other countries and until we start being self sufficient we will constantly be going backwards until we just no longer exist. If your mad at anything I said that's because it's true and the truth hurts!

I currently own a 2007 tundra and couldn't be happier. I've owned ford,dodge,and chevy but not one of them could perform like this. The only problem that the tundra has is fuel mileage but think about it if u want a half ton pickup that could out work any other gas engine ur not worried about fuel mileage. Hauling and pulling is no problem for this truck and when it comes to speed it's amazing. The only other thing that can out work this truck is a diesel so it's up to u to decide what u need the strongest gas engine or a big diesel.

How can you say a jap car is the most american ya there made hear but
The money is not comeing to america its goning to japan so all you people buying toyotas you are trators to america your sending our american money to japan when you buy a toyota where do you think the moneys going to toyota headqurters in japan not america Ill only say toyota is american when they shut down all there headqurters in japan and move there headqurters to america so all you toyota owner keep sending your money to japan trators

Actually, a kid on a Big Wheel pulled the shuttle across the bridge not a Tundra.

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