An unmodified Toyota Tundra pickup truck made history recently by towing the space shuttle Endeavour for a portion of its journey across Los Angeles to its new home at the California Science Center.
The 2012 Toyota Tundra used for towing was a 4x4 model equipped with a 371-horsepower, 5.7-liter, V-8 engine. The half-ton pickup truck had no modifications to increase towing capacity or produce more power. Toyota worked with the Sarens Group, a heavy-lifting and engineered-transport company, to test the Tundra extensively to ensure it was capable of transporting the American icon. The Sarens Group built a special dolly for the Tundra to use to tow the space shuttle, which weighs 300,000 pounds.
Toyota, which has its U.S. headquarters near Los Angeles, has a partnership with the California Science Center. The Toyota Tundra used for towing the space shuttle will become part of an exhibit that demonstrates the physics of leverage when the Endeavour exhibit opens at the end of the month. Toyota Tundra pickups are built in San Antonio.
Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.