Why Did Toyota Want This Guy's Old Tundra Back So Badly?
Victor Sheppard is about as loyal a Toyota Tundra pickup truck buyer as you will find. He’s owned 16 of them. However, his old, high mileage 2007 Tundra was of special interest to Toyota. So much so that the company’s HQ authorized Mr. Sheppard’s local Toyota dealership, Greg Leblanc Toyota in Mr. Sheppard’s hometown, Houma, La, to get it. In trade, they offered Mr. Sheppard a brand new Tundra.
What made this Tundra special was that it had over 1 million miles on it. And its original engine and transmission were still going strong. Even the paint and seats were in good condition after that amazing amount of work.
If you think this Tundra is headed to a museum in Tokyo like Woody, Jesse, and Stinky Pete (any Toy Story 2 fans out there?) guess again. This Tundra is more American than the Chevy Silverado, and Toyota’s HTGIC (head truck guy in charge), Mike Sweers, wants it so he can dissect it like a frog in junior high. Sweers says his plans are to, “…tear down the entire truck, bumper-to-bumper, top-to-bottom to evaluate how the quality and safety we designed, engineered and built into the Tundra has held up to over one-million miles of real-world driving and help us continue providing ever-better vehicles for our customers.”
Mr. Sheppard drives 125,000 miles a year for work. If there is any clue to why this truck lasted so long it might be that he maintained it at each service interval at the local Toyota dealership.