Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: | posted May 13, 2016 08:36
Rewards owner for his loyalty with an all-new Tundra
1 million miles, that’s 1,609,344 kilometers – that’s more than forty times the circumference of the Earth and more than four times the distance of the Earth to the Moon.
Allow that to sink in for a moment.
Such a long distance seems to only be fit for spaceships and rocketships but a truck, really?
Well such a truck has been found in perfect working condition in Houma, Louisiana, at the home of its very first owner Victor Sheppard.
The 9-year old, million-mile Tundra was a 2007 model, the first of its kind, manufactured in Texas.
Sheppard has logged an average of 125,000 miles (201,168 kilometers) each year driving long-haul trips from Louisiana to North Dakota, Wyoming and Virginia.
Despite the distance, the unit still possesses its original engine, paint job and transmission, which is a testament to the durability and reliability of a Toyota.
To keep it in shape, Sheppard has brought his Tundra to the dealership 117 times over a period of nine year for ‘timing belt replacements, oil changes, and the manufacturer’s regularly scheduled check-ups.’
For achieving such a rare feat, Sheppard’s truck has its own Facebook page and has received recognition from its dealership. For his loyalty to the brand, Sheppard has been giving an all-new 2016 Tundra to replace his trusty 2007, million-mile unit.
The replacement, aside from being a reward for Sheppard, allows Toyota engineers to disassemble the million-mile truck part-by-part to study it and gain valuable insight in order to make better trucks in the future.
“My truck looks great, and, except for a few little dents, it’s almost like new. Even the seats look just as they were when I bought it. They’re not as clean, of course, but they’re not busted or worn out,” said Sheppard.
Toyota engineers plan to examine each part over the span of months to learn how the engine and transmission lasted this long despite the beating it took on an annual basis.
“Having a million-mile truck in as pristine condition as this one with original parts is a truly rare find. Our team plans 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,” said Toyota’s chief truck engineer from Toyota Technical Center, Mike Sweers.