You Won’t Normally See a Tundra Like This One
WHEN YOU’RE IN SWIFT CAR & TRUCK CLUB, DRIVING SOMETHING AWESOME IS MANDATORY. It’s in the contract, part of the job description. So when Victor Hernandez Jr. of Houston, Texas, set out to build his latest creation, he already knew what he was in for. There was no way that he was going to be able to get away with having a “stock-n-drop” truck, even if he did already own an outside-of-the-box ’07 Toyota Tundra CrewMax.
As far as trucks go, Tundras aren’t exactly what most people think of when they imagine something slammed, and that’s exactly what appealed to Victor. He knew that there wouldn’t be many full-sized Toyotas at local shows, and with what he had in mind, there definitely wouldn’t be any of the same caliber. Victor shared a little bit more about his inspiration with us, “As soon as I started my build, I knew it was going to be different in every way. Almost every show I went to people would say, ‘Hey, you don’t see too many Tundras fixed up,’ so that motivated me even more to work on it and have it stand out from the rest.”
And stand out it does. With help from Rocky Fox at Chaotic Rods and Customs, Victor’s build got underway and ended up a masterpiece on wheels. A lot of modifications went into making the Tundra lay frame on 24- and 26-inch Intro wheels, including relocating the front control arms and adding a deep step notch out back with a 2-link. The narrowed rearend offers the extra room needed to swallow up the giant rear wheels, and an aluminum fuel cell keeps things tucked up and out of the way when Victor is skating down the highway.
The beauty of a slammed Tundra is that Victor could have called his truck done at this point, and he would have achieved his goal of having one of the most unique trucks out there. However, he had a lot more in mind, and with some more help from the crew at Chaotic (more specifically, Mike Jones, Chris Caldwell and Kenny Zarate), the truck got a lot more love and a lot more colorful. With full tribal graphics and a new base color (Swift Blue) that wrap into the doorjambs and onto the door panels and smoothed dashboard, Victor’s truck was suddenly on a different level.
With a paint job of this magnitude, Victor knew that the details would be of the utmost importance, so he had the guys at Chaotic be sure to color-match all of the truck’s handles, as well as the front bumper. He also added a mesh insert to the factory chrome grille, which sets off the front end just right.
For the engine, there’s not much you can do to the 3UR-FE 5.7L V-8 to make it more awesome, so Victor stuck with the basics and added a cold air intake for a few extra ponies. It also looks a lot cooler, especially next to the painted engine and fuse box covers.
To wrap up the build (quite literally), Victor saved up enough funds to hit up Juan Olivo at Supreme Kustoms for a world-class treatment on the interior. Yard upon yard of Blue Marina vinyl was mixed in with plenty of suede for contrast, with enough diamond stitching to make a Bugatti Veyron jealous. The factory stereo system was already pretty awesome as is, but Victor did upgrade the head unit to a Pioneer DVD deck so that he can relax at shows. To make sure there’s enough juice left to get him home, he installed an Optima battery that gets him up and running every time.
With his truck pretty much complete for now, Victor has been busy racking up the trophies, but his biggest thrill is when people finally figure out that what they’re looking at is a laid-out Tundra, and a very custom one at that. Hopefully, Victor has inspired a lot more folks to take a second look at their choices when it comes time to build their next lowered ride.
Victor Hernandez Jr.
2007 Toyota Tundra
Swift Car & Truck Club
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
• Mechanically stock 3UR-FE 5.7L V-8 engine
• Universal air filter/tube adapted to throttle body
• Shop: Chaotic Rod and Custom
• McGaughy’s drop spindles
• Raised upper control arms
• Rear step notch
• 2-link rear suspension
• Air Lift Dominator airbags
• Chevy C-10 shocks
• Narrowed rearend with Moser axles
• SMC air valves
• 7-gallon air tank
• Two VIAIR 480C compressors
WHEELS & TIRES
• 24- and 26-inch Intro Dangerous billet wheels
• 275/35R24 and 275/35R26 Sunny tires
BODY & PAINT
• Shop: Chaotic Rod and Custom
• Color change to Swift Blue with PPG materials
• Tribal pattern graphics with airbrushed details
• Color-matched handles and front bumper
• Painted dashboard and door panels
INTERIOR & STEREO
• Shop: Supreme Kustoms
• Blue Marina vinyl with suede inserts
• Diamond-pattern stitching
• Pioneer DVD head unit
• Optima battery
SPECIAL THANKS FROM THE OWNER: “I’d like to thank everyone at Chaotic Rods and Customs, my beautiful wife, my brother Noe and cousin Robert, Team Swift Car Club’s Houston chapter, and God, without whom none of this would have been possible.”