2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Tackles Mint 400 (Video)
Camburg Engineering build is captured in rad new clip detailing how powerful beast came to life.
The 2017 Mint 400 recently kicked up plenty of sand in Vegas when the famous race brought some of the country’s best drivers to Nevada March 1-5. And now, thanks to this newly-released clip from Motor Trend, the excitement continues with Dirt Every Day host Fred Williams racing the Mint in a badass, souped-up Toyota Tacoma. But before heading to the desert, the video provides a detailed look at just how this fast and furious Tacoma came to life.
Thirty-six years ago, Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas put the Mint 400 on the proverbial map. He may have failed miserably at writing a couple hundred words for Sports Illustrated, but the legend of debauchery in Sin City at the time of the Mint became legend. The Best in the Desert series still runs the annual desert race, and as seen in this clip, the race has not lost its awesome edge.
Initially, Williams was slated to compete in a serious race truck built by Camburg Engineering in Huntington Beach, California. Camburg co-founder Jerry Zaiden took charge of the build, which started with a 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro for the Stock Mini class. This first episode, one of two on the Mint 400, covers the Tacoma’s build and a day of shaking down in the California desert.
The Stock Mini class places several restrictions on how the trucks can be built. For example, the stock mounting positions for the front suspension must be used. Naturally, Camburg uses the best of what’s available. Since they tune suspensions, this includes putting the beefiest shocks allowable within the ruleset.
After finishing up the build with full roll cage and bed mounting for the fuel cell, tires, and other necessary desert-racing equipment, Zaiden and Williams rip around the desert to get a feel for the truck. It not only gives Williams some wheel time but also helps the driver learn the basics of desert racing. Most off-roaders know how to change tires or a belt during a driver change, but taking on those tasks with a ticking clock and passing competitors is another matter altogether.