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Desk to Glory Legacy

Jan 30, 2019

Toyota Canada asked us to include not one, but both of our Toyota trucks in a recent commercial and we couldn’t have been more excited! Our trucks changed the way we explore, and we were more than happy to share how they do just that.

1990 Toyota Pickup Extra Cab
Base, 22RE

There are good ideas, and then there are great ideas. Our great idea was to refurbish a 1990 Toyota Pickup (“Little Red”) that had been left for dead in my Dad’s backyard, and subsequently drive it over 65,000km from Vancouver to Argentina and back. Who can argue with a genius idea like that?

Little Red was the perfect vehicle, helping us to explore 15 countries while we cruised along the beaches of Mexico, through the jungles of Central America, and over mountain passes in the Andes. Our Pickup is small, unsuspecting, and undeniably reliable. Beyond that, the truck became more than just a vessel to get us from point A to B. It was our home.

The 116 horsepower 22RE was hauling an additional 1000lbs of gear and turning heavy 33” mud terrain tires. Each and every time we made it over a difficult mountain pass, as high as 15,500 feet of elevation, or through a difficult technical off-road section (Colombia had some seriously muddy trails) Little Red received a “good job” pat on the dashboard.

We lived out of the plucky little truck for two years before eventually shipping it to Florida, driving north to the Maritimes, and heading home to the West Coast of Canada.

Our relationship with Toyota Canada started with the only mechanical breakdown of our trip. Thankfully we were only 100km away from the Toyota Canada headquarters in Toronto when an axle failed. Toyota headquarters invited us in with open arms. Our time spent there was one of the highlights of our journey, and we can’t thank Toyota Canada enough for contacting us after seeing pictures of our truck on a flatbed tow truck.

Toyota Canada + Desk to Glory: The Fix

2017 Interview with Toyota Canada “Meet the Couple Who Drove to South America and Back


2008 Toyota Tundra Double Cab
TRD Off Road 4x4, 5.7L

We’ve become used to the fact that a Toyota truck is capable and dependable. It’s in the DNA and we take that for granted at this point. When it came time to buy another truck we were looking forward to upgraded features from our 28-year-old base model Pickup.

We decided to move to Canmore, Alberta where there is snow on the ground for eight months of the year, so it was time to step out of the 90s and into something with heated seats, heated mirrors, and traction control.

A low-kilometer 2008 Toyota Tundra TRD Off-Road was just the ticket to tackle the terrain and climate of the Rocky Mountains. These mountains are cold, slick, and wild. We wanted a truck that could not only get us to up the mountains, but to do it in comfort and safety (airbags?! That’s new for us too). Oh, the 381hp 5.7L doesn’t hurt one bit. Yes, that’s more than three times the horsepower that our 1990 Toyota Pickup has.

Even the moose in the area thinks we made a good choice.

2019 Tundra Crewmax
TRD Pro, 5.7L


For this commercial shoot we had an opportunity to drive a beauty of a 2019 Tundra TRD Pro . If we were in the market for a new truck this one would be hard to ignore, not only because the Voodoo Blue is absolutely striking, but it just plain checks all the boxes. We used this Tundra to scout locations for filming and couldn’t have been more comfortable after a long day in the Crewmax interior.

The 2.5” Fox internal bypass shocks are perfectly tuned for the truck and love to be pushed hard through the rough stuff. The multiple bypass zones within the shocks effectively controlled compression and rebound, regardless if we were cruising over soft snow or taking big bumps as we raced against the setting sun to make it to our final shooting location.

Fun fact: Did we mention that the interior was so quiet that we used it as our recording studio for the voiceover?

It’s true that we never know where we’re going next, but we do know how we’re getting there.

Richard and Ashley Giordano
IG: @desktoglory