There is a fun mix of cars and baseball at the 2017 Chicago auto show in a city still basking in the glow of the epic Chicago Cubs’ World Series win. At the Toyota stand is the Tundra that carried a giant replica of the trophy in the celebratory parade. And in another corner is a bizarre mashup of a Chevy pickup and a tiny house, which takes the concept of tailgating to a whole new level.
Two years ago Toyota signed a contract with the Chicago Cubs to be a corporate sponsor of the baseball team. So when the Cubs finally broke the curse and won the World Series last year, Toyota gained a huge stage to show off the Tundra.
A mere 48 hours after the win—the first championship for the Cubs since 1908—about 5 million people watched the Tundra make its way along the parade route. It was adorned in decals denoting it as the “Official vehicle of the Chicago Cubs” and carried a 500-pound trophy in the back.
“Timing is everything,” said Toyota spokesman Curt McAllister. “We’ll always be associated with breaking the curse.”
No structural changes were made to the truck. It was just a matter of engineering a platform in the bed to secure the huge trophy in place. The trophy was in three pieces and took 45 minutes to assemble.
It was cut in half, the driveshaft was lengthened by 10 feet, and the frame was reinforced. The end result is 32 feet long, 12 feet high, and 8 feet wide. It meets Department of Transportation regulations, so it’s drivable.
Why go to all that trouble? To demonstrate the ability to combine house and auto insurance, State Farm built a truck with a tiny house in the middle. The one-of-a-kind truck from the State Farm concept garage took a month to build and is worth about $500,000.
The “housegating” truck has comfy chairs and couches, a big TV, and a fireplace. It went to NFL games throughout the football season, said Wayne Rushing, State Farm’s touring manager. Now that football is done and the boys of summer are the national pastime again, the truck has hit the auto show circuit. When the Chicago auto show ends, the custom Chevy will head to the auto show in Cleveland.
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