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Toyota Rock Crusher by Freedom High School students

High School Truck Project Ready for Freshman Year at SEMA

John Gunnell has been writing about classic cars since 1972. He is also the owner of Gunner’s Great Garage in Manawa, Wis. He owns 11 cars and seven motorcycles.

A few months ago THE SHOP reported on the story of a bunch of Wisconsin kids striving to build a Toyota Rock Crusher truck out of a rusty Toyota 4Runner. Students and Freedom High School Auto Club members have been working all summer to get the 4x4 ready to go to the Oct. 31-Nov. 3 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

On Oct. 19, the truck was displayed for around 200 people at Beyond Redline Performance in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

“We started working on the truck and then we worked with Sherwin-Williams to get it ready for SEMA and actually put it in their booth at the show. We committed to a SEMA project and we got it done,” said Jay Abitz, the automotive instructor at the high school.

A boost to the student build team came on Sept. 14 when representatives of Toys For Trucks—a Wisconsin-based truck accessories retailer—delivered $7,849 worth of donations from its supplier companies to help keep the SEMA project on track. They were supplied products by ARB, AVS, Bushwacker, Hi-Lift, Lund, Mile Marker, Pro-Car by Scat, Rampage, The Stripe Guy, Vision Wheels and Yakima.

The original plan was to paint the truck bright red, but the students took things in another direction. The truck was finished in black and then painted a flat red over the black. The red was then sanded to let the black show through in certain areas for a distressed look. Then, four coats of clear were applied.

Among the accessories supplied by the companies listed above were a new Pro-Car by Scat red-and-black seat, Bushwacker cut-out flares, a Hi-Lift bumper jack, Lund Proline carpeting, a beefy ARB guardrail style front bumper system and an ARB snorkel, an AVS bug shield, a Rampage Trail Can tool kit, Vision Nemeis wheels, a Mile Marker waterproof winch system and, from Yakima, a roof rack, wind fairing, Mega Warrior basket and Hi-Lift mount.