Toyota’s full-size truck turns the big 2-0 this summer. We count down six of Tundra’s most interesting moments yet.

The Tundra was the first-ever full-size pickup truck built by a Japanese automaker in North America. Production began in May 1999 at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI), before moving to the Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas (TMMTX) plant in San Antonio in 2008. It's still assembled there today and remains the only full-size pickup truck made in Texas.

Toyota Tundra

Humble Beginnings

When announcing the Tundra to the world in 1998, Toyota stayed true to the truck's Indiana roots: It was unveiled at the Indiana State Fair. "Today marks the beginning of the launch of one of the most important vehicles ever introduced in the 41 years we've sold cars and trucks here in America," said Don Esmond, who at the time served as Toyota Motor Sales group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division. "It needed to be built in America because it needed to offer better value."

Making History

When production began 20 years ago, Tundra pushed boundaries and raised expectations for what full-size pickup trucks could do. Under the hood, it had the most sophisticated power-plant ever offered in its class, including the first double-overhead cam, 32-valve V8 in the segment. It was also the first V8 engine to achieve an L.E.V (low emission vehicle) emissions classification from the EPA. Its engine provided the strength to haul a maximum payload of nearly one ton, and pull a maximum towing capacity of 7,200 pounds depending on the model and level of equipment.

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