Donahoe Builds A Race Truck From Stock
Kreg Donahoe of Donahoe Racing called us up and asked if we wanted to go off-road racing, and we, of course, said "Hell, yeah!" Then he told us his plan, and we realized that Donahoe was just as crazy as we are. The plan involved taking a stock, slightly used Toyota Tacoma, putting on the Donahoe Racing front coilover kit, some new shocks, and Deaver leaf springs in the rear, adding a cage and some racing seats, and going to do the Baja 1000. Now, the 1000 isn't your everyday off-road race. It's no 100-yard lap in the mud hole or slow and boring (Donahoe's own words can't be printed) rockcrawling competition. No, the 2003 Baja 1000 is 800 miles (some years it's not a full 1000) of rocks, gullies, hillclimbs, whoops, sand, dust, and fine powder silt that makes visibility impossible at times. Plus the race course is filled with motorcycles buzzing ahead, VWs and buggies either passing you or getting in your way, and Trophy Trucks that you will either never catch in a stock truck or that will crush you if you somehow pass them while they are fixing something. To put it bluntly, the 1000 is an awesome experience if you ever get a chance to ride or drive in it, and we weren't gonna miss the chance.
We headed down to the fab shop where Donahoe Racing makes the components for its Ford and Toyota suspension kits to catch some shots of what Donahoe was going to do to the race truck. There are tons of suspension kits in the marketplace, but not many manufacturers will bolt their off-the-shelf kit on a truck and take it racing off road. Donahoe and his crew aren't your normal manufacturers, though. With 18 years of racing experience-and a crew of sales guys, engineers, and fabricators who are passionate about building a product that will take a serious beating and perform better than the day the truck rolled off the dealer lot-we felt we were in good hands. We felt even better after riding with their product engineer/designer Dylan Evans in his personal Tacoma. Evans took us out and headed straight for a tall berm that would bottom out most stock suspensions. Not only did the Donahoe Tacoma kit soak up the impact, but the truck never bottomed out when we landed a few feet past it. We were sold. Let's go racing!