Since 2013, the Toyo Treadpass event has been one of the highlights of the Las Vegas-based aftermarket bacchanalia known as SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association). Every year in early winter the world’s best custom builders, largescale OEMs, armies of rim companies and makers of newfangled automotive trinkets and gadgets descend to Sin City for a week of vodka-lubricated hobnobbing, partying, deal brokering and — most importantly — showing off the world’s best customized cars. Truly the coolest vehicles on 2, 3, 4 and even 6-wheels.
But like all things cool in 2020, SEMA was canceled. But why let that kill the party? Toyo Tires still wanted to do something compelling for not only themselves but also for all the builders who invested untold hours, brain power and dollars designing and manufacturing their best work they had planned to debut at Toyo Treadpass 2020.
So the renowned Japanese tire company recreated the entire look and feel of the SEMA event in a warehouse in downtown Los Angeles, inviting a portion of the vehicles planned for Toyo Treadpass to display in all their glory. We’re talking everything from an apocalypse-prepped Jeep Gladiator wrapped in Open Country M/T rubber to a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS muscle car and race-kitted Toyota GR Supra both in Proxes R888R tires to Nick Cannon’s blizzard-white dropped Rolls-Royce Cullinan (which begs the question: if you’re going to get the Cullinan SUV, why drop it? Why not just customize a Phantom or Wraith? Because you’re Nick Cannon, that’s why).
Our favorites? A crazy lowered 1993 Toyota 4Runner from Scott Kanemura that looked more like a unicorn drag racer (complete with tubular chassis) than off-roader, and a widebody 1955 Mercedes 300 SL — imagine having the audacity to take one of the most coveted, valuable vehicles on the planet and thinking you can improve it? In our opinion, S-Klub's John Sarkisyan did just that.
Of course the only downside being Toyo couldn’t invite everyone to experience it in the flesh — so instead they set up a virtual experience to open up Toyo Treadpass beyond would-be SEMA attendees to eager tuner fans all around the world.
Utilizing a Google Street View-like 3D Player, for 2020 Toyo Treadpass enters the digital universe. At their site you're able to wander through the venue embedded with hotspots — clickable via phone or laptop — loaded with details of every vehicle (e.g. all the specs, engine modifications, unique attributes, etc.). Virtually “walk” around each build and see it from any angle, take screen grabs, and even slip inside the cockpit. Detailed looks at the cabins offer zoomable views so you can scan around and explore incredible interior details — like the Louis XIII cognac bottle stashed in Sarkisyan’s aforementioned 300 SL.
To make things even more interesting Toyo gamified the experience, stashing cartoon pins of the vehicles (highly coveted by collectors every year at SEMA) in “hotspots” within the online experience for fans to find and claim. These Easter eggs opened up the Toyo Treadpass further for everyone to enjoy, although most of the pins were snapped up within minutes of release. Fret not, some are still available via Toyo’s social media so keep an eye out there.