Green Monster: Dave Madonna’s 2014 Toyota Tundra, AKA Thumper

If Goldilocks were a fan of trucks, she’d pick herself up a half-ton. As the backbone of trucks here in the States, we love ourselves a good pickup truck that rocks a V8 and gets the job done. But what if you want more than just capability – what if you wanted a truck that made a statement?

Enter this 2014 Toyota Tundra SR5, owned by Dave Madonna of Watauga, Texas. Plying his trade as an oil field worker, Dave has the need for a truck that gets the job done, and looks good doing it. He reached out to us by email and what followed was a cycle of amazement as we learned more about the man and his rig, affectionately known as Thumper.

“I built Thumper to be a functional work truck that will go anywhere I need to go,” said Dave. Clearly, that mission has been accomplished, as the truck has been built (and continues to be built) to take on all scenarios.

From front to back, Thumper is a one-off half-ton that works as good as it looks.

After purchasing the truck in 2013, Dave wasted little time in getting it the way he wanted it. “It started off as a bone-stock, white, 2014 Tundra,” he said. “I bought this truck to use at my work, where lease roads can be very bad, while also being a desert racing-inspired rig.”

To that end, and while also staying on the course of practicality, Dave opted not to back-half the truck, and instead did a caged flatbed setup. While that was going on, he also undid all of the doors and body panels to be given a coat of lime green bedliner. “Paint can’t put up with my ‘workplace,’ so I did bedliner to handle the wear and tear,” commented Dave. “It’s my favorite part of the truck, by far.”

The truck when it was first purchased, and how it looks today.

From there, Dave built a race exhaust setup, and installed a Deaver leaf-sprung rearend with Camburg long-travel suspension. “It’s my daily driver, too, so that made fabrication difficult, to say the least,” he joked.

Up front, the long-travel suspension is in the works, but a custom fender-mounted cold air intake is there. “It protects the open air box from mud and rocks,” said Dave. “Some people might do snorkel intakes, but I’m not a fan. They’re plastic and have always looked cheap to me.”

Starting with the exterior, Thumper is definitely a one-off machine. Dave’s side business, NorTex Auto Works, build the custom grille, brushguard, and bumper, while the fenders are SDHQ prerunner-style pieces. The aformentioned green bedliner was applied by Totally Graphic Designs in Weatherford, Texas.

For a short time, Dave was content to have a normal bed on his Tundra, but things changed as he realized he needed a flatbed to store his tools and other items.

The drivetrain is totally stock, save for the air intake. On to the suspension, Thumper is five inches taller than stock, and has 2.5-inch Fox coilover shock absorbers to handle the rough stuff. It was installed in part by Viking Customs in Waxahachie, Texas. Last but not least, the Tundra rocks 17-inch KMC XD127 Bully wheels in a custom copper color, wrapped by 37-inch Toyo Open Country R/Ts.

“I like having something that no one else has,” concluded Dave. “I enjoy putting my own personal touches on the builds to make them stand out from the typical spacer lifts and offsets plaguing the truck community right now.” Enough said!

What do you think of Thumper? Let us know in the comments below.

About the author

David Chick

David Chick comes to us ready for adventure. With passions that span clean and fast Corvettes all the way to down and dirty off-road vehicles (just ask him about his dream Jurassic Park Explorer), David's eclectic tastes lend well to his multiple automotive writing passions.
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