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Ivan "Ironman" Stewart's 1984 PPI Toyota SR5 restoration

Rory

Crayola Killer
I'm going to start this thread from the beginning and try and tell the story of the Ivan Stewart PPI Toyota SR5 #001 to the best of my knowledge. At anytime, if anyone knows something that I have forgotten or needs to correct the story, please do and hopefully follow it up with some facts. Ok, so here goes....

2 stadium trucks were built in 1983-ish with the older body style and raced in the short course MTEG series....

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PPI and Toyota were now planning on building 2 new trucks with the newer body style (1984) and they would be the supercab versions and used for desert racing in class 7. Some of the crew at PPI during that time were Tommy Morris, Lance Baron, Chris Hukill, Mike Schoffstall, Russ Wernimont and a list of others all under the watchful eye of Cal Wells III. I don't know why the 1983 stadium trucks were not numbered #001 and #002 but I can tell you that the 2 desert trucks were numbered that way, with the #001 being Ivan Stewart's truck and the #002 being that of Tommy Morris' truck. The trucks were built to race in class 7 in the SCORE and HDRA races along with a few stadium races as chassis #003 and #004 were being built to replace the two 1983 trucks.

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Build Photo credits Chris Hukill

The suspension was quite unique in these trucks with a 3 stage torsion bar set up in the front with the Bilstein shocks criss crossing where the radiator should be...

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The rear suspension was a cantilever type suspension, also utilizing torsion bars...

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Once the trucks were built they started racing the SCORE series but the controversy surrounding the "legality" of the trucks was in question. Looking at the picture above you can see one leaf spring attached to the rear suspension which pretty much didn't do anything (as far as I know) and I'm guessing it was there per the rules as to keeping the suspension as the way it was delivered from the factory. Well, Toyota being the "Official" vehicle of SCORE, they deemed it legal to race. HDRA on the other hand was playing hardball. The MINT 400 at the time was not sanctioned by either promoter at the time and was legal to race and stomped the field of class 7 trucks and also beat all of the class 8 trucks which was unheard of at the time prompting this ad from Toyota...

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Fast forward to the 1984 HDRA Frontier 500, both class 7 trucks were told they could not race in class 7 but could race in the 2 seat unlimited class. All this happened approx 1 hour before the start and Ivan asked if he could race in class 1 and Morris would race in class 2, that way they could win 2 classes instead of just one. And so it goes, Ivan would have a pretty good day finishing 2nd to Larry Ragland as Tommy Morris and Frank Arciero would finish "Tied" for 4th place.....another story in itself.

The following year both trucks would receive updates to the front suspension getting another 6' of width and a little more travel, along with a wider rear end. The front fiberglass was also reworked so the tires would tuck into the fender wells, giving the Toyota an even meaner look than that of the more narrow class 7 fiberglass. Both trucks would race the entire 1985 season but PPI would retire the #002 truck and just concentrate on the #001. The #002 truck was sold off overseas sometime in 1986 or 87.

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Photo credit Centerline Photo

Ivan would have great success in the #001 PPI Toyota during the next couple years but the more powerful 6 cylinder Porsche's were getting harder and harder to compete against, especially since Ivan was racing a truck that was at least 1000 Lbs heavier than the buggies. A new truck with a bigger engine (V6) had to be built to stay competitive with the class 1 and class 2 vehicles. The 1988 MINT 400 would be the final race for Ivan in the #001 and he would race the new truck, chassis #010 stating at the Baja 500....

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Unknown photo credit

The truck was sold to someone south of the border and changed hands a few times. I would see glimpses of the truck in video's and scattered pictures over the last 2 years while tracking the truck down but all I know is Hugo Bojorquez owned it and was located in Constitcuion. I would love to fill in the timeline of the truck from late 1988 (when the truck was sold) to when it was sold to Hugo sometime in approx 1995-ish.

Pic's of the truck after PPI...

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Unknown photo credit.

More later....
 

Dezertpilot

Well-Known Member
Is their more coming because it's a cliffhanger lol. Thanks for the info so far, loving it.
 

TM1 USA

Well-Known Member
Good luck with your long project Rory. There was a whole cast of characters at PPI at the time of the builds in 1983. Unfortunately some have passed away thru the years: Cal Well Jr (Father Cal) Carrol Smith, Bob Sprow, Donny Fair and Jim Dirhoff (not sure of spelling), and possibly a few others as time has passed. All involved had lots of talent and were fun to work with. Many of the names of the crew still are in my head, while others will pop up as more pictures of the past come out. Hopefully time will give all the credit they deserve for their part in the program. Looking at the pictures that you have so far, here goes. Looking at the rear picture of the two trucks, I believe that is Keith Hickson looking in the drivers door in the blue smock. The picture below that is Jim Dirhoff working in the front suspension. Jim was an extremely talented fabricator, unfortunately he passed away a couple of years ago from what I understand. Now, as to your comment about SCORE being supported by Toyota and the thought of PPI being allowed to build an illegal truck......we read the same rule book as every one else.....the rule book said you had to have the same spring type as the truck came with. The rule book never said that it has to support the weight of the truck. You need to think deep on this rule book stuff. Thank you for letting me exercise my brain in thinking back 32+ years ago. It is like pulling open a dusty old fileing cabinet and looking thru the index cards for information..... Computers and smart cell phones were not around then to document, record or take digital pictures with..... No Solid Works or Pro E. We had one of the first Fax machines and I wondered what we would do with it as hardly anyone else had one. It was old school, paper and pencil drawings with a drafting table. We had to make or organize just about everything when building the Toyota trucks as the now thriving off road parts industry did not exist at that time. Thank you for the trip down memory lane and I hope you accept and enjoy the comments along the way on your journey to resererect something that was a big part of my live as well as the many other fine people involved. All of us gave our heart and soul. You took the PPI Pledge, which basically insured that virtually nothing else in your live would get in the way of the race trucks and the program's success.

Respectfully, Tom Morris
 

TM1 USA

Well-Known Member
PS, your Merciless Toyota Motorsports poster picture of 001 was taken a few days before the 1984 SCORE San Feilpe 250, just south of town. 002 was not finished in time and first raced at the 1984 Mint 400. The same jump picture was used for that years BFGoodrich poster that was way larger than usual. It had all the main BFG race teams and drivers in small pictures on the left side of the large poster..
 

Rory

Crayola Killer
I'm going to skip 1988 thru 2016 because I'm still working on the history with help from my friend Joel Amaya so I will move on to the finding of the truck.

About 2 years ago i was browsing through RDC and stumbled upon the thread about Allen Russell’s Toyota stadium truck. Reading through the comments someone mentioned Ivan Stewarts old race truck was owned by a guy named Hugo Bojorquez in Mexico….. I was surprised that no one responded to that and I went straight to Google and tried to find info. No luck. About 6 months later I posted a picture of Butch Arciero’s Toyota on my Instagram page and Joel Amaya in Constitucion commented and said he knew the guy that owned the Ivan Stewart truck. I quickly deleted his comment and the photo (hahahahah) and found him on Facebook and connected.

The next 6-8 months I was able to talk to Hugo 1 time on the phone but he does not speak English too well. I think he stopped taking my calls due to the language barrier. Andrea Tomba also helped out and was able to get me my first photo of the truck….too bad it had garbage all around it so i could barley see it.

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About the same time Ron Bellerive in Loreto was able to contact Hugo for me and we communicated back and forth and then set up a date to come look at the truck (November of 2015). I flew to Loreto and Ron and I drove to Constitucion to check out the truck. This was my first REAL look at the truck and I was surprised at how well the shape of the truck was in and all the suspension had not been messed with.

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The only real issue was they had cut the cab off the truck because they were going to put a new body on it. This was approx 10 years ago and Hugo pulled the plug and the truck just sat, completely stripped down to the frame. I made an offer and Hugo declined. I was crushed.

The next 5-6 months I thought I was over it, but the thought of the truck would not leave my head. I had recently passed on the Walker Evans Dodge Dakota and turned that restoration over to my friend Cody Swanty (and that was tough to do, I absolutely LOVE that Dodge) but I knew I had unfinished business with Hugo and the Toyota. 5 months later I decided to try again and there was a light at the end of the tunnel but Hugo did not budge enough for me to make the deal. This was about the time I got Joel Amaya back in the picture and he was able to negociate for me and break through the language barrier that, what i think, was holding us up. I finally threw in the towel last week and made the offer and said i would be there on June 3rd to come get it if he accepted. Joel Amaya helped me with the deal and down I went, all the way to Constitucion for a 5 day trip.

The deal with Hugo went very smooth and I also have to say he was very gracious and professional. It took approx 4 hours to load the truck and all the parts and then my daughter Hanna and I hit the road again and started heading north.

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The trip home was uneventful for the most part until getting close to San Felipe when my truck started throwing "warning codes" which comes to find out were related to questionable diesel fuel. We arrived in San Felipe on Saturday afternoon just in time to watch the leaders coming through for the Baja 500. We stayed the night and then drove the rest of the way home Sunday morning.

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The truck and parts have since been unload and organized in the garage awaiting the restoration. I can't thank the people that have helped me with getting this historical racer and staying patient with me. Thank you Hugo Bojorquez, Joel Amaya, Ron Bellerive, Andrea Tomba for all the help and Jeff Furrier for talking me off the ledge many times over the course of 2 years. Let the fun begin!
 

Dezertpilot

Well-Known Member
Good job, so this is anot her NORRA truck? Can't wait this is going to be an awesome thread.
 

Rory

Crayola Killer
I can't tell you how much help Lance Baron and Tommy Morris have been already. Both were the original builders at PPI for the Toyota race trucks and have a plethora of knowledge which is very important on a difficult build such as the #001.

The Toyota has been unloaded off the trailer and now the time has come to start organizing the parts that were literally just thrown into storage bins. 12 years of dust and dirt were transported to the race shop in Arizona and boy do I have my work cut out for me. I'm crossing my fingers I have all the parts but I know in the back of my mind there will be stuff missing. It would be hard to believe that a truck that was torn apart roughly 12 years ago in a race shop that everything would still be there. I'm sure some parts have walked off over the years but I did do a pretty good inventory and everything that I would consider "Important" was there, just not sure of the condition until I beadblast and magnaflux parts.

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I unloaded boxes of parts.....

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Original Bilstein shocks....

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Couple transmissions w/underdrive...

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And all the hubs plus some spares...

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Then it was time to start organizing...

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Torsion and sway bars...

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And of course the chassis on the dolly with all the suspension pieces placed underneath...

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The plan now is to start bolting the truck back together (somewhat) just to see if i'm missing any important parts, then it will come back down to the frame and the donor cab will be fabricated back onto the chassis. I'm hoping to have it together and stripped back down in a month or so, then it will be sent off to Darryl Putman so he can fit the cab to the chassis. While that's being done I will start on sandblasting parts and magnafluxing so I can really see what I have to work with. Feel free to post your photos of this truck from back in the day, I'd love to see what you got!
 

KaiserM715

Well-Known Member
I cannot wait to read of the restoration. I loved every minute of the Challenger thread.
 

iheartbaja

Member
great seeing it brought back to life, my dad bought 001 from PPI back in the day, put an engine on it and raced it in the on-dirt series in san felipe. clucht went out on it, not before i took it for a spin jeje. truck was sold to a gentleman in constitucion his last name was Peralta if i recall correctly.
will be watching closely, this is just awesome... :)
 

Dezertpilot

Well-Known Member
Wow didn't know they used under drives, pretty BA!

Are those stock transmissions?

What about the engines? What's done to those from Toyota?
 

Rory

Crayola Killer
great seeing it brought back to life, my dad bought 001 from PPI back in the day, put an engine on it and raced it in the on-dirt series in san felipe. clucht went out on it, not before i took it for a spin jeje. truck was sold to a gentleman in constitucion his last name was Peralta if i recall correctly.
will be watching closely, this is just awesome... :)
Pualo, what is your dads name? Do you have any pictures of it from when he was racing? I'd love to hear the history of this truck from when your dad owned it until he sold it. Please feel free to contact me by email at [email protected].
 

iheartbaja

Member
Jorge Sierra, ill see what pictures i have.. he brokered a deal for both 001 and 002. 002 got sold underhim. Bryan Hibbs installed the engine and made the over and out header. Ill talk to my dad get pictures and contribute to this machines great history.
 

Lord Green

Well-Known Member
Congratulations on a great find. I'm looking forward to watching the build and seeing it in action at NORRA. P.S. Gotta love the paint scheme on that Toyota :)
 

Anaheim Gear

Well-Known Member
Couple transmissions w/underdrive...

Looks like Doug Nash Richmond 5-Speeds. They used a direct drive 5th Gear, way cool! No idea they had those in them! Good luck on the restoration, cant wait to see you do your thing on this piece of history
 
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