Those of you who think that the Toyota Tundra was the first vehicle to be associated with B.A.S.S. must not have been around during the 80s and 90s, or at least not receiving Bassmaster magazine at that time. For a long while, you couldn’t leaf through an issue without seeing an ad (like this one) for Choo-Choo Customs, which created the official vehicles of the tour.
Long before boat wraps became de rigueur for the top pros, at least a few of them could be found in customized boxy Suburbans, short-cab pickups and passenger vans that bore Choo-Choo’s work. They were conservative – none of the vans, at least to my knowledge, had the Molly Hatchet type murals you might see on the set of Dazed and Confused – but distinctive nonetheless. Most importantly, they had the B.A.S.S. seal, periods and all.
As far as I can tell, Choo-Choo is defunct, at least in the form that existed 20-plus years ago.
Do any of you know when they ceased to be a B.A.S.S. sponsor?
Do any of you still have a Choo-Choo in your possession? A brief internet search pulled up a few of their products, not just tow vehicles but muscle cars like Camaros, too.
Past Reader Comments:
- Chad Keogh: I would have bought the custom van in a heartbeat. Sweet!
- Harold Sharp: In the mid 80’s Choo Choo Customs was located in Chattanooga,TN., they became very active in B.A.S.S. tournaments because the anglers were driving many miles pulling heavy boats and needed vehicles customized to fit this sport. Choo Choo soon became a sponsor of B.A.S.S., they built the customized trailer that we carried all the tournament equipment in and use as an office for our scorekeeper at each tournament. It was towed by a customized Choo Choo pickup truck. Choo Choo personal were at each event just like all the other service crews to help service their products and sell more. They were a B.A.S.S. sponsor until Ray sold B.A.S.S. in 1986, soon after that Choo Choo Customs was sold and they were out of the tournaments. The Choo Choo building is still in Chattanooga, but I’m not sure what or who is in it. They sold many vans customized to match your tournament rig and were a very good sponsor.