The Toyota Hilux has, over
the years, become a common household name throughout the world.
The model has become synonymous
with such words as rugged, tough, reliable, etc. The same model, whether it
be in the two wheel drive or four wheel drive derivative, has become the envy
of all other manufacturers who have models competing in the same market segment.
Here in Africa the most
common pick up vehicle on the roads is the Hilux and it is the most trusted.
I too have had personal experiences with these vehicles and my trusty double
cab 4x4 Hilux (kitted for long haul camping trips) has now clocked over 400,000kms,
majority of which was done traveling to harsh remote corners of this beautiful
region of the continent. Carrying close to one ton of camping equipment and
supplies, my trusty Hilux has not let me down at all.
Some may accuse me of being
biased towards the Hilux as I happen to own one, but what ever said, ask anyone
around the globe, and they will all say the same thing.
To further prove this, I
would like to write about a true story of a Hilux the famous Jeremy Clarkson
of the British TV motoring programme, Top Gear, did to.
The famous presenter was
out to see for himself just exactly how much truth there was to this talk of
the Hilux and also whether Toyota had its money where their mouth was.
So the Top Gear team bought
a 15 year old Hilux that had spent most of its 304,000km working life on an
English farm and tried their utmost to destroy the vehicle. Could you believe
it, if I said that the team was not successful?
Well better believe it,
cause that’s exactly what happened.
Here is what Mr.Clarkson
and his team did…..
The vehicle was taken to
Bristol, where it was driven down some 50 odd stone steps, smashed into a tree
The Hilux was driven on
to a slipway during low tide, lashed down against the powerful sweeping tides
of the Bristol channel and then left to the mercy of the incoming waves.
The water smashed the windscreen
and swept the Hilux away. When the tide receded it was found lying on its side.
A mechanic, who was allowed
only basic tools and no replacement spares, cranked the engine by hand to force
the sea water out of the spark plug holes and a few minutes later, the engine
More torture tests followed – the Hilux was driven through a wooden hut,
dropped from a crane, had a caravan dropped on it, given a few slaps with a
wrecking ball and finally set on fire. The mechanic was called in once more
and again the Hilux started.
Finally, the Hilux was air-lifted
to the top of an 18-sotrey building about to be imploded. When the dust settled,
the Hilux was lying on its side on top of the rubble. The vehicle was taken
to level ground, cranked… and yes you guessed it…..the beaten and
battered Hilux started once again and driven off on wobbly wheels.
Very few Hilux owners would
go to such extremes to prove the Hilux’s toughness, but glowing testimonials
abound from such extremes as farmers, quarry workers, and 4x4 tour operators.
Long live the legend !!
Happy motoring everyone.
If you have any questions/suggestions
in relation to this article, please post them in our forum.
buckle up and drive
to arrive alive !