What do South American farmers, Libyan rebels, the United Nations, Taliban fighters, and Top Gear have in common? You need but look at any picture compilation of civil wars, peacekeeping missions, or African road trips from the past four decades to come across it. Never the focus of the picture, never in the center, yet ever-present. A legend born in 1968 and now in its 7th generation named the Hilux. What the AK-47 is to the world of arms, the Toyota truck is to the world of cars and mobility. Indestructible, cost effective, reliable, quick and maneuverable. Add in a brigade of guerrilla soldiers with the aforementioned Kalashnikovs or a .50 caliber gun on the bed, and you have one of the technically simplest yet most dangerous weapons systems in the world. This is why the Toyota truck has seen action in all major and minor conflicts since its creation. It even has a war named after it: the Toyota War between 90,000 man strong-Libya and 30,000 Hilux equipped Chadians (guess who won)?
But the Toyota truck is far, far more than just an effective weapon. It is as valuable to the average Joe as it is to a militia. Its offroading prowess, ability to carry large loads and reliability makes it the car of choice for many farmers, vendors, and anyone who needs a low maintenance 4×4 anywhere in the world. The popular BBC show Top Gear went on a quest to test the sturdiness of a ’88 Hilux with nearly 200,000 miles by driving it as recklessly as possible, down a flight of steps, and crashing head on into a tree. Then they submerged the truck in the ocean for four hours, drove it through a garden shed, dropped a caravan onto it, smashed a wrecking ball into it, set it on fire, and, finally, placed it on top of a 240 foot apartment building that was subsequently demolished with a controlled explosion, Toyota included. Nothing but a pile of rubber remained. The Hilux was dug out and looked more than dead. Even so, and without the use of any spare parts or any tools not found in the truck’s toolbox, the Hilux was brought back to life.
In short, come the next zombie apocalypse, make sure to include a Hilux in your list of must-haves. It is a truly amazing car, whose bravery is demonstrated in battle but whose strengths are as useful gardening roses. This truck can easily give it’s big brother Land Cruiser, the Land Rover Defender, or a Jeep Wrangler a run for their money while fighting a war on the side. By the way, the Toyota-armed Chadians lost 1,000 men during the Libyan-Chadian conflict. Libya lost 7,500 soldiers, 800 tanks and 28 aircraft.
Security contractors in Afghanis
Top Gear’s James May and Jeremy Clarkson drove this Toyota to the Magnetic North Pole.
Al Shabab in Mogadishu, Somalia
U.N. Peacekeepers in Cypress
Libyan rebels fighting Moamar Gadhafi’s forces.