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Toyota's First Factory Race Truck?


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They were racing Land Cruisers in Baja before the mini trucks. Although it wasn’t a true factory effort, the Four Wheeler Land Cruiser won its class at the Baja 1000. Not sure of the exact year, but it was approximately 1972-74.

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harleys dad

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I know 1 thing 100 percent sure that is our camper right above the mini truck and our group around us. Gordons well dune buggy group that turned into McMillin racing


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Lol thats very cool Dave I knew I must have been within shouting distance to you at some point lol. You and your dad were racing C11 in that race right? Thats Hank and I in the 5/1600. It was the only race we ever had an issue with Sal about,. We qualiified 1st and when we lined up for the main 2 cars pulled in front of us out of sequence and the starter immediatly flagged start. Hank refused to move and let the entire field pass us as I was waving and shouting to restart. After they all passed we could see they weren't gonna do it and Hank just put the hammer down and managed a 3rd. When we protested to Sal he just looked at Hank and said "Do your really think you would have won Hank?" Hank got his beard in an uproar and said We Qualified 1st and I just ran through the whole pack to take third !!. I saw Sal's point because once they missed black flagging it there was nothing that could be done. One of those race things you came to accept..but never forgot. Sal redeemed himself to Hank though later in the year when he bailed him out of a Mexican Hoosegow with he hit a propane truck lol.

harleys dad

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I just noticed if you look at the top of the picture obove our camper you can just see our class 11 sitting there and if you look close there are about 6-7 in the picture. I am thinking this is 77-78 as 51600 just came up in june 77 and 78 and 79 I raced both 51600 and 11 at Riverside. The chassie mount motorhome on the very right is Corky McMillins and all our group is under the 2 tarps to the left of our camper with the door open
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Your right its 77, I went back and looked at my other photos and I had them marked 77. In 76 we were still C11. Found two more of you at same location before you turned your camper around and put up the canopys looks like. It's like a time machine Lol.
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Well-Known Member
Expecting a picture of Ivan's first Toyota factory ride? You'll have to think a lot earlier than that!

It's 1974, and Toyota wants to show off road racing enthusiasts why building a Toyota truck to race is a good decision. Toyota technicians went to work on "The Idea Truck".

Here's the article from the August, 1975 issue of Off Road magazine

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Making it's public debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in January, 1975, this truck was built to show that choosing a Toyota truck was the right choice if you wanted to be a top contender in the mini pick up class.

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The truck's 2200cc 20R engine and 5 speed transmission can be seen here while a Toyota technician works on the suspension system.

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Did the truck ever see race action? Who knows; but it was about this time that a guy named Ivan Stewart was also making a name for himself in the world of off road racing. You know the rest of the story.

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10 years down the "dirt" road. Both Ivan and Toyota have just shifted into second gear on their way into off road racing legend status.
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20 years.
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Well-Known Member
To answer the original questions on this Toyota truck......it was built at Toyota in Torrance by Leonard "Brownie" Brown as a marketing vehicle to help launch Toyota having a truck in the USA. My understanding is that it was raced one time by Judy Smith and Jean Calvin. Then the truck was put away somewhere. Brownie worked for Toyota for many years after that and was at Toyota for several years after PPI was racing for Toyota


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By the way.......That is Brownie in the pictures working on the Toyota during its build.
How funny Tom, I knew I recognized the person in the photo, but for the life of me, I could not recall who it is. When you mentioned Brownie I had to laugh, it is so very clear.....