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Toyota marks 50 years in New Zealand


In Believe we present a montage of stories our fans have sent us...

Hamish & Anthony, the Hilux Bros

We live and breathe Hilux! They are our offices for business, our transport for supplies, our workhorses and for af ter 'Tools Down', a mobile camper, a memory maker and a part of our lives really. Between us at BGB Building we have had five Hiluxes, from the trusty Ln65 known as RED, LN106 known as BLUE, KZN165 known as GREEN, you guessed it, we like to keep the names simple. Now these 2015 workhorses, all of which have been fantastic, have been in some of the best places in NZ!

The Mighty Central Otago, deer stalking, 4WD adventures, building in the high country, back country fishing, family adventures, wherever we have needed to get to, the good ole Hilux gets us there. We have had some laughs a long the way with many more to come I'm sure! Good on ya

Toyota - happy 50 years, we'll have a couple of cold ones for ya . Cheers

Rubecca, winner of 'Give your Lux some love'

My dad bought this Hilux brand spanking new in 1982 when I was nine years old. I grew up with this truck and it was my Dad’s farm truck and main steed for many an adventure until his death in 1999. My mum then sold it and it had a couple of owners before it ended up off the road, parked up and left to rot in a farm paddock. My husband knew of its demise and for a wedding anniversary present acquired it for me, the wreck that it was. I thought he was crazy, you should have seen it, it was munted!!

He certainly had a lot of vision (being a mechanic helped!). He brought the Hilux home on a salvage trailer, gave it a water blast, and fortunately the bones looked good. He gave it a tickle up under the bonnet and to our delight it started pretty much first time after sitting idle for six years. Legend!! So from there, four years of blood, sweat and tears later and my Dad’s Hilux is back on the road after 10 long years. It was such a huge moment, I cried!! My kids love 'Grandad’s truck' and I can’t wait until the next generation of adventures to begin!! We love you Hilux!

Sarah & Ash, Corolla Wedding

Once upon a time (2005 actually) there was a boy with a 1983 Starlet (dubbed 'Red Rocket') and a girl with a 1984 Starlet (dubbed 'The Beast '). Their first conversation related to these and their love blossomed. So did their fleet of Toyotas, owning 28 between them over the years. Each brought it s own experiences, characteristics and memories. On the day of their 10-year anniversary the boy and girl married, with a ’77 SR Corolla coupe and a ’78 Corolla wagon as their wedding cars.

Ironically the coupe was the boy’s first love (first car) way back in 2003 but has been owned by one of the groomsmen ever since - that, however, is another story altogether. The wagon belongs to the newlyweds and will be treasured forever, serving duties as a Sunday cruiser with t he new addition to the family ( just a puppy, don’t get too excited) in the back.

Their love is still going strong, just like a Toyota... We reckon they’ve got another million kms on the clock together too.

Nick, Blue FJ Cruiser

I purchased the Land Cruiser in need of a major tidy up approx five years ago from a guy in Te Anau as a recondition project.

It is a two owner vehicle from new, having originally beenpurchased from Wrightcars in Gore in 1984. We had many plans for when it was completed, including as a working vehicle for my real estate business involving showing clients over farms in the Te Anau Basin; the new health and safety laws prevent me from using my quad to transport clients, and I was concerned about damaging my Prado driving over some very rocky, glacial moraine country. The Land Cruiser is the ideal vehicle for this purpose, and painted an original 'medium blue' it fits nicely with the PGG Wrightson colours. An added bonus now with its manual gearbox; my two teenage children can learn to drive in an iconic truck round our rural property.

Parking the Land Cruiser in the main street of the tourist resort town of Te Anau gets lots of attention from overseas tourists, all telling stories of owning these trucks all over the world!

Matt, Piha Surfer

First time I ever saw my 1986 Toyota Corolla it was being driven by my now brother-in-law, and it was the coolest thing ever! For years I hassled him to sell it to me but he was as keen on it as I was. The true test came when my sister told him he had to sell some cars to help pay for their wedding; it broke my hear t that I was unable to buy it at the time. Fastforward a few years, late one stormy night on a mission back home to Hawke's Bay, I was driving the infamous Napier - Taupo. I was doing my best to make good time but when I saw a poor soul walking along with a petrol can I figured he needed a hand so offered him a lift. He was a backpacker who was working as a white-water rafting instructor. Having done a bit of travel myself and working for a surf school we got along quite well. After spinning a few yarns, he told me he was on his way up to Auckland to return home to Canada.

We arrived at his car, and I see the exact same KE70 my brother used to own. There was no way I was letting this car get away from me a second time.


June 1989. Stonewashed jeans. Reebok pumps. Good times. It was then I purchased what was possibly the best car I’ve ever owned - a 1987 Toyota Corolla GT. I’ve only ever driven Corollas. My first, a blue 1978 sedan, was purchased in ’85.

12 months later a yellow SR coupe, then 1n ’87 a 1987 Corolla three-door hatch. But in the mid ’80s Toyota made a big splash with the Celica, Supra, MR2 and the Corolla 1.6 GT. That Corolla had me at hello. I spent the next couple of years saving and looking around, when in ’89 one was traded in at a dealership in Wellington, so I bought it. It’s a hard thing to explain with some cars, but everything about that GT was just right. Great design, handling and that 1.6 4-AGE engine was a powerhouse. It was an exciting car to drive for the next three years. Then, reluctantly, in ’92 I sold it, though I moved up to a new 1992 GTi hatch, which I owned for 17 years until I recently purchased a new Corolla Levin ZR. Over the past 30 years I’ve covered a lot of miles in my Corollas and they’ve never let me down. But that GT hatch?

Those three years were untouchable. Good times indeed!