As a young man in the US Army the first vehicle I went looking to buy was a Toyota Hi-Lux. Just as many soldiers are likely to buy a AR-15 rifle patterned off of the M16 or M4 that they use in the service, the Hi-Lux is a mid-sized pickup truck that punches way above its weight class. In Afghanistan we have seen them get shot to shreds, bombed, crashed, stuck, and flooded only to keep on driving.
I was in a Hi-Lux rollover on the side of a mountain on the Pakistan border one night. By some miracle, none of us were hurt. The Hi-Lux didn’t mind either, and simply continued right up the side of the mountain to the top.
Alas, when I went looking around the Fort Bragg area for my badass Toyota pickup I came to discover that the diesel Hi-Lux that I knew and loved is not available on the US market. That’s some bullshit. I ended up with a decent Toyota Tacoma which served me well for many years, but it wasn’t what I and so many others wanted. Now it seems that all of this is finally about the change.
It was recently reported that, “sources have reported that the EPA NVFEL (Environmental Protection Agency’s National Vehicle Fuel Emissions Laboratory) facility has multiple new 3rd-Gen sets of engines. Coded engines have been sent to the NVFEL facility labeled as Toyota 2.8 L 3KD-FTV and 2.4 L 3GD-FTV shipped from the company’s Toyota, Aichi engine facility.” In other words, the Hi-Lux may be getting its EPA certification soon for the US market. So far so good, but I think we would all like to see some secondary confirmation.
Overseas, we used to modify our Hi-Luxes with interior armor, advanced radio antennas, winches, go-bags, a drab exterior paint job, hi-beam lights, easy to access frag and smoke grenades, and maybe throw a machine gun pintle on the top. We call them Non-Standard Tactical Vehicles (NSTVs) for short. NSTVs continue to be in use to this day, with JSOC and Special Forces soldiers making good use of them in Northern Syria.
(Featured image courtesy of Haaretz)
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