4 x 4 Australia - - History -

THE first Hiluxes were im­ported to Aus­tralia by then Toy­ota com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles dis­trib­u­tor Thiess. Sir Leslie Thiess was the for­ward-think­ing chap who saw the need for a good four-wheel drive ve­hi­cle in Aus­tralia, and he im­ported the first Land Cruis­ers here in the 1950s for his work­ers toil­ing on the Snowy Moun­tains Scheme. Thiess also had min­ing and con­struc­tion in­ter­ests in Queens­land and, shortly af­ter the first Hilux was launched in Ja­pan in 1968, Thiess brought them to Aus­tralia. The first-gen­er­a­tion RN10 Hilux re­placed the Toy­ota Stout and was only avail­able in two-wheel drive, sin­gle­cab con­fig­u­ra­tion. Power came from a 1.5-litre four-cylin­der petrol en­gine that made just 57kw, a far cry from the 225kw su­per­charged V6 that pow­ered the TRD Hilux 40 years later. The RN10 Hilux used a body-on-chas­sis con­fig­u­ra­tion that re­mains the class stan­dard to this day. It utilises a live axle with leaf springs at the back for op­ti­mal load bear­ing, and in­de­pen­dent front sus­pen­sion with wish­bones and coil springs to pro­vide a bet­ter ride for the pas­sen­gers. Up­dates to the RN10 Hilux in 1971 in­cluded a long wheel­base model and a big­ger 1.6litre en­gine.

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