South Africans are bakkie mad, this much is indisputable. While we may have our fair share of modified machines, this could be the world’s fastest Toyota Hilux. 

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Humble Beginnings 

The world’s fastest Toyota Hilux spent many years serving as a workhorse. However, the life of the 1991 pickup took a dramatic turn when it was obtained by Chuckles Garage. Owner Scott Birdsall and his team had the idea to build a truck to compete at Bonneville Speed Week. They wanted to compete in the stock-body class at the famous top-speed event. 

Fully Loaded

The Hilux’s original engine was replaced by a tuner favourite: a 2JZ-GTE. The engine, however, is far from standard. It remains 3,0-litres in displacement, to compete in a particular class. However, it has been fully rebuilt from top to bottom. The upgrades include race cams, adjustable cam gears, uprated coils and a full forged sub-assembly, 

A massive Garrett G45-1500 turbocharger forces up to 2,9 bars of boost pressure into the straight-six motor. The engine is fed a diet of pure ethanol to be able to run such high boost. As a result peak power is up to 970 kW (or 1 300 hp in old money). A six-speed sequential transmission sends all of that power to the rear axle.

Top Speed Testing

Birdsall is aiming to tackle the main event later this year. He plans to attack the 240 mph (386 km/h) mark. However, he has been testing at various events leading up to the attack on the salt pan.

“I built this truck to break the mini midsize pickup all-out record,” Birdsall said to The Drive. “I think the fastest mini truck ever at Bonneville is 222 mph (357 km/h). My goal is 240 mph.”

He reached a top speed of 280 km/h at a recent half-mile (800m) event in Texas. The course at Bonneville is over 11 km long. The 280 km/h was achieved with a long gear set, better suited for the run in Utah than the drag-style event. We wish Scott and his team all the best in their quest.

Watch the world’s fastest Toyota Hilux make its record-breaking pass in the video below: