April 3, 2007, 8am. After 20 years using a property near Wellington for 4WD product development and training, Toyota has moved to a new facility closer to its Palmerston North head office.
The involvement with Terawhiti station, on the southwest coast near the capital, goes back to the glory days of Barry Crump Hilux commercials.
Now, Toyota has developed a purpose-built training and proving ground at Makoura Lodge, near Apiti in the Ruahine foothills.
Toyota christened the facility with the press introduction of the V8 diesel-engined Land Cruiser 70 workhorse, which adds a station wagon (pictured) to the cab-chassis and three-door Hard Top (aka Troop Carrier) range.