This Toyota Hilux has Become a Toyota Bruiser

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Toyota has built a full-size replica of the Tamiya Bruiser radio controlled truck, and it’s hit us right in the nostalgics.

On the path to car and truck enthusiasm, many of us at some point got the RC bug. In the 1980’s model companies gave us some epic trucks to annoy the neighbor’s dog with. Perhaps best of all was the Toyota Hilux based, 1/10th scale, Tamiya Bruiser.

Ford Tamiya Bruiser

It’s not just the body that was a realistic depiction of a Toyota Hilux. The axles, suspension, frame, and steering were also based on the real thing. The Tamiya Bruiser could do everything the other RC trucks did, but it also had a low gear that engaged four-wheel drive. In fact, it had a mechanically shiftable 3-speed transmission, something no other RC car had at the time.

We applaud Toyota’s UK division for going through with the idea of building a full-size version. Their version of the Bruiser is remarkably true to the original.

Toyota use the current extended-cab model for their Bruiser. However, the top of the extended area is colored white to represent the Bruiser’s partial bed cover. They’ve gone all the way with the “Hog Heaven” blue and white livery of the original, including the rock sliders and the “Prepared by Gearich Engineering” decal. To take it a step further they even include a power switch and antenna.

The 1:1 version of the Bruiser powers all four wheels with a 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine. The suspension was critical to getting both the aesthetic and ability of the truck right. For that, Toyota used the specialist company  Arctic Trucks. They lifted the truck using Fox Shox suspension components and 17-inch wheels shod with BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A tires.

Not only does it look the part, but this truck should be able to go out and play in the rough. Just like its tiny counterpart.

Boxes for the Tamiya and Toyota Bruiser.
Toyota Hilux and Tamiya Bruiser.
Back of the Toyota Hilux Bruiser cab.
The Toyota Hilux Bruiser edition.
Tamiya Bruiser on and off switch.
Both Toyota and tamiya's version of the Bruiser.

Ian Wright has been a professional automotive writer for over two years and is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum, Jaguar Forums, and 6SpeedOnline, among other popular auto sites.

Ian's obsession with cars started young and has left him stranded miles off-road in Land Rovers, being lost far from home in hot hatches, going sideways in rallycross cars, being propelled forward in supercars and, more sensibly, standing in fields staring at classic cars. His first job was as a mechanic, then he trained as a driving instructor before going into media production.

The automotive itch never left though, and he realized writing about cars is his true calling. However, that doesn’t stop Wright from also hosting the Both Hand Drive podcast.

Ian can be reached at [email protected]

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