1. Enjoying years of Success in the Dakar Rally
To rally fans, 'Dakar' means 'Hard'. Fortunately, the Land Cruiser likes a challenge, and consequently, the famously reliable 4x4 has a long history of success in the gruelling 15-day, 5,280-mile desert race.
In 1996, Team Araco entered two Land Cruisers and took the top two podium positions in their class (Unmodified Diesel). Five years later in 2001, the car celebrated its 50th anniversary and Araco successfully toasted the car's half century by winning the class championship once more.
2005 was the first year that the car competed as Team Land Cruiser Toyota Auto Body, as opposed to Araco. Another first for 2005 was the rankings of the three Land Cruisers that Auto Body entered; each occupied the podium positions in the unmodified production group.
In 2014 a pair of 200 Series Land Cruisers took the top two positions in the production car category of the Dakar. Number 345, driven by Jun Mitsuhashi and co-piloted by Alain Guehennc, took the overall category win, followed by Nicolas Gibon and Akira Miura in the number 344 car.