This is why armored Toyotas are the vehicle of choice in possibly dangerous situations

If you need further proof why Toyotas are the most rugged and reliable vehicles on planet earth, the aftermath of this Toyota Land Cruiser at the hand of armed robbers should be proof enough. Earlier yesterday (Apr 30, 2021) a video showing two cash-in-transit drivers near Pretoria, South Africa surviving and successfully defending their armored car went absolutely viral.

Here’s a copy of the video circulating Reddit below.

According to the video and plugging in the coordinates on Google Maps, it appears the attempted robbery happened on April 22 along the M1 (Ben Schoeman Freeway) near Koedoespoort, Pretoria, South Africa.

While there are no official reports from established news media, the prevailing story is this was an attempted hit on a courier carrying phones (smart phones, maybe expensive iPhones.) Two cars appear to be involved, a white Ford Ranger seen swerving back and forth and an Audi out of shot.

Towards the end, supposedly our wheelman, with “you know whats” of steel, is ramming the Audi off the road but gets stuck on a bollard. Both the driver and his sidekick passenger escape unscathed, successfully defending their delivery. Unfortunately, the attempted robbers also escaped.

Here are actual photos of the Toyota Land Cruiser our hero was driving.

Seeing the first video, as an American, I just assumed armored truck meant one of those Brinks type trucks you see delivering cash.

Embed from Getty Images

Not the case in South Africa (and most of the rest of the world, really.)These aren’t ordinary Land Cruisers, they’re both armored and tropicalised.

First, armored. Here’s a diagram showing the basics involved in beefing up these Toyotas. This Land Cruiser has bullet proof glass all around, reinforced outer body panels, run flat tires, and a beefed up suspension to handle all that extra weight.

And this Land Cruiser is tropicalised. Tropicalised is a term I came across multiple times researching these armored LCs. Basically, Tropicalised Toyotas are factory-modded Toyotas specially engineered to handle the rigors of hard driving in markets, not in the United States. We’re talking about hot, dusty and humid places with rough roads and bad gas.

According to AutoLink Trucks and machinery that means,

  • Heavy duty cooling
  • An engine and fuel system suited to using fuel of a lesser quality
  • Heavier filters (Air, Oil, Fuel)
  • Far fewer electronics
  • No catalytic converter
  • Reinforced suspension

Armored and meant to handle the roughest areas mother nature can dish out, it’s no wonder businesses trust these trucks to do the dirty work. It’s a big part why our two smartphone-carrying couriers survived.

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