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Blast from the Past: May 1963

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Images George Ritchie, Compiled By Lara Meter

Growing up, I was surrounded by Toyotas. Which is why I was excited to find an article on a Toyota in this month’s back issue of Caravan & Outdoor Life from May 1963.

It’s the predecessor of the Toyota Hilux and it goes by a somewhat less familiar name: the Toyopet Stout RK45. Like the Hilux, this sturdy 4×4 was ideal for towing − even back in 1963; and the writer of the article talks about the unusual combination of using a Japanese-made Stout to tow a Gypsey III B caravan.

Unusual, indeed. Often, when one thinks of the Japanese, one thinks efficiency, organisation and innovation. And the idea of a gypsy brings words like nomadic, singing, bohemian and fortune-telling to mind… Almost complete opposites. However, it seems that opposites certainly do attract, and the use of a Toyopet Stout to tow the Gypsey III B resulted in an amazing trip through South Africa. Comfortable and capable, the duo works exceptionally well.

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