Guy Nicholls' nine-example collection spans six generations and consists entirely of single-cab 4x4 trucks.
Many of us dream of a day when we can afford a rural estate where we can erect a garage consisting of our most favorite cars. You may want to choose the newest Porsches, Lamborghinis, or Ferraris for your own tract of automotive nirvana. Or maybe you'd go vintage and try your best to recreate the infamous “Justification for Higher Education” poster. Or maybe, just maybe, you're like Guy Nicholls and your tastes diverge from typical, lust-worthy supercars down a more eclectic path. You see, Guy collects Hiluxes... single-cab 4x4 Toyota Hiluxes, to be precise.
In an interview for the Toyota UK blog's “Toyota People” series, Nicholls gives us a intimate view of his nine-example collection, which spans from 1980 to today. The owner of a truck and plant hire business is infatuated with Toyota's rough-and-tumble pickup and has gone out of his way to amass what's probably the most pristine collection of them in the world. “From my perspective, I think the Hilux changed our perception of utility vehicles in this country. [...] British people only used to associate four-wheel drive vehicles with Land Rovers. But then the Hilux arrived and it was tough [...] and it had a pick-up bed that you could actually use,” Nicholls told interviewers.
Unlike many private model-line collections, Guy's assortment of Toyota Hiluxes doesn't begin with a first-generation model. Instead, his collection starts with the first Hilux offered with four-wheel drive—a bright red example from 1980, seen above. From there, Nicholls owns at least one truck from each successive generation. And he's not done yet. “I search the internet literally every day—mainly UK auction sites but also other sites in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and the United States. When I get home from work and have my tea, I get on my tablet and just search around,” Nicholls explained.
“Every now and again a little jewel pops up, the last one being that 1993 model with just 10,000 miles on it. It was like a brand-new truck: it had been garaged from new and the chap that owned it was about 80 years old.” Even with all the trucks he has currently, Nicholls is still missing one in particular. “There was a facelift model available in the UK for about 18 months in the early Eighties that bridged the gap between two generations. It had essentially the same body as my 1980 Hilux but had square headlights similar to those on my 1984 model,” he said. “I’ve actually got two of them in my yard but neither are good enough to restore.”
Nicholls doesn't discriminate versus old and new Hiluxes, either. His newest truck is a current-generation Hilux Active in Galaxy Black paint he's fitted with off-road wheels and tires. “I’ve just bought that black single cab to use around the farm and I think it drives really nicely compared to the older models – the difference is like night and day. I guess the nostalgic part of me still prefers the older models, but at 55 years of age I wouldn’t dream of racking up the same sort of miles that I used to in a 2.0-liter petrol Hilux with a four-speed gearbox and no power steering. Perhaps we were tougher back then,” said Nicholls.