Even after twelve years since watching the Top Gear Polar Special, I was still blown away when I met eyes with the truck that did it. Its stance was intimidating, sitting on 38″ tyres and towering far beyond any other vehicle that resided in the same carpark, or even the city of Bristol where I was testing it.
What’s even more daunting is the fact that Arctic Trucks will recreate this truck for anyone with enough money. How much money I can’t quite work out, because to make it to the magnetic North, it was kitted out with several customs bits and pieces, such as two fuel tanks that can be switched between, self-inflating tyres, and a host of other terrain-chomping technology.
Sat in its cabin, it seemed almost sedate. Apart from a couple of holes where the cameras perched and a few extra switches, the interior was fully intact and stock, CD player and all, just like any other Hilux. The seats were comfortable enough, and their commanding position meant I didn’t have to crane my neck to spot if I was going to hit a kerb or small child.
Saying that, who cares if I did hit something? There are only a few things in the world that this truck cannot traverse – one of these being the mound of shit that is Brexit. But, with the torque of its diesel engine, underbody plating and more than capable suspension, I wouldn’t be surprised if I could just drive across the Channel. Or shoot Borris with the rifle that was fitted to the rear.