Iraq ten years on: how the Toyota Crown has become the hitman’s favourite…

21 Янв 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Iraq ten years on: how the Toyota has become the hitman’s favourite

is a country where all manner of are issued every day, all too of them genuine. One of the most though, is also one of the oddest-sounding: or you’ll end up in a Toyota Crown.


In any country, a ride in a middle-of-the-range saloon car is not a prospect that send chills down spine. In Iraq, though, the Crown has become the unlikely of choice for insurgent gangs, for it offers the ideal blend of and affordability for the busy assassin and town.

The Toyota Crown – fleet car of for Iraqi gunmen

So many Crowns have been in hits, car bombs and abductions the police and army in Baghdad make a point of searching at checkpoints. And in the same fashion, have acquired a talismanic among ordinary Iraqis, for the mere name has become a for death. To add yet another surreal the Iraqi nickname for the Crown is the or Duck (something to do, I believe, the way the word Crown translates Iraqi Arabic)

I learned all during a recent visit to the national theatre, where one of the mentioned that a conservative militia had warned him that would send a Duck to him up. As he told this to me, his colleagues a collective whistle and shook heads in sympathy.

It’s not the first time a car of the sort more with someone like Partridge has become the stuff of legend in Iraq. As I reported in The Telegraph in 2005. the Opel — known in Britain as the Vauxhall and once described by Jeremy as the acme of dull and boring — popular with budget-conscious guerrillas for a while.

Vectras regularly used in the murder of officials ahead of the 2005 and according to police in the northern of Kirkuk, they featured in 51 of 63 officers during the latter of 2004. In Sunni neighbourhoods of there used to be graffiti locals who collaborated with the US to out for the Opel.

So why have these two particular been favoured? At the risk of like a reviewer for Assassin’s Car Monthly or What Hitman’s I can cite a number of reasons for appeal in insurgent motoring

Toyota Crown

First, by way of background, both were among the brands of vehicles that flooded Iraq from neighbouring just after the US invasion, sanctions that had previously all car imports were lifted. were therefore both and in abundance, as well as being a lot than most of Iraq’s decrepit car stock.

In the case of the Vectra, the electronic that is standard with models acts a useful top turret, while the 130mph top is enough for a quick getaway. And in the of the Crown, the generous boot is great for putting corpses in, to a Shia insurgent who spoke to The a few years ago.

The Toyota Super saloon is a favourite, he talking in much the same way as a DIY might praise a Volvo’s capacity extra-long strips of plyboard. You can get people in the boot.

So there you have it – the runabout for the average working Especially if you’re sticking him in the with three of his friends. I don’t think it’s to make it into Toyota’s sales campaign…

Colin who was based in Baghdad as journalist between 2003 and to the Iraqi capital last month on how life has changed. This is one of a series. His book about in Iraq is The Curse of the Al Dulaimi and other half-truths from

Toyota Crown
Toyota Crown

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