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 …. 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 were regularly in the … of government officials of the 2005 election, and according to in the northern city of Kirkuk, featured in 51 of 63 attacks officers the latter half of 2004. In neighbourhoods of Baghdad, there to be graffiti warning locals who with the US to watch out for the Opel.

So why these two particular vehicles favoured? At the risk of sounding a reviewer for Assassin’s Car Fleet or What Hitman’s Car?, I can a number of reasons for their in insurgent motoring circles.

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 the electronic sunroof that is with some models a useful top gunner turret, the 130mph top speed is enough for a getaway. And in the case of the Crown, the boot space is great for corpses in, according to a Shia who spoke to The Times a few years

The Toyota Crown Super is a favourite, he enthused, talking in the same way as a DIY enthusiast might a Volvo’s capacity for carrying extra-long of plyboard. You can get four people in the

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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