Article Image
IPFS News Link • Natural Disasters

Toyota and Top Gear Tackle Icelandic Volcano

• Wired
One of the blokes from Top Gear was tooling around Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull in a Toyota pickup about a week before it blew and scientists who set up monitoring equipment just hours before the eruption used the same truck.
Toyota, eager for some good publicity for a change, didn’t hesitate to announce that its “indestructable” Hilux pickup was on Eyjafallajökull before it let loose, wreaking havoc on air travel and making “Eyjafjallajökull” the most common Google search no one can spell.
The guys from Top Gear are never ones to shy away from crazy situations, so it should come as no surprise that co-host James May drove on the volcano about a week before the eruption on April 14.
May was filming a segment for the popular and irreverent BBC television program using a Toyota Hilux rigged up exactly like the truck Top Gear drove to the north pole. Volcanologist Haraldur Sigurdsson accompanied May, presumably to keep him out of trouble, according to an Icelandic news report.
Scientists drove the same truck as they scrambled to set up monitoring equipment before the eruption, according to Toyota.
“The legendary pick-up that Top Gear simply could not destroy and which was the first car to be driven across the Arctic to the Magnetic North Pole proved the perfect transport for scientists racing to set up monitoring equipment before the long-dormant mountain blew its top and sent a vast cloud of ash 30,000 feet into the sky,” the company’s flaks in the U.K. said in a press release so breathless you’d think they’d been inhaling ash.
Top Gear, which never hesitates to drum up publicity, is of course taking partial responsibility for the eruption.
More photos of the Hilux on Eyjafallajökull  after the jump.