Rod Millen rolls his Pikes Peak Celica at Leadfoot Festival

Iconic Toyota hillclimb racer crashed, but no major injuries

Rod Millen Pikes Peak Toyota Celica crash

One of the most legendary Pikes Peak machines in the world has crashed in NZ this week, as Kiwi motorsport legend Rod Millen rolled his Toyota Celica Pikes Peak hillclimb racer.

The car that allowed Millen to essentially set an unbreakable record at Pikes Peak was seen in an Instagram video attributed to Millen being lifted back onto the track at his property during the running of Leadfoot Festival 2020.

It seems Millen himself is just fine, with no reports of injury, but the Celica has seen better days. Once the car was craned back onto the black stuff, Millen was even able to drive the car away from the scene of the crash.

View this post on Instagram

Not even a scratch!⁠ @leadfootfestival #leadfootfestival @rodmillen #rodmillen

A post shared by Rod Millen (@rodmillen) on Feb 9, 2020 at 8:37pm PST

Rod’s not calling it a wreck, though, as Millen’s friend and fellow motorsport personality Ray Evernham says “if you can drive it back to the pit it wasn't a wreck,” according to Millen.

“Rod does not get charged with a wreck. Even though they had [to] use a chainsaw and a crane to get it back on track,” Evernham commented jokingly.

Thankfully Millen’s beats will live to see another day, with the purpose-built tube-frame racer still operational aside from its impact damage.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Rod Millen (@rodmillen) on Feb 9, 2020 at 8:40pm PST

The car holds a special place in the realm of Pikes Peak history, as it remains the fastest car to run up the Race to the Clouds pre-paved surfaces.

With a time of 10:04.06 on its debut in 1994, Millen and the Celica beat the previous record by almost 40 seconds.

A 630kW+ racing engine (Toyota’s 2.1-litre 3S-GTE turbo four) and aero parts ‘borrowed’ from Dan Gurney’s former All-American Racing F1 team.

The record was beaten years later, in 2007, after the course had been partially paved with tarmac. Here’s hoping we see the Celica back in action for displays again soon.


How are you finding our new site design? Tell us in the comments below or send us your thoughts at


Subscribe to Motor magazine

Subscribe to MOTOR and save up to 49%
The world's most thrilling performance car magazine. Delivered to your door each month.



We recommend


Porsche Cayenne Nurburgring

Video: New Cayenne Turbo breaks Nüburgring lap record

Updated and upgraded top-spec Cayenna proves itself to be the fastest SUV ever

15 hours ago
Jordan Mulach
Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.