Millen drove an 800bhp all-wheel drive Toyota Celica to a record-breaking win in the 1994 Pikes Peak ‘Race to the Sky,’ up a 14,110ft mountain course in Colorado, an event with which the driver and Toyota have since become synonymous.
Millen originally trained as a surveyor, but found his true vocation in dirt road rallying. In 1978, after becoming the first driver to win three consecutive New Zealand Rally Championships, he moved to California to compete against the top US drivers. He fulfilled a liftetime’s ambition by winning the Pikes Peak hill climb, completing the 12.42-mile, 156-turn gravel course in 10 minutes 4.2 seconds, a race record that stands to this day.
In 1998, the Rod Millen Motorsport team designed and built a new Toyota Tacoma racing truck to compete in the 76th Pikes Peak international hill climb, a machine which went on to claim the unlimited class honours in the 1998 and 1999 events. It is this truck that Millen will drive at the 2007 Festival of Speed.