Issue 60: Readers’ Rigs
Rick Grainger’s Series 1 Land Rover
Rick’s 4X4 is this incredible 1950 Land Rover Series 1. It may be 69 years old now but is no forgotten hero nor show pony trailer queen. In 2017 Rick took his Landy up the Oodnadatta Track, Binns Track, across the Tanami, down the Canning Stock Route, over the Gunbarrel and Anne Beadell Highways, then back home to the Eyre Peninsula via Maralinga. What a journey – 8000km over 41 days in a short wheelbase petrol classic 4X4! Rick didn’t have any support vehicles, no fridge or dual battery system even – right back to basics!
Not that the whole trip wasn’t without complications. Rick is a pretty talented mechanic it seems (he runs Eyre Mechanical Services at Cleve in SA), as he had to take the head off the engine to change a burnt valve at Well 26 on the Canning and there were a few broken springs along the way too. Thanks for sharing your amazing experience with us Rick, we hope you like the prize pack this month from our friends at Drivetech 4×4.
Roy found this 1993 Ford Maverick (badge-engineered Nissan Patrol) around 14 years ago, in original condition. Featuring such ignominious delights as leaf springs all around and a naturally aspirated 4.2-litre diesel engine, Roy’s Maverick was built to last. Over the years, Roy has added an ARB bull bar to scare the ‘roos away, alloy side steps and a snorkel. For extended touring range, a 136-litre long range fuel tank was fitted and a CTEK managed dual battery system to increase the cold drink range.
For off-road capability, Roy selected RAW 4X4 shock absorbers, an ARB air-locker in the front and a 12,000lb winch with synthetic rope. The slide-on camper is a masterpiece of Roy’s handiwork; he tells us he is currently extending it by 830mm to give space for a shower and toilet cassette, to give he and his wife a bit more comfort travelling around the country. It’s a unique set-up that looks well suited for touring. Thanks for sharing with us Roy!
Darren has been hard at work setting his 2013 HiLux up for long distance touring, with trips to Fraser Island and the Border Ranges. The HiLux was stock but now boasts an Ironman lift kit, bull bar, 7-inch LED spotlights and 20-inch light bar. Recovery points and bash plates are also Ironman items. Darren had the exhaust built to his spec with extractors for that little extra flow. Taking a different line from the usual dual-cab fit-outs, Darren has opted for the ARB Sprint canopy because it gives great access from all sides to the load area and is reasonably dust-proof, unlike a lot of conventional canopies, and Darren says it helps it stand out in the crowd of 4X4s too!
Inside the tub and canopy is a full-length drawer system as well as a fridge drop-slide. A portable pressurised hot water system, extra fuel, compressor, chainsaw and all the other wet, dirty or smelly gear goes in the back, safe and secure. Darren’s son lives in Adelaide as a soldier, so the HiLux does a lot of trips via the backroads from home in NSW, but the next big trip is a Tasmanian adventure towing the recently purchased Modcon C3 Hybrid caravan, followed by a desert trip via Broken Hill, across to Cooper Pedy and then who knows where! We’re a bit jealous of your trips Darren, thanks for contacting us!
Gerald’s Defender ‘Boofy’
Gerald has had his trusty 1995 300Tdi Defender for just over 10 years now, nicknaming it Boofy after the original number plate. Boofy was Gerald’s daily driver for many years and taking his wife and two girls up the coast a couple of times a year. Gerald tells us there have been many longer jaunts interstate or through the NSW north coast hinterland on exploratory 4X4 trips with his mates, finding the narrowest, scratchiest tracks that don’t go anywhere useful but do show on an old map, therefore must be followed. Sounds exciting!
Gerald has modified the alloy bull bar to mount a winch and a pair of 9-inch spotties, sealed the air intake to a Safari snorkel and fitted big wide side steps to improve passenger accessibility. Gerald picked up a set of 33×10.5R15 muddies on Sunraysia-style rims for a steal, adding some much-needed clearance under the big rear diff, which houses an ARB air-locker. He also has some A/Ts on alloys for the less arduous drives. The old steel roof rack has recently been replaced with a tradesman-style rack, off which hangs an awning and often the surfboard. Some beautiful zebra racing stripes give the Defender a personal touch, too.
Gerald’s plans for the future include installing a Jack McNamara diff lock in the front and fixing a bit of rust in the door frames. Thanks for sharing your Defender with the Unsealed 4X4 world Gerald, we’ll catch you out on the tracks!