ANOTHER Land Rover has arrived in the 4X4 Australia shed. Itís a small price to pay for getting Justin Walker back on staff at the magazine, and as JW will be our man in Sydney, weíre glad it can drop its oil up there.
JWís recently acquired Series 2 Discovery makes it a trio of Landies for our team in New South Wales. Dean Mellor just got back into one in the form of a 300tdi Defender 110, while Fraser still rolls around his highland estate in his Range Rover Classic. And folks think weíre Toyota biased!
Ron Moon recently added a Land Cruiser 79 to the expeditionready Patrol in his garage, while Dan Everett is steadily removing parts of his 60 Series that you could hardly call a Toyota anymore. I still have my BJ73 Cruiser, but havenít been able to afford to register it for the past two years Ė because I do this job for love, not money. Iím feeling broke in both currencies (insert sympathetic violins here).
Elsewhere in our team of regular contributors, Russ Ryan has his dependable Defender 90, Mark Allen his VDJ78 Troop Carrier, Scott Heiman has a Hilux, Lucy and Matt Eaton get around in a D22 Navara, Robert Norman has a Prado, Mick Hurren drives a three-door Discovery, Matt Wood a 4x4 Perentie, Cristian Brunelli a SWB JK Wrangler, Danís daily is a new Ranger, and both Nathan Duff and our chief photographer Ellen Dewar are in FJ Cruisers. So there you go, it really is a mixed bunch of 4x4 vehicles in the 4X4 Australia family.
While it is an assorted fleet of manufacturers, it is notable that 12 of the 18 vehicles listed above have live axles front and rear.
Itís that proven set-up that gives a vehicle the strength, ability and reliability you want in a do-anything 4x4. As we continue to see less of this configuration in new car showrooms, our vehicle fleet will get older. Thankfully, there are so many great aftermarket products available and workshops out there to keep them on the tracks.