It was 06:30 on this fresh Sunday morning, I was still recovering form the previous evening’s wedding celebrations (Pierre & Heili) when I started our Corolla excitedly - Today I will probably see the car we'll use to drive back home with.
I found myself on my way to Doncaster, chasing a dream that started a couple of months earlier whilst driving back from Dartmoor in Devon. (Thinking about it, most of my best and crazy ideas came to me whilst driving) Anyway, I kept it to myself as it though I would scare the life out of my lovely wife with the news that I would like to drive back home - Yes, approx 12000 miles through Africa.
Kitted out with my camera, a checklist of things to look out for and a few liters of water I arrived at Josh (private seller). Obviously I got lost first; luckily I was kindly helped back on track to find The Cruiser parked on his driveway. It took a couple of minutes to get used to the accent and I suppose it was the same for him as I’ve got the worst Afrikaans accent in England. I was told that it sounds that I am fresh from the plane, this after spending the last 6 years living and working in the UK.
Anyway, there she stood: BIG, RED AND BEAUTIFUL. I was trying to keep cool as I did not want to give the impression that I fell in love with this powerhouse in front of me. I explained that this is only a viewing and that I will be taking loads of pictures to e-mail to a 4x4 and overland expert, Paul from Footloose 4x4. I contacted them in January 07 and after a long telephone conversation we decided to make use of their expert and very friendly service. (Visit their website at www.footloose4x4.com)
Anyway the inner and outer bodywork took me by surprise, as it was in a near perfect condition. I threw by “tiny” body on the floor and took loads of pictures (at this stage I did not even know what I was looking at) I knew that for Paul to get an idea of the condition of the engine and chassis, I would need to take a picture of everything I saw. When I got behind the wheel, I really could not hold myself back, there was so much space and leg room! I almost giggled like a little girl (Not that there’s anything wrong with the giggling of a little girl, but for a six foot man, to do so ...well)
Then I started her and I knew form the moment the engine fired immediately and the body shook from side to side with the tiniest movement to the fuel pedal, that this is what it’s all about! This is the one, the one my father would have been proud of.I could not wait to get the pictures to Paul, who called me a couple of minutes later with the good news: GO FOR IT!!
We collected her 3 days later, nervously filling the tank for the first time and then roaring down the highway to Datchet.
The Vehicle Spec:
1992 Toyota Land Cruiser VX
4,2 Litre Turbo Diesel
Series model: HDJ80
Diff Locks - Central, Rear and Front
THE START TO OUR DREAM WITH NO TURNING BACK!
See Blog 4 28 June 2007