1984 Land Cruiser FJ60
What’s the odometer reading?
The Land Cruiser, which had 208 000 km on the clock when I bought it from a couple who had travelled to Zambia and Malawi, has now done 433 000 km. Of the 225 000 km in my ownership probably 85% was off-road, or on tar on the way to the bush.
How many owners?
I am the second owner.
How much did you pay for it?
R95 000 in 1996
Why a Toyota?
I prefer this marque due to its reliability and ease of repair when doing African safaris
Does it have a nickname?
Brutus – it says it all.
Where have you been in it?
We have been to Namibia often (one round trip to Rundu through Kaokoland and back down the coast; and to Sossusvlei several times), three times each to Botswana and the Richtersveld and to Mozambique twice. Once, during a rainy January, we did some serious bundu bashing in the Transkei.
Other places we have visited include the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Kgalagadi via Mabuasehube, to the Baviaanskloof twice, Gamkaskloof, and nearly every other mountain pass and off-road trail in the Western Cape.
Your best memory?
Every time there is the opportunity to sit in the veld and make coffee in my little black kettle.
Your dream destination?
My ideal trip is through Africa. My son, now 12, promised he would take me along on a trip through Africa to Europe during his gap year.
He was eight months old when we first went on safari – three weeks through Botswana and Zimbabwe.
Would you do a trip through Africa with your car?
For sure! If there is one vehicle which will not let you down and for which spares and repairs aren’t a problem, it is a 60- or 80 Series Land Cruiser. Time is the only constraint.
Special packing for a long trip?
Enough water and the necessities to make you fully self-sufficient. Never travel off the tar without a set of Tracks 4 Africa maps.
Any accidents or breakdowns?
It had dirt in the fuel in the Central Kalahari, a leak in the petrol tank, and at Tsabong, a leaking front oil seal that was stripped and replaced within an hour by mechanics.
I had the oil seals replaced at 320 000 km.
I had front and rear Detroit diff-locks fitted, as well as a 35-litre stainless steel water tank, 210-litre petrol tank, 4.5-ton winch, dual-battery system, bull bar, easy-awning and space saver bins
Where is it most at home?
On rugged mountain terrain
Most difficult situation you have been in?
I got myself “hanged” with all four wheels in the air on muddy terrain.
What do you like about it?
The sound of the 4.5-litre six-cylinder
And what not?
With the trailer hooked, the Cruiser needs extra grunt to pull it up a steep mountain pass without needing to go down to third or second.
If you could change something?
I’d fit a V8 diesel conversion.
If it were a person or celebrity, who would it be?
Jock of the Bushveld
If we gave you R10 000 …
I’d save it to fit the V8 diesel.
Originally published in Drive Out #26 | Aug-Sept 2008