The Troopie was ruled out on account of its two-door body which makes it difficult to get the kids in and out. After driving one, Tim wasn’t too impressed with the Hilux either, complaining about the harsh ride even “after a five-minute ride down a sealed road.
He liked the GU wagon but “to lower the Patrol’s gearing from 3.9 to 4.6, with new crown-wheel and pinion sets in each diff, would cost me something like $3200. Too much of an expensive proposition.
“I had a budget but eventually found a 100 series at East Coast Commercial in Cairns, a car yard that specialises in ex-government vehicles. the Toyota had pretty much everything I wanted, like a snorkel, ARB diff locks front and rear, and the 6-cylinder diesel with about 120,000 km on it. For $34,000 it was all I was looking for.
Tim’s fitted a set of Dingo seat covers to his 100 Series which didn’t move under my butt for 5000 km. The boys at Rae-Line, who supplied the covers, are concentrating on commercial seat covers first- Caterpillar, Kab and so on- so they won’t be ready for an all out assault on the 4×4 market until after Christmas.
“Seat covers are a real issue for most modern 4x4s with cloth upholstery as seat covers often do more damage than not having them by rubbing on the fabric, or by not stopping the grit from working down into the fabric and wearing it out at the base. Just quietly, most of the factory-composite fabrics are itchy or rough to sit on, whereas the canvas we use is the next best thing to leather,” Tim said.