Land Cruiser is a Legend in Africa
Made for Comfort and an Easy Ride
Say “Land Cruiser” and everyone knows it’s a Toyota 4×4. A short story, but a very easy one to understand, if you know what you’re looking at. This is about a specific Land Cruiser and the way it was made to fit the African bush – never mind the colour – the animals never seemed to notice it anyway. Photos were taken on the Upper West Coast of the Western Cape.
Keep On Trucking and Stay on The Road
The tyres are General Super All Grip and are the most effective tyres for the rocky roads of Namibia (hard and don’t cut easily). Many people have had bad experiences with the Namibian roads. These tyres also work well in the fine sand of the Kalahari.
Still The Best Vehicle Canvas Around
The canvas is the non-rip (rip-stop) type, coated by me with a powerful waterproof sealer for canvas, even though it was waterproofed already, so everything on this vehicle is washable, including the seats. A tip for waterproofing canvas, is the use of Woodoc Brick Seal and why you may ask? It’s in the gravy – check out the ingredients and you will see why! You’re welcome. And apply with a brush. This canvas had done a lot of safaris in Botswana and Northern Namibia and here it is eight years later, the thorns slide off the canvas surface.
Rust Proof Heat Resistant and Tough
Pretty effective bullbar, painted with Duram NS7 and in fact so are all the black parts; – the winch is not on in these photos, because I was getting a new one that suited me better and traded the other one in.
Worth Looking Into
This ladder and all the framework was made with the military type non-magnetic anaustenitic stainless steel. The reason for this is obvious if you use electronic equipment on board like GPS or a simple compass. The cage that is created by the steel is almost totally corrosive proof, even against hot sulfuric acid. The strength is what you want in a yield of over 2000 MPa (290 ksi), so you know if you roll you’ll be safe or if an elephant tries to squash you, you’ll also be safe. This steel is used for surgical tools, specialty knives, high-heat turbines, aircraft construction and things like military cab constructions. The other metal sheeting is aluminium plate.
A Lank Story. Well, It Happens
Another incredible feature is that this Land Cruiser can carry loads of 2.5 tons and still drive level. Notice how level this Land Cruiser is – like no droop in the back. That is because it was fitted with Old Man Emu shocks and air bag springs as extras. The advantage of these things goes on, with a better ride, limited body rolling and rocking, less road bumping and many more great plus features, like fully adjustable settings to suit your ride conditions.
The other option you have is the Firestone Ride-Rite™ air spring range, made and invented by them in 1938 originally called Airide™. They say their technology is still the same for buses, semis and railcars. So you have a choice and a good one at that.
To give a better idea of construction here is a pic of the Double Convoluted cut-away, to match the above, although they have a number of other types for many different applications. It is worth checking them out and I suggest using.
So many great things went into this Land Cruiser like retro fitted power steering, 85 litre Exel fuel tank (Northern Offroad), Front loading Kenwood CD player, KDCMP4029 – remote so you can play it from the back when you go to sleep. Painted with Hammerite smooth yellow rust proof paint and highly waxed to protect against thorns – a tip for thorns is to polish your paintwork with Cobra floor wax and don’t buff. You can take it off with meths when you get back home. Spare second battery in brackets with cables and fitted electric connection for caravan park hook-up with external lead-off.
If I have to go on, I will be writing a book. The idea is to give some people who don’t know much about 4×4 life, a useful start to their journey. Things like the easy-on and easy-off canvas for game drives and if needed hunting too. The bars have been specially designed for camera rests right round. Things like how the bed fits from the seat backs and the loading boxes you can get to, even when you’re in bed. Things like the Velcro to stop the cushions sliding around. The Velcro holding down the flaps outside stops the trees pulling open or tearing the windows. The nylon insect screens are tough and even stronger than the canvas.
The vehicle is not fitted with all its accessories, like jerry cans, spare tyres, Donaldson air filter and such like, because these are not imperative to this article and it is supposed most people know about these things. To rebuild a Land Cruiser like this, is expensive and it’s worth knowing where you’re going before you begin. I hope this helps some people have a better trip next time, no matter what you’re driving. The rest of the photos are self-explanatory. Please note this Land Cruiser can be made flat without a roof frame or windscreen.