I Mighta Nailed It

carBy the end of our winter holiday up north I had begun to doubt my love for the GU Patrol that I had purchased back in January…

Let’s be honest – it was a tenuous relationship at best but the abysmal fuel economy we got on holidays meant I had to really re-think things. To get 19L/100km when towing is pretty bad for a late model diesel car and even when the camper was off the back I was still getting 15l/100 at best. Ouch…

It had been a bit of a disappointment in that regard and while it was a smooth ride and a good car my heart just wasn’t in it.

You know that’s the case when you find yourself surfing Gumtree and Carsales looking for the car you really want… I still had a saved search for an HJ61 Landcruiser with the 12HT Turbo motor and I would get sent ‘new arrivals’ every week or so. There is plenty of junk out there and plenty of high km rubbish, but I was hoping that I just might score a gem if I waited long enough and jumped quick enough.

My friend Stuart tells me that “women wear clothes and men ‘wear’ cars”. I felt like I was wearing something that didn’t fit me well at all. To change the metaphor – if my car were a house it would have a been a newly built two storey project home – nice, clean, practical and somewhat boring. But I wanted a car a bit more like our house – a little quirky, a bit of character and more interesting.

I realise 60 series Cruisers are not a thing of beauty to everyone, but they happen to be a car I love the appearance of and the feel of. And the direct injection diesel motor is a beast to drive too. So I waited… and tried to love the Patrol…

Then one day I saw it.

A one owner HJ61 with just 270000ks on the clock and in immaculate condition. I rang the owner, chatted with him, sussed out his best price and then announced to Danelle that I was going to buy this car. I had found what I had been looking for… even if it was in Canberra and I was going to buy it without seeing it.

She said ‘ok’. Truth be told she even got excited for me…

My mate Russell took a look and a drive and gave it a green light. So I sent the 12k over for a 1987 car, hoping I wasn’t going to regret it. I had it transported over for another $1200 (cheaper than flying and driving back I calculated) and after 10 days it arrived.

And its been a winner.  I actually don’t like to change cars often simply for the cost of change over, but I just couldn’t find the right one for the 9 months previous. I sold the old GQ that had been my baby to buy the first 60 Series but it was a bit of a mishmash and then the Patrol was a fuel guzzler.

I actually calculated that the saving in fuel alone with this car is approx $2300 PA over the Patrol, so although I took a hit on selling it this one will eventually catch me up.

We did our first run down south with the camper over the weekend and it went superbly. The car had heaps of power, the air con was cold, the seats were comfortable and at 12L/100 it didn’t cost the earth either.

So far I’ve rigged it up with:

– a new stereo – the factory tape deck just wasn’t going to cut it

– a set of HIDs

– a brake controller – which I seem to have wired incorrectly

– some seat covers

Still to come is a reversing camera – great for hitching up the trailer. Also remote central locking. While it has central locking from the front door it is one of the things I’d like to change. It will get tinted shortly, have a transmission cooler installed and then I’ll look at some other stuff, like an EGT gauge. The trickiest thing to install have been cup holders and I still haven’t solved that one adequately…

But I’m hoping you will see the Cruiser on the road for a while now and maybe even a long time to come.







1 thought on “I Mighta Nailed It

  1. Howdy you got the best 4wd ever built . those motors good for a million ive been wanting a turbo sahara for years could not find one . Come across a 1985 hj 60 g pack 125000 genuine ks high mount warn winch never unwound on new arb bar with hella 4000 spots immaculate $18000 just couldn,t help myself Cheers Trevor

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