Browsing: Special rigs

The Sodwana Bay parking lot is always interesting. As I drive in, I pass a Suzuki Jimny (standard), another Jimny (modded, with big tyres), a couple of standard double cabs, a Fortuner or two, a replica Jeep CJ-something, and a Land Cruiser bakkie, fairly unmolested. And I’m driving my own Subaru Outback, probably the most understated (and underrated), and least macho all-wheel-drive vehicle available. (Let’s be honest – it’s a station wagon.) Then I park next to something quite special, and very definitely, incredibly, indelibly and obviously modified. The first hint is the rear axle – it seems that there…

Words & Image by Andrew Middleton Clichés can come in various forms, but more often than not they stem from a modicum of truth. And in the context of the red Samurai here, dynamite does indeed come in small packages. Bought in 2013 as an el-cheapo project car, Hendri Mouton’s SJ413 ‘Zombie Response Vehicle’ quickly got out of hand, becoming an all consuming passion for the young engineer in training. As with many projects, this one will likely never be completed. Call it a constant work in progress. I have known Hendri for a while now, and it’s clear that…

Words & Images Angus Boswell A 70 Series Cruiser is a tough workhorse. You’d be hard pressed to find a production vehicle with this level of stock-standard ability. If one were to build a superb overlanding and trail-crushing rig, with more space than a Jeep Rubicon, there is probably no better starting point. But they do have a few shortcomings. Forget the Spartan interior and its woeful lack of stash places; how about the low-slung axle hardware which hangs up on rocks, or the handling which is on the crude side? Heavy duty rear leaf springs ensure that the Cruiser…

Words & Images Andrew Middelton Clichés can come in various forms, but more often than not they stem from a modicum of truth. And in the context of the red Samurai here, dynamite does indeed come in small packages. Bought in 2013 as an el-cheapo project car, Hendri Mouton’s SJ413 ‘Zombie Response Vehicle’ quickly got out of hand, becoming an all-consuming passion for the young engineer in training. As with many projects, this one will likely never be completed. Call it a constant work in progress. I have known Hendri for a while now, and it’s clear that he’s a…

Words & Images Andrew Middleton If someone told you that your vehicle sounded like a tractor, it probably wouldn’t be a good thing; unless you’re Ray Preston. Tractors, as we know them, are over-engineered for high loads, probably lack maintenance, and do thousands of hours of towing ploughs all day. Which sounds ideal for an overlanding machine, except for one problem – they’re dog-slow. This is not a criticism you could level at Ray’s 1983 vintage Defender. Apparently, this particular Landy was the first prototype 110 model to come to South Africa in the Eighties. It was boughtby Ray in…

Words & Images Andrew Middleton For some, chucking a mat on the ground beneath the stars is enough, but Eddie Visser and his wife couldn’t be bothered with that level of slumming. They prefer a bit of the good life while camping, so a solution for comfort on the move was needed. Who better to help plan that solution than lifelong friend Freddie van Wyk, with whom he had travelled all over southern Africa? And this was the very same Freddie who’d been responsible for the unique Club Cab Land Rover Defender featured in the November 2015 issue of SA4x4…

Words & Images Andrew Middleton A passion for all things outdoors, and an absolute obsession with detail, is what makes Johan de Villiers tick. And the Land Rover you see here is an expression of the owner’s style (and his love of the colour orange). With this Landy, every inch, every nut and bolt – right down to the heater controls – has been reworked to Johan’s taste. His Defender 110 double cab might have started out as a blank canvas, but is now a rolling art form – and since SA4x4 arrived in the picture, is now painted with…

Words by Andrew Middleton, images by Andrew Middleton and Freddie van Wyk Women keep us chaps on the run; they’re not only behind all the disastrous ‘watch this!’ moments, but also the architects of our success… Meet Freddie, and hear his story of how a girlfriend’s complaint made him build a dream machine.Though certainly not lacking a fine sense of humour, Freddie is perhaps a man who takes remarks very seriously. One day, Freddie’s girlfriend noted, as a passing comment, that his Landy had a cramped interior. She could never have guessed the extent to which Freddie would try to…

Words and images by Andrew Middleton Addictions are horrible things. They eat away at the sanctity of a sane man’s mind and tear families apart. Until, eventually, after years of abuse, the inevitable happens – an extension to the garage. Like the most potent of drugs, vehicle-fetishesgrip one’s soul and become a controlling factor in a family’s existence. Take Don Nieuwoudt’s household, for example. His poor wife, Annelene, is now addicted, and even Don’s young son has grown up to become a ‘Cruiser fan’. The basis of this generation-crossing addiction started in the early Nineties when Don bought his first…

Words and images by Andrew Middleton A vehicle that splutters, pops, spits petrol and generally acts like a potential explosion on start-up, won’t usually be top of the list for a first car. Most teenage guys with around R140K to spend would go for something with airbags, seats for the girls and a big stereo. But, for Laslo Walter, this wasn’t an option. The beige existence of hatchback ownership simply wouldn’t do, for one main reason: a new car would be reliable, and therefore boring. After a very brief consideration of a Yaris, Laslo decided nay to that, and opted…

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