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Browsing: Special rigs

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

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-fetishes grip 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’. Words and images by Andrew Middleton The basis of this generation-crossing addiction started in the early Nineties when Don bought his

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

Words and images by Roger Gaisford Charles Leach of Louis Trichardt has a most interesting four-wheel-drive machine. Not a Jeep or a Land Rover, it is a Steyr-Puch Haflinger, a vehicle produced in Austria. With a wheelbase of only 1.5 metres, and running on 12-inch wheels, it seems at first glance to be little more than a mechanism one might find on a golfcourse. However, it is a most efficient four-wheel drive that, in really bad going, can easily leave all but the most capable modern 4x4s scratching stones. It is named after a horse bred for hard work in

Words and image by Andrew Middleton Since the highly unfortunate demise of the Cruiser 105 series in 2007, the world’s schoolyard of proper off-road bullies has dwindled. Yes, we have the Defender, G-Wagen, Land Cruiser 70 series and Wrangler options, but none of these come close to the comfort or space that a solid-axle 105 offers. I hear some Nissan fans crying, “You forgot the Patrol GRX,” but, alas, that too is on its last legs with a hideously puffed-up, independent-frontsuspension replacement on its way to SA sometime soon. For Johan Viljoen, although there are other vehicular options, nothing else

Words and image by Peter Middleton 2008 Land Rover Defender HCPU Boris’ was built for a planned South America trip, and, given the cold and wet climate in some regions, was created to satisfy my need to live ‘inside’ as opposed to ‘alongside,’ as we do here in SA. In cold, wet and windy conditions, a roof-top tent is a painful and even dangerous way to have your bedroom on a rocking Land Rover – especially for an old geezer like me. Furthermore, it compromises security when access to the driver’s seat is nullified in a confrontation with thieves. I’ve

Words and image by Andrew Middleton Monsters Inc. Think of a serious Nissan 4×4, and no doubt an image of a dusty and battered Patrol will come to mind. The big GU Patrol has made itself famous by dominating off-road events the world over, and is, indeed, an incredibly capable standard machine. But, what if I told you another Nissan will go further? What if I told you that one of the most capable 4x4s in South Africa is based on a knackered old Nissan Maxima? A car that’s about as interesting as stale bread, the genteel Maxima was designed

Words and image by Andrew Middleton Jeep Cocktail There are many distinct factions in restoration – some add modern touches, some keep it original and others go full nutter and create a 1000kW Rat-Rod, retaining only a hint of the standard vehicle. For Dave Ratcliffe, originality is paramount – yet his CJ-3A is surely the only one like it on Earth. The culmination of Dave’s years of Jeep experience and thousands of personal man hours have led to a creation that’ll cause even the most knowledgeable Jeep fanatics to scratch their heads in puzzlement. Dave’s obsession with Jeeps started at

Words & Pictures by Andrew Middleton Frankenstein’s Ghost This month we go back to basics, with by far the rawest and most hardcore Rad Rig we’ve ever featured. Yes, it’s got rust, and no, it doesn’t have power steering. Reenen Kritzinger wanted a beast that could embarrass expensive 4×4’s, despite his intention to build it entirely out of salvaged parts. Meet ‘Monster’ – a Frankenstein brute that only his creator could truly explain. Back in 2005, when a 4×2 Hardbody rolled out of the Nissan factory, the poor thing little knew what was in store. After years of hard work

Words & Pictures by Andrew Middleton We’ve seen some pretty ‘Rad Rigs’ so far in this series, but nothing’s been this extreme. Not every day does one hear the thunder of a 6l V8 as a Prado drives by – nor does one get to experience the beast first hand. Frans Bouwer’s fire-spitting and dune-ramping Toyota stands far back from its humble beginnings as a capable but tame SUV. Originally built up by two Capetonians in 2008, the short-wheelbase Prado, aptly named Tyson, was destined for a life of brutal torture. Like Dennis Maytom’s Hardbody (a Rad Rig we featured

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