Since the beginning of the year I have been search for a suitable vehicle. Having investigated many types I decided a Toyota Landcruiser was the best option. I regularly monitored a range of sites on the internet including the following:

  • Four wheel drive club
  • Elite 4×4 club
  • Scottish Mud Club
  • European Land Cruiser Owners’ Club
  • Ebay
  • Auto Trader
  • Gumtree

Finally I found a car

About a month ago I finally settled on buying a 1993 Landcruiser 80 series. It has been a long search, made challenging due to my lack of vehicle knowledge, and my inability to travel to see any cars, due to work commitments. I was able to get the seller to take the car to another Landcruiser enthusiast I found on the Landcruiser owners forum. He gave it a look over and said it didn’t look to bad for a base car, but it would require a significant amount of work. It was priced cheaply by the seller so I decided to go for it. I needed to buy something so I could begin the preparation of the vehicle for the trip. And by purchasing it cheaply, it allowed me to start from the bottom up. The big question was always going to be, how much work would it require?

The first surprise

Well, now I know. Yesterday was the planned visit to see Julian and Dave the Landcruiser experts at Overland Cruisers. When I heard the immortal words, “this is the worse case we have ever seen” I knew to expect the worst. As it turns out it looks like it will potentially cost 2-3k pounds more than I had hoped. A bit of a bugger really, it was always a potential risk.

The next surprise

After the initial discussions about the car, Julian and I went through the list of optional extras to prepare the car to be my home for 8 months. Once again I underestimated the potential cost here and it’s another 2-3k more than I would have hoped. On the positive side we priced brand new kit to try to get the highest price. My challenge will be to see what we can source second-hand or I might just have to go without a few things.

The final surprise

After a bit of head scratching, I was wondering whether I should just sell the car and start again. Then Julian mentioned that he has another car in his lot that might be for sale. This car has been fully prepared for expeditions in the past. While the purchase price is significantly higher, it would potentially cost less time and money to get ready for the trip. Ah… such are the dilemmas of a trip like this. One month you have no options, the next you have two!!

The next 2 weeks will require some more investigation into pricing, and then the final decision on which option will have to be made.

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