Introducing our new ride

Brodie is back in the UK. We are in the UAE. So what is happening with Kapp2Cape now? We continue exploring, of course!

All good explorers must have a trusted vehicle to take them where they would like to go – or to where the track leads. It was time to look for a reasonably priced, capable, and not too worn, 4×4 to fulfil the role Brodie would have had. I started optimistically with a low budget, looking for a Jeep that would fit the bill. Not to be. I had a look at a few and it was clear that they were in need of work equal to or greater than the value of the car. So I increased the budget and widened the scope. I looked at Nissan Pathfinder (not 4×4 enough), Nissan Xterra (few cars on sale as they are popular), Mitsubishi Pajero (not sure about the V6 engine) and Jeeps (generally too small). So I upped the budget again, casting my net to include the LandCruiser. One day I came across two LandCruisers. One was sold already when I called (cannot hesitate too much here) but the other was still available. I went to see it straight away, liked it, negotiated some money off, and agreed a deal. Sorted.

We call her Penelope. She is a 2001 100-series Toyota LandCruiser 4.5L petrol automatic. She is in very good condition for her age with only 223k km on the clock. The body work has no major scratches or dents, and there is only minimal wear on the inside. She started her life in Dubai with an expat doctor family, then she changed hands to his successor, before being ‘imported’ to Abu Dhabi by the expat I bought her from. There is even a fridge in the centre console – very good for the hot days here.

The price paid included money off for an issue with the steering. A quick question on a forum pointed me in the direction of a good mechanic in the industrial area of Mussafah. Sibi Thomas at Jamal Auto Works took her in and changed the steering rack, steering pump and the upper steering joint, and serviced the AirCon.

We probably won’t kit her out the same way as we did Brodie – we just don’t have the same requirements. We will, however, make sure we have all we need: fridge, storage, electrical solution for fridge and chargers, and a water tank. Fuel is relatively easy to come by so an extra large fuel tank may not be needed.

A short camping trip is already in the planning stages. This will no doubt reveal what we need to buy and what we need to do. It is all part of the exploring.

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