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The best 4x4s are built, not bought

By Matt Raudonikis, 25 Nov 2018 Opinion

The best 4x4s are built not bought feature

Individual by design, suited for the individual taste.

CREATING the ultimate adventure rig means different things to different people; just take a look at the list of custom 4x4s we have chosen to be in contention for this year's Custom 4x4 of the Year.

They’re all different and are made to do different things in line with what owners want and need. They may not be to your liking or fit your needs, but there’s probably something on each of them you’ll appreciate and could apply to your own vehicles. Vote for your favourite from the list of finalists on our website for your chance to win $2000 worth of Maxxis tyres.

A few interesting travel rigs in this issue illustrate the extremes people will go to when building their 4x4s. Australian motor racing legend Larry Perkins is better known for conquering The Mountain than for exploring deserts, but when he built his expedition truck he started with a Mercedes-Benz Unimog and re-engineered the drivetrain, cabin and load space to suit his specific needs. Larry knew how to build a winning racecar, and in the December 2018 issue, he shows how to create the ultimate overlander.

Dave and Tina Moore may not have done all of the hard work on their FC101 Land Rover, as they were lucky enough to score it already built, but it follows a similar line to Larry’s Mog, in that it uses a box-camper on the back of an off-road-capable cab-over truck. Only this time it was a classic Land Rover fitted with a Toyota diesel engine.

Certainly unique and built for purpose and, like the Mog, it carries everything on its back including the kitchen sink.

At the other end of the off-road spectrum is Fred ‘Dirt Every Day’ Williams’ CJ5 Jeep, which we follow along California’s imfamous Rubicon Trail. It’s a barebones basic, no-frills, stripped-out classic 4x4 with none of the comforts of home on board. Sleeping, eating and anything else is all done outside of the Jeep, but it is a vehicle that will get you anywhere.

The Jeep is as pure as they get and brings a back-to-basics vibe to off-road travel. Open air, analogue motoring at its best.

While none of this trio might suit you, they’re what their owners wanted and needed. Show us your 4x4 via our Readers Rigs, which we feature in every 4x4 Australia issue and tell us what features make it individually yours.