THERE’S nothing like owning a new car and, while I’ll never be able to afford one, I’m lucky enough to get to drive more of them than most folks. What becomes apparent the more you drive new vehicles straight off the showroom floor is how much of a compromise they all are.
When car companies design, engineer, manufacture and sell a new vehicle, it has to be made to meet many criteria and few new cars are specialised. Even in the world of four-wheel drives the new models have to meet standards of efficiency, comfort, safety, quietness and on-road performance. Few actually put off-road ability or load hauling as a priority, so you need to go to a specialised model for that.
The popular one-tonne mid-size double-cab utes are the biggest compromise, as they try to add a relatively heavy payload and towing capacity to all the above criteria. A bit like the venerable Swiss Army Knife with so many tools in its quiver, it does many jobs adequately but none very well. There are bigger and sharper knives available if all you want is a cutting tool.
This is why we accessorise and modify our vehicles to better suit the uses we have for them. Be it simply fitting a set of more aggressive and durable tyres for regular rough road use or engineering a chassis stretch, SAS conversion and V8 engine swap, the changes we make reflect our needs and desires. Some like to keep it simple and practical, while others take it to extremes.
Whatever mods you do to your car, the end result should make the vehicle better at accomplishing your goals, be they to tow a large van around Australia, go rock crawling, or just stand out in a crowd. And we’re thankful that you do it!
This is why we bring you so many different custom 4x4s throughout the year; and in December we compile our favourites for you to choose one you think is the best. This year’s haul brings a wide variety of vehicles built to do many different things in many different ways, so take the time to look over the selection and get online to vote for your favourite.
Just by voting, you have a chance to win $2000 worth of Maxxis tyres. We’ve loved the Maxxis RAZR MT that we had on the Ranger and the new ATs on the Musso, and the only thing better than a new set is winning them for free.
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The quintessential magazine for Australia’s four-wheel drive and offroad enthusiasts.
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