Unser Toyota Landcruiser
There are a lot of vehicles to choose from. First and foremost, you have to have a vehicle readily available wherever home-base is, unless you are planning on buying one locally for a long trip (i.e. Australia). Not only does it have to be available to buy, it must be legal to register and above all, you have to be able to have it maintained, unless you have the time and skills to maintain a specialty vehicle yourself at home. There are tons of choices. Land Rover, Land Cruiser (in multiple variations), Mercedes G-Wagen, Jeep, etc. This is an individual choice, there is no one “right” choice.
We bought a Land Cruiser, specifically a Toyota Land Cruiser HZJ78. How we came to this choice is a post (or three) in itself. But we bought ours a few years ago from Tom’s Fahrzeugtechnik in Germany. Tom may not be the cheapest, but I can say that the experience was (and still is) exceptional. Tom’s customer service is second to none. And honestly, even if I am mechanically inclined, I did not want to save on this. I wanted it right, and Tom delivered. His shop is also at a reasonable distance from our home-base to have maintenance and regular inspections done. The other big Land Cruiser supplier in Germany is Extrem Fahrzeuge. While I haven’t personally done business with them, I have met them often and they are also good people and have only heard good things about them and their service as well.
This is the base vehicle that we ended up with, as purchased:
Toyota Land Cruiser HZJ78
- 1HZ motor, 4.2 cylinder straight six diesel (no turbo or inter-cooler)
- Standard Toyota options
- Dual 90l tanks
The OME gear I first encountered in Australia, these were on every Land Cruiser that I rented. If it good enough for Aussies, it is good enough for me. The LC I rented had in Africa had a standard Toyota suspension, while not bad, I noticed the difference. Can you live with a standard LC suspension? Yes. But the OME is really good stuff, it makes a lot of difference on blacktop as well.
As for the rear bumper, I can only recommend getting the spare tire off of the standard holder on the back door. Every LC that I have rented had the standard spare on the rear door, and every rear door was off (i.e. sagging) due to the weight and rough handling/roads. This is a must in my opinion, otherwise you will be getting new hinges for said door at some point in time. If you don’t want to shell out for a rear bumper, get the spare up on the roof rack or elsewhere. Just get it off of the rear door.