Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB

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FromHere2Timbuktu 1 Jul 2008 23:05

Oh which Landcruiser
Please help sort out my tangled brain. I'm looking for a Landcruiser to cross the desert and then operate tours in West Africa. Ive seen a 1989 Hd60 - 200,000 miles used on a farm all its life, bit of body rust but nothing bad. I think I made a mistake by buying a 1997 Colorado 3L, which Im trying to pass on. But should I go for a 1993 Station Wagon VX with(apparently) only 70,000 on the clock? I suppose my question is old HD60 (or 80) or more modern station Wagon VX? Also is the extra litre in the VX as opposed to Colorado really worth it?

Chris - Im sure all this is in the book, which I do have along with the DVD, but I am not at home at the mo.

All advise gratefully received

ChrisC 2 Jul 2008 16:52

Subject to...........
Hi Kedze

first of all welcome to the Hubb.

Well a well maintained/prepped 60 or 80 will more than cope with what you want the vehicle for - 60 series' are getting a bit long in the tooth but if you have/can find a decent one treasure it!
The 80 will be a bit more comfortable and certainly more available, especially here in the UK - but right hand drive.

The Colorado you have purchased would probably cope but imho a 60 or 80 would be better.

You will get a myriad of good/indifferent/bad advice but its up to you to decide which is which, and what you want to listen to - if any.

Name of your business, and where and doing what you are operating

Good luck

Niva Say Never 2 Jul 2008 21:15

Hi Kedze, i reckon Chris has pretty well covered it.
I bought my 60 about 4 months ago and wouldn't change it for the world. There's no doubt an 80 would be more comfortable, but IMO you can't beat the simplicity and toughness of a good 60.


mattsavage 3 Jul 2008 09:24

A good 60 is a great vehicle, but they are all a bit rusty now.
An 80 is perfect. Cheap, simple, powerful, comfy etc..
But I would say the Colorado would be fine. These are like a slightly lighter version of an 80.
Whatever you get, make sure it's in tip top condition mechanically.

Time for the first Espresso of the day now!


gilghana1 4 Jul 2008 10:52

It’s just a thought, and probably not relevant, but if you are permanently importing the vehicle to where you want to run your tours there may be some issues you should check: For example here in Ghana you cannot import a RHD car and also it cannot be older than 10 years…
As to which vehicle, a 60 or 80 has to be the choice. If you buy in EU you might want to consider the 75 or 78 landcruisers, but then you have the issue of inward facing seats – which paying clients might not like – which are very short and narrow. The coil sprung 80 will of course give a totally higher level of comfort than a leaf sprung 60 series, most of which will be getting on a bit as others have said. Plenty of them knocking about in the tourist areas of WA and plenty parts around, but a 200K farm hack is for me not perhaps the best way to start a vehicle tour business. So basically that means either a really clean 60 or a good unmolested/not abused 80. Roofrack and a few jerries and you are set! What you want is a “mum’s taxi 4x4” or a car that existed only to tow a horse box or caravan. Farm vehicles are not given easy jobs – they are expected to pull stuck tractors, cart dead rabbits by the hundred weight and then be used by farmer’s son or daughter to hoon round the fields at speed. Oh and maintenance and washing costs good coin, so that will be once in year!

The Colorado/Prado is a good vehicle, but will not stand up to the abuse of tour operation day in day out (especially with local driver guide rather than owner operator at the wheel) as a heavier vehicle will. Other thoughts on the subject of running a working cruiser in WA:
- steel wheels, as nice alloys will quickly get trashed by puncture repairs/wheel changing.
-Watch the servicing… Get proper oil, proper filters (OEM or Donaldson, fleetguard, Baldwin) and watch the packaging and contents for Chinese/Nigerian rubbish posing as OEM stuff. Either do it yourself or hang around while they do it. Oil you also have to watch – quite an underground business exists of ‘cleaning’ used oil and again re-packaging and selling it!
-Working air-con would be fairly important for your clients I would imagine.

The extra litre in the 80 gives you a relatively big and reliable engine which is very well known and plenty parts available (same applies to 60 series engines, 12H-T in the turbo 60 series is often considered Toyotas best turbo diesel!).

Would be really interested in more details on your tours? And also welcome and good luck with the plan.
At home with Delhi Belly (or Accra Aches) so strictly camomile tea today!

marker 8 Jul 2008 10:30

Have used for some years a troublefree PZJ75 for taking tourists around in Africa and later South America. I find the extra space of the 75 & 78 Troopies vs the 60 or 80 a big pro.
IMO having less comfort than in a 80 Crusier is something they will have to accept. They come for adventure dont they!

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