Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Next Project

Toyota Stout --- Yes the Double Cab Model !!!!

A whistle stop tour of Morocco

After the last trip to Gambia during which we spent a couple of days in Morocco, I felt Morocco deserved a return visit. With a small bit of effort and planning, Morocco offers all the hustle and bustle of market cities, spectacular and vast scenery and a diverse and welcoming people.
The plan was for me to drive down. Ferry from Dublin to Cherbourg, drive through France and Spain and get a fast ferry from Tarifa to Tangier. I had allowed 3 nights, but in the end I did the drive in 2 days. I arrived in Tangier a day early to collect Deirdre and Ben who had flown from Ireland.
We now had 2 weeks for fast loop round Morocco.

We spent 2 night in Tangier, stayed in a lovely old Hotel (El Minhaz). Looked like it was the place to be back in the 20’s or 30’s and still retained it charm. From Tangier we headed to Fes. There were two options, the direct and shorter route or the longer motorway route. Given it was a long drive we choose the motorway, although longer in Km’s it is generally shorter in actual driving time as the secondary national roads can be very slow. We stayed at a camp site outside Fes, it turned out to be great as it had an impressive water park attached to the site. We visited the old Medina, the tanney’s and markets.

 From Fes we drove to the Cascades d'Ouzoud. It was along slow drive, but with all things in Morocco the scenery makes up for slow progress. The cascades were pretty spectacular, far more impressive than expected. As it turned out the day we visited was the first day of the holidays after Ramadan so the place was busy and full of fun. We stayed at the well know ZebraCamp, lovely food and great hosts.

From Fes we drove to Ouarzazate. This turned out to be a very slow drive, but the drive over the high atlas mountain was worth it. The road was bad in places but thankfully because of the holiday period it was very quiet. Quarzzate was our base to take a trip to the desert. The trip to the desert was through the anti atlas mountains (Dra’a valley) to Merzouga. From Merzouga, we head to the Desert (a short camel trek to the tents). Dinner and sleeping under the stars. Before returning the next morning. The drive back to Ouarzazate was even better via the Valley of Roses, Dades Gorges, Todra Gorges and the Oasis of Skoura.

We stayed the night again in Ouarzazate before the drive to Marrakesh.
We stayed at Manzul La Trotue, a lonely guest house, RV parking, Clamping all in one place. Great food here and a short taxi ride to the Old Medina in Marrakesh. We found the markets and streets in Marrakech less claustrophobic than Fes and easier to navigate. The following day we visited the yves saint laurent gardens in Marrakesh, beautiful gardens hidden away of the busy streets.
 Yves St Laurent Garden
From Marrakech we headed to El Jadida, a coastal town, we spent 3 days here before heading back to Tangier and through Europe and home. The Landcruiser was flawless yet again, the extra solar panel made a big difference. The fridge held up prefect considering it was in the mid 40's for most of the trip.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Classic Toyota Show in Frosses - Donegal

I have been trying to organize the back of the 60 to accommodate one person on the trip to planned next October. The plan was to have a bed with storage under along one side. The pull out fridge and small storage on behind the passenger side and maintain seating for driver, two passengers. Here's a photo of the rough setup 

So to test the camper idea, took the 60 up to Donegal for the weekend. The set-up will work fine, just needs to adjustment and additional. Need to get a mattress foam and sort some blinds out. They are the main problems, there are a few other bits like battery, compressor and better organization of space. but I think it could work :)
Anyways here a few photos of the weekend and the other 80's that came along.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Sandy's Little Brother

Well thats the plan … I’ll out this out there and see what comes of it.
So who is Sandy’s little brother …..
First off Sandy (BJ41) is finished and I have decided not to think about, more power, coil springs, sound proofing anymore. I met a Land Cruiser man last week end, this man has had and worked on Land Cruisers for as long as he could remember. He looked the BJ41 over top to buttom, stood back and said it was in his opinion one of the best if not the best BJ40 he has ever come across. Needless to say I was delighted and it was then that I decided that the BJ is correct as it is and enjoy it as it is. So no more work or modifications to Sandy !
But that leaves me with a small problem, what do I do now, because in my mind I have more Land Cruiser stuff to do. Interesting thing is I have always thought the 40 series body on an 80 series chassis would be pretty neat. The looks of a 40 with the world conquering running gear of an 80. As it turned out the Land Cruiser man I met on the weekend just happened to have a few 80′s lying around. I drove 4 of them and they all drove great. That kinda got my mind thinking about the 40/80 mongrel I have being thing about for the last 2 years.
So heres the big picture, get an 80, strip it down to the engine and rolling chassis, find a half decent pre 1980 40 series, splice the 80 series frame to be 40 series frame and plant the 40 series body on top.
Why .. well only thing that could be improved on the 40 is the wheel base (if you want endless driving). The 80 has the additional length, more modern engine and running rear. No big deal really .. well maybe not so simple. The 80 series is quite a bit longer than the 40. Suppose these are just minor details. So here’s a quick snapshot of an 80 chassis, with a 40 sitting on top

 Ok .. just so you all know this is copyright K .................... !

Adventure Overland Show – Stratford upon Avon

Thought I might do a quick note on the Adventure Overland Show. Didn’t know what to expect other than it was held in Stratford upon Avon. We got the ferry from Dublin Port to Holyhead and drove to 200 miles, with a small detour on the way to see a very special Land Cruiser mechanic (somewhere near Shrewsbury).
After an early start and the detour we got to Stratford it was late in the evening when we arrived, pitched the tents got something to eat and got ready for the BIG show.

Well I’m afraid the BIG show was not so big after all. There was plenty to see, but would be hard pushed to get two days out of it. Thankfully there were a few interesting people to spend the day talking to, West Coast 4×4, being one of them.
Plenty of Land Cruiser people around, and a few Land Cruisers in the camp site to poke around in.
For those that have between €250’000.00 to €500’000.00 you could pick up one of these beauts

The real bonus to the trip was the mechanic in the secret location near Shrewsbury, when stop by his workshop on the way back, 3 hours the first time round wasn’t enough. The guy Scott was pretty relaxed when it came to giving us keys to his Land Cruisers. We got to drive 4 of the trucks and could have spent all day there but we had a ferry to catch.
Overall it was a good weekend good fun with the lads, just a pity the show wasn’t bigger. We all came to the conclusion that we’ll be going to Germany next year. It’s the only place if its serious Overland Expo’s your looking for !

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Classic Toyota Land Cruisers go for record prices at 2013 auctions

1966 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser

Sold for $88,000

Read more here 

During the height of the Arizona auto auctions this past week, FJ40 Toyota Land Cruisers continued to fetch ever-higher prices. When all was said and done at Gooding & Co. the 1979 FJ40 above went for $61,600 including fees. 

Every January the Scottsdale, Arizona area is ground zero to bidding frenzies held by no less than five major houses. Last year they brought in a combined $182 million. This year, at RM Auctions, the gavel came down on a beautiful Freeborn Red 1978 FJ40 restored by our friends at The Finishing Touch — known best around these parts for their Mazda Cosmo Sport and Mazda R360 restos — for 77,000.

Read more here - Auction Prices

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

All Done !

All Done ... Well for now anyway !

Last piece of the Jigsaw …

First things first, the suspension, well it seems the uncontrolled and erratic bonce is gone. After a few e-mails, and some measurements, Bob (Tpi4x4) diagnosed the problem, there was a mismatch on the shocks and...
now the erratic bounce is gone !!!. Thanks Bob.
So now to the 5 Speed. It’s one of those things, you hear people say ‘Can’t believe I ever managed to drive it with a 4 speed’. Well is true, I cannot explain the transformation in the old TLC now that the 5 speed is installed. It’s changed the TLC from a MF35 to something that could now be driven everyday with pleasure. The gear ratios are far better, no long gap between 3rd & 4th and that mythical 5th gear on good roads, the holy grail . But its more than just the gear ratios, there’s a serious reduction in overall sound in the cab. With the revs kept at a sensible level the ear deafening drown is gone. Driving the old TLC is now a pleasure.
So now with the turbo, power steering, 5 speed box and some sound insulation, It’s the first time in a while, where I felt I could actually take on a seriously long drive and look forward to it.