The Mercedes-Benz Gelandewagen is a staple in the realm of overland travelers. It's known for it's excellent fuel economy when equipped with the reliable 4-cylinder engine, it's stout construction, and of course, for it's front, rear, and center locking differentials. The mere mention that the G-Wagen has become the vehicle of choice for desert explorer Tom Shepard helps to describe it's credentials. The model listed here has under 40,000 miles - and appears to be in great shape, just think of the travels you could have in this low mileage machine.
Fortunate for the Expeditions 7 team, Toyota had already completed the hard work before the vehicles left the factory in Japan. Years of cumulative engineering and refinements have produced one of the most out-of-the-box capable, global-class overland vehicles on the planet: the VDJ78. In comparison to the more standard (yet still capable and respected) Rest of the World or 'RTW' vehicles - the New Zealand specification vehicles have several improvements, such as dual airbags and side impact protection and the venerable 4.5L V8 turbocharged engine. In addition, we specified that the vehicles were fitted straight from the factory with front and rear cross-axle locking differentials, auxiliary fuel tanks, an air intake snorkel, and even a high idle button for demanding situations. For vehicles that will be spending two years circumnavigating the globe in environments ranging from Antartica to Africa, what other modifications can be made?
The iPad has continued to evolve as an essential piece of travel kit, mastering everything from navigation to photo editing, but cases for carrying the mighty 'Pad are often devoid of style, functionality, durability, and protective ability.
Enter the SleeveCase from WaterField Designs—a thick neoprene-cushioned pocket wrapped up in rugged ballistic nylon. The SleeveCase features a soft Ultrasuede® interior which doubles as an automatic screen cleaner, impact-resistant inserts in the walls to protect the screen, and checkpoint-friendly construction. There's also a slim pocket on the back for papers, a camera connection kit, or a slim charger. Options include natural leather trim and convenient detachable shoulder straps for hands-free carry. The case is durable and well made, with beautiful styling and excellent attention to detail.
Upon completion of Indian Pass and before hitting any pavement whatsoever, we made a hard right and headed North on an old power line road. See, In the desert when you can't find your way you can many times look to powerlines to guide you. They usually contain access roads that will let you cross huge scale portions of the desert in a timely manor. We'd continue this northernly pattern near highway 78 till we passed a Border Patrol check point out of site of the agents and finally head North West through Milpitas Canyon. It was a long few hours of winding slow pace moving because the towers ran between many rolling sand hills. In some sections the service road disappeared to where we had to find the road again. The good thing about the slow pace was that we had time to make a call to our families on Christmas day as for some reason we had cell reception on one of the carriers. The families at home were happy to hear from us, as this was the first time we spoke to home since we left days before.
When I first saw our friends over at BringATrailer.com post up this Volkswagen Golf Country Syncro I didn't really know what it was. At first I thought it was some sort of modern Lada Niva that I didn't know about– which upset me, I'm a bit fan of the little Russian 4wd. I soon found out it's one of a handfull of Golf Syncro's in the United States and a pretty rare sight to see. It's outfitted with a suspension lift and BFG KM2 mud-terrain tires; we think it's pretty cool and worth checking out.
It's not often that I get exited about a newsletter, but the ladies and gentleman behind Equipt put out a seriously fantastic little publication– The Sojournal. The March/April 2012 issue features part two of Benjie Edmonson's story highlighting their recent 'Mundo Maya' Expedition. Curious about the first part of the story? Check it out on ExPo here.
What do you get when you combine a twelve cylinder engine, four-wheel-drive, italian engineering and massively wide tires? You get...Rejected from the U.S. Military. The rare and obscure Lamborghini LM was initially built and specified for the U.S. Army's need for a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle. Originally featuring a rear mounted Chrysler V8 engine the LM was destroyed during testing, and the now familiar Humvee ended up winning the high-dollar Government contract. The Lambo LM didn't die there though, it was fitted with a front-mounted V-12 engine, and super wide Pirelli Scorpion tires and marketed heavily in the Middle-East due to it's capability of bashing through the desert like nothing else on the road. Unfortunately poor reliability, and high maintenance meant that the LM002 only lived a short life from 1986-1993 with 328 models being produced. If you'd like to own a piece of obscure Lamborghini history, or drive around the world in what has the potential to be one of the most exotic overland vehicles of all time, be sure to check this one out.
2012 marked the 45th consecutive running of the Easter Jeep Safari in the high desert of Moab, Utah. Thousands of Jeep enthusiasts descend on the event which is held each year around - you guessed it - Easter. A word of advice - if you're going, make some time for it; 'EJS' is huge and has organized trail runs every day, and an exhibitor event that nearly every major Jeep parts supplier attends. Originally I wasn't even planning on going, but after Jeep launched it's new concept vehicles - including the ridiculously awesome 'Mighty FC' concept– it was clear that I needed to be there - the problem, a really tight, and full schedule. We could only get away for one day at the event, and it was already full of meetings - here's the best a few hours at Easter Jeep can bring you.