Friday, 18 July 2014

My 4wds, the mighty 1982 Hilux

After my first trip to 5 Rocks (see post on this location in the blog) , I was obsessed with owning a 4wd and getting up to the Rocks myself. After I blew up the donk in my Holden Gemini for the last time I thought 'bugger this' and bought a Hilux on a Friday and was driving it to 5 Rocks on the following Saturday and every other weekend I could manage it. 

My 1st 4wd. The 82 Hilux.

The 'lux was an 1982 model, a 'well' back rather then a tray back, 2 litre petrol, and was YELLOW. Very yellow. It came on retread Dunlop Super Grippers on grey steel split rims and a white fiberglass canopy. I quickly ditched the shit rubber for a set of 30x10.5x15 BF Goodrich AT's (All Terrains) on some white direction sunrayser rims. I dropped a Pioneer tape deck and separate 10 band amp/equalizer, black carpet, removed the arse ugly canopy, made a steel roll bar (out of exhaust tube), a pair of spotties and the mods were fully complete. 

The only custom work to follow was a DIY snorkel made from PVC stormwater pipe. I was reluctant in those days to cut a hole in the guard so I routed the pipe down under the hilux and back up through the back tray. It looked stupid but it worked. 
And to go with that was the ever present yellow marigold rubber glove. This little champion covered my dizzy. 4 fingers for the spark plug leads and 1 for the coil. All zip tied to keep the water out. It kind of worked.

Fully customised with BF's and a DIY roll bar.
She lasted me 10 years, it took me to Fraser Island and blasted my way around countless bush tracks in it. 
More than once I had to drive out of 5 Rocks without brakes, no lights, 3 cylinders, or almost no fuel. And always with a savage hangover. The car was breakable but could not be killed.
I loved that car but I don't miss it. My kidneys couldn't take the abuse from the leaf springs that were in each of the 4 corners. I once broke the bottom plate that the U-bolts attached the springs to the axle housing. I hardly noticed something was wrong until I crawled under the truck to have a look at something else. Hmmmm, something doesn't look right here.

My time with the old girl came to an end when I just couldn't stand to not have air-con any longer. It was a particularly hot summer on Rockhampton and I began looking for a suitable replacement. My requirements were, must have air-con, must have power steering, must be 4wd. I was about to experience real comfort in my next 4wd but I didn't know what it would be but I had an ongoing obsession with the body and shape of the 1992 4runner. I was on the hunt.

When the 'lux did get retired, I couldn't trade it, they didn't want it!!. So she was driven up onto the front yard to await a new owner.
I put the word out that she was for sale and the price tag would be 2 grand. I didn't really mean 2 grand but it was a figure that popped into my head.
Then one night a guy called Mark knocked on my door asking about the hilux. 2 grand? Sure he said, and forked over the cash in 50's.
Being raised a catholic and riddled with the guilt that comes with it, I said to Mark he really should come back the next morning and actually look at the car in the day light because she's really very rough.
No, he couldn't do that, he needed it for work the next day. 
No worries then, thanks and see you later.

I would run into Mark down the pub every now and then and he would tell me how great the hilux was going. For him it was perfect work truck. Being a builder he would load it up and send his minions off to build.
one night I walk into the pub and see Mark at the bar, expecting to hear more happy tales from the hilux I prop up the bar next to him and enquire after her, he tells me she broke in 2. He overloaded it with something or other and her back snapped in twain.
I felt sad but her end was always going to be tragic and dramatic. She was always a bit of a drama queen.

Unbreakable Hilux? No but certainly unstoppable.