There was never a question as to whether a Land Cruiser would be the best vehicle for the job. They are without a doubt the best overland vehicle available and the engines provide hundreds of thousands of miles service. Which particular Land Cruiser is best suited for the job is another question and it was a case of third time lucky for this trip...

The first Land Cruiser I purchased was a Japanese import KZJ78W 70 Series Prado with the 3.0 TD KZTE engine as opposed to the earlier 2.4 TD. Although more than capable of the task, there was always a question of the 'toughness' of this vehicle as it was made as a luxury 4X4 as opposed to a work horse. It was a luxury upgrade of the 70 series and was the prerunner to the 90 series known as the Colorado or Prado. The new 70 series sold in South Africa is almost identical to this one although the 4.2TD engine is used. This link to Brian's 4X4 provides a great history of the 70 series variations.

The second Land Cruiser I purchased was the UK 90 Series Colorado or known as the Prado outside the UK. This vehicle also had the 3.0 TD KZTE engine and again was and is fit for the job. Friends of ours are currently travelling through Africa in theirs, Hope To See You Soon. The only issue I had with this vehicle is the space and if we found ourselves on some real bad terrain there were some doubts to its effectiveness in serious offroading. Extending our trip into South America meant we needed more space and more reliability.

Third time lucky? Third time better understanding of requirements! Mvubu is a 1996 HDJ80 Series Land Cruiser with a powerful 4.2TD 1HD-FT engine. He has a centre, mid and rear diff and is in permanent four wheel drive like the above two. The earlier models have manual front hub locks and are two wheel drive under normal conditions. The 80 Series Land Cruiser is the most popular overland vehicle in Africa and is still produced for some South American counties. This beast of a vehicle performs as well, if not better than any Land Rover and is extremely reliable, minimising the risk of continual repairs.. and oil leaks. Click on the pages below to see what modifications and work has been done on Mvubu to convert him into the ultimate overland vehicle.


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