All 900Nm of this custom-made 200 Series Cruiser.
The neatest Land Cruiser in the country also packs one hell of a punch – 900Nm worth!
We spent hours poring over Cale Walton’s immaculate LC200, and nothing sums it up better than one word: perfect
WHEN you first lay eyes on what is inarguably the neatest 200 Series Land Cruiser in Australia, the only word that can do it justice is perhaps one of the most overused: Perfect. We’re not using that word lightly. In fact, we spent hours poring over Cale Walton’s immaculate LC200 trying to think of another angle, some other detail that makes it stand head and shoulders above the crowd. We couldn’t. Nothing sums it up better than that one word. It’s not perfect in the way some other 4x4s have earned the title. It’s not the kind of bus that can rock-bounce with the best of them without turning vital components into a slurry of gear oil and metal shards. It’s not the fastest in the whoops, capable of leaping tall washouts in a single bound. It’s not even the most modified LC200 we’ve seen. But every single modification, alteration and customisation has been so thoroughly researched and meticulously planned that the end result is far greater than the sum of its parts. It’s a mechanical work of art very few will ever fully appreciate. If it sounds like we’re exaggerating, it’s because it’s hard to put into words just how rare it is for a build of this calibre to fall into place the first time around. It’s a testament to the careful planning of Cale, and the organisational skills of his wife Krystal, who makes things happen when Cale’s off working the gas lines.
Shoehorned inside the Ultima bar is an Ox winch that’s best described as un-killable
We’ll kick things off at the logical starting point: the very front of the 4x4. There’s a growing trend among late-model 4x4 owners to work with the design of their vehicle rather than against it – form and function working together. With that mindset, Cale searched high and low for a bullbar that’d give him the protection needed for remote touring, without covering up the instantly recognisable styling of the 200.
He found it at the end of a lengthy import process, with an Ultima bar coming from Viper 4x4 in Venezuela. Shoehorned inside the bar is an Ox winch that’s best described as un-killable. Cale laughingly assured us he’s never found himself on the business end of it, but it’s seen countless use recovering others or dragging fallen trees off the tracks. An LED light bar from Rigid Industries keeps it company on the Cruiser’s front.
Down each side is a pair of Viper 4x4 heavy-duty sidesteps that provide easier entry and exit without trekking mud inside. Cale says they’re more than strong enough to protect the sills, having taken the Cruiser’s full weight more than a few times in their life.
Each piece complements the rest perfectly, and the result is a 4x4 that flat-out works. It’s a stylish tourer that can keep up with the best of them
In an unconventional move, the spare tyre still lives in the stock location. To keep the rear panel and quarter panels in one piece, a colour-coded Kaymar rear bar resides down back. The protection package is rounded out with a full set of TJM bash plates guarding the vital, and somewhat exposed, components underneath.
Cale has run Mickey Thompson MTZS for years, including on his rock-crawling-orientated GU IV Patrol that the 200 replaced. So it’s no surprise to see them shoehorned inside the LC200’S wheel arches. They measure in at a somewhat common 33 inches tall and 12.5 inches wide, but there’s an 18-inch hole inside to suit the black Monster XD alloy wheels.
To make room for the larger tyres, the 200 is sitting 50mm higher, thanks to a spring and shock package from Tough Dog. And, as with most things Cale does, it wasn’t a ‘throw it in and hope for the best’ sort of arrangement. Up front, the upper control arms have been replaced by Superior Engineering units that correct both camber and castor, with spherical bearings up top for increased articulation. The rear has copped a similar treatment, with a Superior Engineering Panhard rod re-aligning the rear axle in the centre, while heavy-duty Superior Engineering lower control arms replaced the weak factory offerings.
The exterior package is finished off with two very simple
Mickey Thompson MTZ tyres house 18-inch Monster XD alloy rims.
Heavy-duty Viper 4x4 sidesteps make ingress and egress easier.
Airtec snorkel and a custom airbox take the worry out of water crossings.
Tough Dog springs and shocks allow Cale’s 200 to sit 50mm higher.