SOME things go hand in hand, like a pie and sauce, bacon and eggs or Bundy and Coke – both as bad as each other. In the world of 4x4 travels, that magical combination has to be Toyota Troop Carrier and outback adventure. I mean, is there a better vehicle for solo or two-up adventure touring in this big country?
The long-wheelbase twodoor Landcruiser wagons were introduced back in the early ’60s and, while they weren’t called Troop Carriers back then, they have been reliably transporting adventurous folks around Australia – and indeed the globe – ever since.
My earliest memory of 4x4 adventure was in an FJ45 Troopy back in the early ’80s when, on a family holiday, we ventured out on a day-trip tour along Rainbow Beach on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. I was only young, but that 11-seat mustard truck left an impression of the amazing places it took us to once we left the bitumen behind.
Now, more than 50 years since the early Troopies appeared, they are still available and are still the chosen vehicle for many travellers. The key to their popularity is their versatility.
With just two or three seats up front they are left with a long, tall cargo area that’s spacious enough to be configured into your perfect expedition camper.
Pull up and chat to a Troopy Traveller on the tracks and you’ll be amazed at what they pack in the back of their trucks. Everything – including the kitchen sink – plus the fridge, storage cabinets, fishing rods, surf boards and a bed. And that’s even without those who have the added space of a pop-top conversion for more headroom.
You won’t find a better source of Troopy information or a better selection of well kittedout Troopies than among the members of the Troop Carriers of Australia group on Facebook.
With around 3500 members at the time of writing, the TOA group is booming, and our own Troopy-owning Mark Allen joined 150 other members on their annual Winter Ramble this month. Check out the feature, as they look like an interesting group to tag along with.
While the TOA might be impressive as a group, one standout rig among its members is Billy Mckinnon’s Troopy, also featured in this issue – an immaculate FJ45 body riding on an 80-Series Cruiser chassis with a turbocharged V8 engine transplanted under the bonnet. Now that’s my kind of hybrid vehicle. Forget all that Prius crap, Mr Toyota!