4 x 4 Australia - - Custom 4x4 Of The Year 2017 - Justin Mon­te­salvo

PA­TRIOT Campers’ Justin Mon­te­salvo knows how to get your at­ten­tion. A raft of top-notch camper trail­ers – and then the Super Tourer 4x4 builds – has seen the hard­work­ing Queens­lan­der and his team gar­ner loads of re­spect in the four-wheel drive tour­ing world. And, as you can see with this off-road work-of-art, Pa­triot Campers ain’t slow­ing down. This 6x6 Land Cruiser 79 stole the re­cent Mel­bourne 4X4 Show. The build is epic and started with the team strip­ping out the back end of a brand-new LC79 ute and then ef­fec­tively cut­ting off the back end of it. The rea­son for this was the fit­ment of a com­plete JMACX 6x6 sys­tem to re­place the stan­dard rear axle/leaf spring setup. The JMACX re­place­ment en­tailed new rails mount­ing the coil spring sus­pen­sion and trail­ing arms, but with this ve­hi­cle ac­tu­ally us­ing height-ad­justable (up to 100mm), self-lev­el­ling Airbag Man airbags (in lieu of coils) and pro­to­type TJM re­mote reser­voir shocks. Both diffs are also JMACX job­bies; the rear keeps the fac­tory Toy­ota locker, the front is a Detroit soft-locker.

Justin was keen to go big­ger than the 35-inch tyres that the JMACX setup usu­ally fea­tures, by fit­ting 37-inch Mickey Thomp­son MTZS and +35 off­set ROH wheels, and then – just be­cause that wasn’t enough – he worked with Marks 4WD Adap­tors to fit a set of its por­tal hubs to each axle. These hubs give the Super Tourer an ad­di­tional 150mm un­der-diff clear­ance and – due to their gear re­duc­tion – help com­pen­sate for the larger rolling stock. It’s a lot of weight to carry around, but GSL Fabri­ca­tions came to the party and Justin gave them free rein to up the grunt from the TDV8.

The re­sult: Fit­ment of GSL’S 100% kit that, as you may guess, sig­ni­fies a 100 per cent in­crease in torque.

This LC79’S tray and canopy setup is a new Super Tourer

de­sign chock-full of stor­age; flip-up cov­ers on each side al­low ac­cess to the fridge/ freezer and the canopy also fea­tures slide-out draw­ers, as well as fuel filler cov­ers and space on the tray for two of those over­sized 37s.

On top of the canopy you’ll find a so­lar panel. There are more stor­age com­part­ments un­der the rear sills, plus a full­width slide-out drawer un­der the tray’s rear end.

Bar­work is cour­tesy of TJM, with the front bar in­clud­ing an in­te­grated TJM Torq 12,000lb winch. The in­te­rior is full leather, with the es­sen­tials (such as Hema HX-1 and UHF ra­dio) and the trim/colour match­ing per­fectly with the ex­te­rior and re­flect­ing the qual­ity of this en­tire build that goes above fac­tory-spec level in terms of fit and fin­ish – and de­sir­abil­ity.

This LC79 is more than enough proof that Pa­triot Campers doesn’t do things by halves.

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