A cus­tom job

Leisure Wheels (South Africa) - - NEWS - danie@leisurewheels.com

A Toy­ota Hilux 2.4GD-6 4×4 SRX re­cently landed up in our garage. We thought it a prac­ti­cal ve­hi­cle, nice and eco­nom­i­cal to drive, too. But not so ex­cit­ing.

We sug­gested to Toy­ota that we should make the 2.4GD-6 a bit more ex­cit­ing. They agreed. So we spoke to a man from an ex­haust com­pany. He fit­ted a 76mm ex­haust pipe, with no si­lencer.

A com­pany that sup­plies the Toy­ota Ga­zoo Rac­ing SA Dakar team with FIA-spec­i­fi­ca­tion rac­ing gear gave us rac­ing seats and a steer­ing wheel. We got some rac­ing-style wheels and mud ter­rain tyres. We also got some rock slid­ers and a new en­gine pro­tec­tion plate.

We fit­ted an ex­ter­nal by­pass sus­pen­sion sys­tem. That’s like a rally sus­pen­sion. Fi­nally, we added some GT stripes and de­tail styling up­dates. We called this fun, ex­cit­ing SRX the SRS. It was all in the name of fun, and see­ing how far we coul push the 2.4GD-6 en­ve­lope.

We then did, well, what we do: we took some pho­tos, got a na­tional crosscoun­try cham­pion to drive it, and wrote about it. And posted some pho­tos of it on In­sta­gram (be­cause ap­par­ently that’s the right thing to do).

We gave the SRS to other peo­ple to drive. They all seemed to like it. A lot. Some peo­ple started ask­ing about where they could get this wheel and that tyre. One by­stander asked if he could bring his Hilux to our of­fice for the same treat­ment.

We’ve been build­ing cus­tom 4×4s for many years now, but it’s al­ways just been about cre­at­ing in­ter­est­ing con­tent, and hav­ing some fun while we were at it. Like a boys-and-their-toys kind of sce­nario.

Now pic­ture a man with a light bulb above his head, light bulb blink­ing on, with the re­al­i­sa­tion: peo­ple may like a lim­ited-edi­tion SRS-style pack­age fit­ted on their own Hilux. We phoned a few sup­pli­ers. We sent some emails. We had some beer. We talked a bit.

And we came up with Leisure Wheels Cus­toms, a new divi­sion of the mag­a­zine, cre­ated in col­lab­o­ra­tion with our ac­ces­sory part­ners. We will kick it off with a new, lim­ited-edi­tion pack­age deal for Toy­ota Hilux Revo own­ers (Ford Ranger and Isuzu KB pack­ages will fol­low soon).

Clients get R10 000 off a stan­dard­ised ac­ces­sory up­grade for your bakkie. That’s right. R10k. Turn to page 103 for spe­cific de­tails.

Wel­come to Leisure Wheels Cus­toms. The Hilux is only the be­gin­ning. We are also work­ing on lim­ited-edi­tion up­grades on other ve­hi­cles, which will even­tu­ally in­clude crossovers. And a few more sur­prises.

We even got a new logo...

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