FIRST-TIMER, EDWIN TANG
ON A TRIP to a wrecking yard we met 24-year-old Edwin Tang, who was loading an ARB bullbar into the back of a 2000 V6-powered Holden Frontera. Edwin and his partner had decided a 4x4 was required to support their habits, so they created a wish list to keep them on budget. The rig had to be as cheap as possible; have reasonable mileage; have strong aftermarket support; reliable; only have issues they could fix or were confident in learning how to fix; a manual; and dual range. The Holden Frontera met their criteria. It was less than $5000, had less than 120,000km on the clock, had 4WD and dual range; and it had a manual gearbox. They made an offer of $2000 that was accepted.
With the relatively low mileage and no glaring mechanical faults, the Frontera definitely had potential. The couple took the rig for its maiden voyage to the Blue Mountains to get a feel for whether this new toy deserved the love and attention Edwin planned to lavish on it.
It was clear that some money needed to be spent to replace the balding tires and to deal with weary stock suspension. Via a Facebook forum, Edwin found a Frontera that was being privately wrecked, so the pair secured replacement panels, five 31x10.50 R15LT Dick Cepek tyres with rims, a two-inch lift kit (including the rear springs and shocks), and a snorkel – all for $1000.
When we met the duo at All Model 4x4 Spares, they had taken possession of their ‘new’ ARB bullbar for $600 (less than half the new price). Edwin told us he’d outlaid $3600 on the Frontera and its accessories – plus consumables – which was well under his original $5000 budget. The savings had allowed them to buy a brand new UHF radio, a tyre compressor and lighting upgrades for $600 – with coin to spare.
“For the price of much less than a pair of return overseas flights, it looks like we’ve obtained a capable and reliable vehicle for what we would like to use it for,” Edwin said. “The next thing to do is to take it out for more drives, understand what needs improving and getting to work on that.”