40 Years of Australian Adventures With ARB

    Crossing 1,000 Dunes in Old 4x4s for ARB’s Birthday

    Fred WilliamsPhotographer, WriterARB-OffroadImagesPhotographer

    ARB just turned 40 years old and threw itself an impressive birthday party. Actually it was more of a road trip than a party. The plan was flawless: Round up four iconic 4x4s that ARB has been offering upgraded parts for over the years and head out on an adventure across the Australian Outback. It was guaranteed to be a trip to remember, and we leapt at the chance to tag along.

    The four 4x4s included a 1976 FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser, a 1990 Nissan Patrol, a 1994 Toyota Hilux, and a 1995 Land Rover Defender (Apr. 2017). Since old trucks can be a bit quirky on long adventures, ARB brought another four newer trucks for support and camera crew; they were a Ford Ranger, a Mazda BT50, a 79 Series Land Cruiser, and a new Toyota Hilux. In total, eight cool Australian rigs were outfitted with an abundance of ARB components as well as camping gear and food. Simply put, it was a great adventure.

    The group started in Alice Springs with 11 days to get to Broken Hill—a mere 1,500 miles away. And though we were crossing the desert, it would become a wet mud fest because the area had seen more rain than usual, causing dirt tracks to be closed and main roads shut down to protect against severe rutting after the mud dries. The adventure would have no shortage of challenges, both terrain and mechanical, as nearly every vehicle would suffer and overcome gremlins, but there would also be awesome scenery and outstanding campsites along the way to outweigh any struggles.

    In the end our group of ARB staff and journalist from around the world would come home with the trip of a lifetime. Even when things didn’t go as planned, the spirit of adventure pushed everyone onto a new more interesting plan. With a few upgrades and a group of good friends you can take just about any old 4x4 on a wild overlanding trip and have a great time.