Selection and Design
Home Page Up One Level

 

 

Right from the start, this was an opportunity to have a lot of fun designing a unique vehicle from scratch. There are always trade-offs – size and space versus fuel consumption and manoeuvrability, weight versus strength, comforts and sophistication versus reliability and ease of maintenance, etc. However, from our previous trips and off road experience, Sandy and I had a pretty good idea of what we wanted.

In broad terms, we wanted a diesel Land Rover with six wheel drive (giving it a very high carrying capacity, while still having excellent off road ability), seating for two, plus two occasional passengers, and sleeping quarters for two.

We commissioned Foley Specialist Vehicles to undertake the construction work, as they have lots of experience in preparing off road vehicles, including armoured Land Rovers, 6x6 campers, etc. Equally importantly, Peter Foley was always willing to find a way to make our sometimes unusual requirements possible. So many other “experts” just wanted to sell us off-the-shelf solutions, and gave us dire, almost superstitious warning about what disasters would befall us if we did things the way we wanted to do them.

Here is a picture story of Nyathi's life...


She's naked here, waiting to be dressed.



A useful warning...



The very beginnings of the body building.



The rear diagonal strut was welded in temporarily to give her a bit of stability, while we did testing.



Looking down at the six-wheel drive unit on Axle #2- only the front section of chassis has floor-boards in at this stage. (The visible propshaft drives Axle #3).



The two 200 litre fuel tanks are in place and the first of the body panels are in place.



Here she is in Foley's workshop.  She is beginning to take shape.  The tent still has to be fitted and so much more besides.



The bench seat is fitted in the cabin.



A room with a view.  The compartment around the exterior will store clothes and we have a custom mattress being made, which folds in the middle to be taken out easily and has a zipped, washable cover.

 


There she is - shiny and new.  We replaced the awning with a Hannibal one, which we prefer.

 


The kitchen compartment was made to fit around our combination of boxes, to prevent as much rattle and movement as possible.

 


Just look at that rear!  Both kitchen tables fold up flat against the interior (a long time was spent developing a workable solution - particularly as the right hand table needed to be dropped down an extra 30cm to make it a comfortable working height).