February 2012 Issue of 4×4 Magazine
Moose on the loose! Sounds a bit daft, until you realise just how dangerous this can be – something I was reminded of this month when reading the excellent expedition stories in this issue. The expert expedition guides we have writing for us this month give advice on a variety of different regions; from North African Saharan sand dunes, Australian bush, and North American deserts, all the way to the European Arctic. Different regions, maybe, but one thing they all have in common is the warning to look out for wild animals and the dangers that they can cause your 4×4 expedition, in some cases bringing it to an abrupt halt.
Beware of the moose was something I became aware of when driving through Canada’s wonderful province of Newfoundland. The cartoon Canadian road signs display a somewhat disgruntled moose, scowling at a particularly crumpled vehicle. What a hoot…. That is until you see other signs describing not just how many accidents there have been in the area that year, but how many fatalities. And that’s people, not moose.
Shion Scudamore – contributor
Another year is slipping by and the Bedford is still on the drive. Indeed, it’s been a few months since I have had much to report. Where does all the time go these days? The good news is that the welding on the cab has more or less been finished. However, the race against time to get the paint on the front half of the chassis and the cab is not looking good at the moment.
Once the old girl is roadworthy again, I can get her to a decent venue to complete the spraying but for now I am at the mercy of the Anglesey wind and rain – which is particularly viscious as this is being written – and matched with rapidly dropping temperatures.
Bob Cooke – contributor
Some sausages on a makeshift barbecue, a Kelly kettle and a Jeep. What more could anyone ask for? I’d had enough of beavering away in a stuffy office. It was wintry cold outside, and it looked as if it might be working up into a gale, but the thought of getting a breath of fresh air easily outweighed the prospect of catching up with a boring backlog of filing. I called Pete and found that he felt the same way, so pausing only to purchase a pack of Toulouse sausages from our local superstore, I aimed the Cherokee towards Buckinghamshire, the cruise control coming into its own on the long haul round the M25. I mention that because the cruise control still works, even if the air conditioning doesn’t, which is a pity – even in winter – because air con can be an effective means of demisting a clammy vehicle.
The heater fan is still capable of blowing hot air into the cab, so the only really annoying problem left is that the heater controls, along with the stereo and the digital clock, don’t illuminate at night, so I’ve had to learn to operate them Braille-fashion. Perversely, the gearshift indicator beside the gear lever has suddenly decided to illuminate again. Permanently.
Louise Limb – contributor
Don’t you think you ought to put it in four-wheel drive’ my husband suggested weakly, as we slewed around the moor top road in the gloom, an early fall of snow having settled upon earlier slush, the two layers of road gunge freezing fast as I picked my way along. ‘I am in four-wheel drive’, I snapped back, hoping quietly we’d make it gently through the downward sloping junction without hitting anyone. I’d forgotten about those pesky back tyres and the snow had caught me out.
Hils Everitt – Editor at Large
As you will have read in last month’s issue, we recently tagged along with the Mitsubishi L200 Owners’ Club for a day of off-roading in the picturesque surroundings of Hawkestone Park Follies in Shropshire.
The L200 OC holds its AGM over a weekend at a site that can offer good camping and plenty of 4×4 fun for its members who own a wide range of L200s. I thought that our squeaky clean and shiny new Warrior model would stick out like a sore thumb among the heavily modded, knarly old trucks, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. There were a couple of other youngsters there, one with a novice off-roader behind the wheel who thought his truck was ‘awesome’ off the road and had a ball, blasting his way around the site, tackling some extremely difficult hillclimbs.
Nigel Fryatt – editor
Well, it’s been my first full month owning this Toyota Hilux, and there’s no hesitation in saying that I’m lovin’ it! Over the years I have driven numerous pick-up trucks on test launches and off-road events, but it’s all very different when you live with one. In some of the narrow country lanes around Surrey, it pays to remember that it’s a big truck and certainly reverse parallel parking is something of a hoot. Reversing into spaces, small hatchbacks seem to disappear underneath the load bed at times, which has led to the driver having to jump out to check how much room is left and ensure that the little Peugeot that was there a minute ago, hasn’t been impaled on the tow hook! Despite its size, the Toyota is light and easy to handle and manoeuvre, it’s just necessary to use some caution.
The Range Rover Evoque has added more awards to its portfolio, taking the total to 53 since its recent launch in September.
Recent honours bestowed on the Evoque came from this very magazine, which proclaimed the Evoque its 4×4 of the Year, and this was swiftly followed by the Car of the Year title from the Czech Republic, and Best SUV from the Brazilian automotive news agency Auto Press, taking to 15 the number of different countries to recognise the smallest, lightest and most efficient Range Rover ever produced.
Evoque’s half-century tally includes notable titles such as Car of the Year in the UK AutoExpress New Car Honours, Scottish Car of the Year, US Motor Trend’s SUV of the Year, BBC Top Gear’s Car of the Year, Car and Driver Spain Car of the Year, the Design Trophy from l’Automobile in France and a host of honours from Chinese organisations and publications.