Monthly Archives: June 2012

augnewsauctionMembers from ALRC affiliated Land Rover clubs as far away as Germany reached deep into their pockets to support an evening auction for Race2Recovery, raising a total of £2700. Held during the ALRC National Rally at Belvoir over the Jubilee weekend, the auction featured, among other goodies such as the original 2012 National Rally artwork by Pete Wilford, the first of a limited edition of prints from her drawing of the R2R Wildcat Land Rovers (pictured) by 4×4 Magazine’s own contributor Louise Limb. The framed, signed print raised a whopping £260 for R2R but if you missed out, you can still buy one of the remaining 24 A3 sized giclee reproductions, signed and numbered, from Louise’s website for £50 including UK post and packing, with £10 from each sale going straight to Race2Recovery. Hurry before they all go and do your bit to help these amazing guys. www.louiselimb.com

augprodrangerAppropriate, given our test feature this month, to find a new range of hardtops are available for the 2012 Ford Ranger. It’s also understandable that these should come from Auto Styling and be from the Truckman range. There are two options, the luxury hardtop, The Grand, and commercial hardtop, the new Truckman AeroTop RS. Both have been specifically created to fit the new model Ranger and provide both refined design and robust manufacture. The Grand is certainly that, with central locking, heated rear screen, automatic interior light, tinted windows and 55kg capacity roof bars. Auto Styling have been providing Truckman tops for Rangers since 1999 and the new AeroTop RS has toughened, tinted rear glass, easy wipe clean interior (can be jet washed) it has an integral spoiler with high level brake light and is locked with a chrome push button lock (keyless remote locking is optional).

Over the coming months, Auto Styling Truckman will be launching a number of styles of new hardtops, tonneau covers and other accessories for the New Ford Ranger. These will be available from www.autostylinguk.co.uk

Screen shot 2012-04-05 at 15.17.51Robert Pepper

augstaffpepperHuman beings need a certain level of stress to perform at their best. If they find a situation too difficult, needing to process too much information too quickly, demanding a level of skill and concentration beyond their abilities then fatigue and distress is the result, leading to underperformance. On the other hand, a very easy task or boring that requires little focus means boredom and complacency, leading to mistakes and again underperformance. The answer is eustress, a stress level enough to keep the human interested, engaged and in the zone of best performance.

Driving on long, straight, bitumen roads in a D3 is for me, boring. The car needs little attention and there’s not much to do. It’s not exciting, and after a few hours I feel tired, in the same way you’d feel tired after doing nothing on an airliner for half a day. But dirt roads are different. These are a constant challenge, not a difficult one, but enough to put me into the eustress zone as there are frequent corners, changing surfaces, different cambers, rocks to avoid and much more. I once drove all day on dirt roads to Australia’s northernmost point with people unused to such conditions, and they couldn’t believe how fresh they felt after spending that amount of time in the car. It was because we were never bored.

August 2012 Issue of 4×4 Magazine

augcoverlgIt’s been a case of from the sublime to the ridiculous this month. One highlight was sitting on the top of an exposed Kent hillside, in a 4×4 ATV, sans windscreen, doors or roof, in freezing rain, wondering if we should cancel our group test. Thankfully, the weather god’s humour improved and we had an excellent day driving these amazing little 4x4s, in proper farming conditions, culminating in an extremely rapid blast in the Can Am Commander; unnecessary perhaps, but great for the soul and reminding you why you love the world of 4×4.

And that was a fact reinforced when I got a brief off-road drive in the amazing Unimog U500 SWB. You know it’s going to be an experience when you have to climb ‘up’ into something. At a cool £115,000 it had all the bells, whistles, horns and klaxons you could want, and many you hadn’t even thought about yet. Obviously 4×4, with portal axles, three diff-locks, magical hydraulic systems and a staggering 856lb ft of torque. It had a transmission system that had gears for road use, gears for ‘working’ and then it had low down in the basement crawler gears, all driven by a 6.3-litre turbo diesel engine. Oh, and while you were climbing, descending, pulling or pushing it has a stereo CD player and Bluetooth connectivity. And this was the ‘baby’ Unimog of the fleet. My sincere thanks go to Mercedes-Benz for letting me loose with this majestic 4×4 monster. A further request… Can I have another go, please?

Unimogs make a second appearance this month as we report on the Croatia Trophy and would you believe that competing with all the hi tech Land Rover, Toyota and bespoke rock-crawling buggies was a 1957 Unimog? And wait for it, the little beast is still using its original 55-year old engine! Actually, having now experienced the latest Unimog, we can indeed believe that. The one I drove has every chance of still going strong in 55 years time… whether there’s any diesel left in the world is another story.

Here’s hoping that you enjoy the issue. Give me a shout if you think we are missing something as we try to cover all the bases, from diminutive ATVs to outstanding Unimogs! Cheers.

Screen shot 2012-05-31 at 14.02.00Nigel Fryatt, Editor





To buy your copy of the latest issue of 4×4 Magazine click here

augprodbedAnyone with a pick-up will appreciate the need to keep various tools and equipment both dry and secure. Auto Styling has a great range of load bed tool boxes in the MAX Concorde range. The box itself is locked, and the whole thing can be secured into the load bed without the need for any drilling, when installed with a MAX bed liner. Ribbed rain channels keep the water from seeping into the tool chest, and the tough thermoformed polyethylene is also UV resistant so when the sun does come out (!) it won’t fade the box. To see the full range of these tool boxes, check out the company’s impressive website on: www.autostylinguk.co.uk

augprodbetterHalf doors are now available for Jeep Wranglers (2007-2012) from the guys at Rugged Ridge, and very cool they look too. Ideal for anyone with a competition Wrangler, you’ll lose some weight, but not protection. They are a simple bolt-on replacement and are compatible with factory mirrors. They come in a striking matt black, but could, of course, be painted to suit. Rugged Ridge produce some quality Jeep accessories and you can obtain these by going to:

augprodpodlThis new fibreglass light pod from Qt Services, produced in association with Longranger 4×4, has no less than seven Halogen spots. The new C7 pod, fits all Defenders with a Puma option available and is suitable for trucks with air conditioning and it clears nudge bars. A purpose made wiring loom is also available, which is then double switched to the battery. You have the option to run the four outer spots, middle three or all seven – and presumably can also create quite an effective light show! The pod is priced at £257 (plus VAT) and the wiring loom is £67 (plus VAT). Call Qt on 01752 696353 or check out: www.qtservices.co.uk

julynewsjesseFirst seen at the Festival of Speed in 2009, American cult TV star Jesse G James is back in the UK this year with his Baja desert racing truck. This ‘larger than life’ television personality will be back at the Festival again, where he will apparently be ‘hooning around throughout the spectacular Goodwood Park landscape’. James is famous for his US TV shows, including Monster Garage and Motorcycle Mania in which he rampages across deserts and through houses. There is also the show called Jesse James is a dead man (!) where he achieved a world record speed of 199.7mph driving across El Mirage dry lake in a hydrogen-powered vehicle. The sedate English surroundings of Goodwood Park will be something of a contrast. If you want to see some of his exploits, they can be found on You Tube, or go along to the Festival of Speed (29 June – 1 July) to see him in real life action.

knebworthThe Knebworth Festival of Transport takes place this Sunday, on Father’s Day. For this year classic bikes, Minis and VW’s have been put into the mix not to mention the 40 Custom Cars and Hot Rods that will be attending with the A602ers.

Expect around 500 vehicles to be on display with club displays from the Capri MK1 Register, Ford Mondeo OC, Abbey Mini OC, Mustang Drivers Club, Herts and Essex American Car Club to name just a few. The Mini and VW show area will give you the chance to see some cherished and customised examples from these two iconic brands.

In the private entry area all the great manufacturers will be represented with Austins, Wolseleys and Rileys making up the pre 60’s sections, Morris, Fords, Mercedes, Jaguar etc will make up the later sections with an array of stunning sports cars displaying in the sports and convertible section. You can also expect an excellent display of classic motorcycles which will include BSAs, Nortons and Triumphs of the British era to Honda and Kawasaki of the Japanese era.

julyprodfreezerThe Weekender fridge comes in either aluminium or stainless steel exterior. It has a separate freezer compartment with an overall volume of 50-litre (40-litres fridge, 10-litre freezer). It comes complete with internal lid, high strength carry handles, lockable latch, internal light, and digital thermostat battery monitor. The weight of the aluminium freezer is 23.6kgs, while the stainless steel version is 26.2kgs. The National Luna Weekender Fridge is priced at £949.56.