MAGAZINE - The Things You See by Phil Bianchi in Western 4WDriver

Les the Perentie

Gaynor Schoeman, the lady who walked the CSR solo in 2013, is back for another adventure on the Canning. This time she is travelling in an ex-Australian Military vehicle. It's a tough as 1990 110 Land Rover Perentie with a 3.9 Isuzu diesel motor and 4 speed LT 95 gearbox. She has called it Les after Bush Tucker man Les Hiddens.

Purchased at auction Les came without frills of any kind. There is no key to start the engine, no door locks, no sound deadening or dust sealing; airconditioning is available by winding the windows down. A real adventurer, befitting his new owner, he has two large tow points front and rear so he could be pushed from an aeroplane or helicopter attached to a parachute, or for extraction from an area using a helicopter; not that there is much call for that kind of use anymore.

The Things You See by Phil Bianchi

There is a huge PTO winch out front that looks like it could extract an army tank. Being PTO driven it could run all day as long as the engine had fuel. Regular engine oil is used in the gear box / transfer case, what a great idea but obviously not feasible for today's hi-tech 4wds. The fuel cap and filler neck are so big they look like they came off a ship, no problems with fast fill large bowser nozzles here.

Inside there were brackets front and rear in the cargo area so two first aid stretchers could be carried. Gaynor realigned the brackets so they could be used as part of a camp stretcher, a much appreciated fitment for rainy and windy conditions. Also inside were gun racks that could securely hold two rifles, another attribute that has not much call in Les's new life. Another feature that's not of much use is a stealth mode where most of the lights can be switched off and those lights that are left on have covers above them so as to keep light immediately in front of the vehicle and to reduce risk of detection. Since being purchased by Gaynor, Les has had all kinds of new gear to dress him up from his former Spartan military clothing, a comprehensive roof top solar panel system with a dual battery and Victron mppt regulator, 1000 watt inverter, Koni Shocks, UHF radio, MaxTraks, Michelin tyres, water tank and 12 volt power sockets everywhere, Les must be really enjoying his new life as a tourist, he recently did a casual three month trip up the CSR and after a break will come back down again.

Western 4W Driver #96

The Things You See by Phil Bianchi


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