Thursday, June 7, 2018

Joost Marijke Toyota Hilux (Part 2)

For special purposes, the car was converted by equipping it with an expedition cabin ExKab 4S of German production. In fact, it is an armored capsule size 3100 by 1815 mm, with a portable power supply and all the essentials for living in the most extreme conditions.

Among the exterior changes is the front bumper, which was equipped with special metal construction with bull bars and built-in ARB winch. The car also received additional safari snorkel and special BFGoodrich all-Terrain T/a tires size LT 235/85R16 120/116S. The chassis design has additional protection of the fuel tank, as well as insulation of the front row of seats from rear passengers.

Throughout the journey, the car had no serious damage and was serviced according to factory regulations. In Armenia, there was a need to visit the official dealer, where, during a regular inspection of the technical condition, some minor defects were found. As a result of intensive operation, one of the ball bearings in the front suspension failed.

The defect was quickly corrected. The specialists also carried out lubrication of all aggregates and units of the chassis. The next day, in a fighting condition, the Hilux went on with travel across Armenia.

We were glad to meet the wonderful Dutch couple and wish them lots of new and interesting adventures.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Joost Marijke Toyota Hilux (Part 1)

This car can be seen on the road completely randomly. Usually, such instances dwell far beyond the urban jungle.

At a single glance, it becomes clear, what this car is created for: endless travel, off-road adventures, outdoor activities, etc. Built on the basis of Toyota Hilux, this camper is unique in its design and designation. Jost and Marijke (Joost and Marijke), a wonderful couple from the Netherlands, have been using this car in different parts of our planet.

For those interested, there is a special blog where they record their travels and impressions of the places they visit. We had a wonderful opportunity to get acquainted with this couple and their car in Armenia, during another trip called Iran Overland 2016, which started in April 2016. After visiting Iran, Jost and Marike found themselves in Armenia in mid-may. Until then, they had already visited South and North Africa, South America and some European countries by this car. Toyota Hilux is the car, thanks to which they fulfill all their wonderful travels.

The car was produced in 2012 (model KUN26L-PRASYW) for the European market and is equipped with a 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine 1KD-FTV aggregated with a 5-speed automatic transmission. Initially, it was a pickup truck with a cabin in the configuration of double-cab.
To be continued...

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

About Toyota Land Cruiser 200 (Part 2)

Among other design features it is worth noting the non-standard arrangement of additional passenger seats. The car has two rows of standard seats and additional two 2-seater folding seats, located opposite each other in the luggage compartment. In the standard version, the ground clearance of LC200 is 225 mm.

By replacing the original tyres and 245/75 R17-size steel stamped wheels with Mickey Thompson BAJA ATZ Radial Plus-SIZE lt285/70 R17-size off-road tyres, they increased the clearance of the vehicle by 31 mm, which positively affected both the handling of the car in off-road conditions and the suspension behavior in normal road conditions.

The exterior of this car is also in its way unique and has some differences from the standard, more richly equipped and widespread versions. On the rear pillars of the body you can see a signboard "60th Anniversary", which indicates the fact that the car was released in the anniversary year 2011 for Land Cruiser. This car is devoid of chrome exterior elements. The moldings around the side windows, exterior mirrors and door handles are glossy black. The one on the rear door and the edging of the radiator grille are painted in the body color.

The front of the car is equipped with an electric winch, the auxiliary function of which does not need a detailed description, in my opinion. Like all Land Cruiser 200s, this car also has a common design basis, which includes permanent four-wheel drive, a transfer box and rear axle with manual differential lock.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

About Toyota Land Cruiser 200 (Part 1)

Today I would like to share my impressions of the meeting and driving a unique SUV, to be more precise, I am about the legendary Land Cruiser Station Wagon produced by the no less legendary Japanese manufacturer Toyota.

The offroaders of this model have proven themselves so well in all markets of the world, that I will refrain from expanding upon their versatility and outstanding off-road characteristics. Now, let's focus on one of the many versions of this model with the body number VDJ200 and model code VDJ200L-GPMNZV. This special model has been in production, in very few batches, since September 2007. So what are the differences of this car from other Land Cruisers? Let's start with the engine compartment. This car is equipped with a 4.5-liter V8 1VD-FTV twin-turbo diesel engine and an intercooler, which produces 235 HP. This engine is coupled to a 5-speed manual transmission, which is rareness for such cars.

Thanks to this monumental couple, this heavy vehicle, which weighs 2.6 tones, easily accelerates from 0 to 100km/h just in 8.6 seconds. Specially for this model, the Toyota engineers designed a two-section fuel tank with a capacity of 93+45 liters. Thus, with an average fuel consumption of 10.2L/100km, this off-road vehicle has a travelling range of over 1300 kilometers, which undoubtedly increases its potential in extreme conditions.
To be continued…

Sunday, January 28, 2018

The 1934 Auto Rally “Yerevan-Gorky-Yerevan” (Part 2)

Over 150 people, among whom there were representatives of various professions, came to welcome the convoy in the district of Kanaker. According to comrade Smolin’s statement, the cars crossed the distance of around 3283 kilometers without a single failure. Smolin also noted the comparatively good condition of the roads in Armenia and the complete absence of any traffic signs on those roads. Already on 26 January, the local press reported on the departure of the convoy consisting of one Ford A Standart Phaeton and its two soviet copies GAZ-A from Yerevan.

The participants of the rally had yet to visit the cities of Haghpat, Ashtarak, Amamlu, Leninakan, Xsldoc, Akhalkalaki, Batum, Samtredi, Zugdidi, Ochamchire, Sukhumi, Novorossiysk, Krasnodar, Rostov, Kharkov, Moscow, Gorky, which was about 3500 kilometers. In the photo is depicted the main driver of the rally and head Smolin. Among Similar motor races, the most interesting is the one that took place in 1967. Its distinguishing feature was that it involved only vintage cars. The rally started in Paris, after which it had to go to Moscow, Ankara and return again to Paris. As you might guess, the rout from Moscow to Ankara laid through Yerevan, where the cars stopped for a few days. Four French journalists, Klein, Violette, Lombard and Remy travelled an enormous distance on a 1907 Renault and 1910 Delaunay-Belleville shocking the locals with the excellent condition of the cars. In modern Armenia, the appearance of representatives of the international car competitions is no longer a rareness.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The 1934 Auto Rally “Yerevan-Gorky-Yerevan” (Part 1)

It is well known that after its invention, the car did not immediately gained widespread acceptance among the population. For boosting the popularity of vehicles at the down of the automotive industry, various competitions and races were organized, in order to show all the possibilities and advantages of the self-propelled carriages. Horse-drawn carriages, however, refused to back down on their positions for a long time, particularly in backward countries, among which was undoubtedly Armenia. Until the 1920’s, the number of cars in Yerevan could be counted on the fingers of two hands. As for busses for intracity travel, they did not exist at all.

For the popularization of motor transport in the USSR, it was decided to organize campaign rallies. There must have been dozens of such rallies in the history of Armenia, but, unfortunately, we have information only on few of them. One of them, for example, took place in 1934. The data about it is thoroughly presented in the local press, more precisely, in The Yerevan Worker (No. 61 of 17 July 1934). The race Yerevan-Gorky-Yerevan started on 6 July and had a total distance of 6500 kilometers. The route laid through the cities of Moscow, Tbilisi, Yerevan, Batumi, Novorossiysk and Gorky. The event was organized by the Gorky Proletarian Sports Society "Dynamo". The convoy was comprised of 3 vehicles: 1 Ford and 2 cars of the Gorky automobile plant production. During the race, the organizers tried to find out how durable, compared with the American counterpart, the latters were. Further, from the same press, we learnt that the rally participants arrived in Yerevan on 22 July at 18:00 local time.
To be continued…

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

GAZ-21 Volga (Part 2)

This year alone, the world saw two amazing Volgas, and imagine our surprise, when we accidently, with an interval of a few months, revealed that both of the vehicles were the fruits of creativity of Avetis Martirosyan, a wonderful and modest car restorer.

He devoted all his life exclusively to the craft of restoration of one single model, the GAZ-21. Born in a poor family, which couldn’t afford their own car, master Martirosyan could only dream of a Volga when a child. After receiving a technical education, he became a humble master with unlimited possibilities. Plenty of Volgas from his workshop are currently travelling the world. Two of his most recent works are particularly striking with their impeccable execution and historical thoroughness.

The turquoise GAZ-21R precisely parallels the exterior of this model completely matching the body hue. The restoration of this exemplar lasted over a year—the results could be seen already in the beginning of this year. Avetis Martirosyan is preparing another bomb, the export version of the GAZ-21, which is likely to be ready by this summer. In Soviet times, only the most technically sophisticated products of highest quality were allowed to be considered as exportable. That is why the export version has so many chrome-plated details and extra moldings. The restoration of this exemplar released in 1968 is simply perfect.

There are only a few historical inconsistencies, among which are the additional brake vacuum taken from the later model GAZ-24, modern relay voltage regulator and, of course, the color—a civil Volga would never have been painted black! Otherwise, it’s a unique vehicle in perfect condition with mileage of 17.000 kilometers. Let’s wish the master new works and deserved buyers.