Having scoured the internet for a month searching for a new-to-me 4x4 that made me feel all fuzzy inside, without success, I began losing the will to live. I arrived at the conclusion that I might be better of searching for a set of hens teeth.
My quest was simple enough, to find a 4x4 that could handle the rough stuff and still be comfortable for long, interminable motorway excursions. This discounted the rafts of new SUV’s that are flooding the market at the moment, for example, the latest Kia Sportage is a cracking 4x4 but wouldn’t cope with my local boulder strewn green lane or P&P sites.
Being a huge Land Rover fan, my initial search began with Discovery 2’s, but their prices were out of my budget, especially for the facelift model. Although plentiful, they have a reputation for having a chocolate chassis.
P38’s and even L322 Range Rover’s were considered too, but brilliant as they are, when I began asking questions on their forums about driving up to 400 miles week the response from owners was that they were a ‘labour of love’ and kept them busy with ongoing repairs! Yeah, not what I wanted to hear.
My father-in-law always tells me never to buy the best house in the worst street, instead buy the worst house in the best street, which is sound advice if I’m buying a house, but I’m not. However, if I translate that to my quest for a 4x4, it could mean that I should stop looking at £5,000 L322 Range Rover’s and D3’s, and consider a well looked after and more expensive older and simpler 4x4.
Anyway, cutting a long and boring story fairly short, I posted a thread on the UK’s Toyota Hilux Surf forum http://www.hiluxsurf.co.uk bemoaning the fact there was hardly any Surfs for sale anymore. It didn’t take long for a forum member to link another selling type website that had listed a rather tasty 3rd Generation Surf that was only an hour away. That fuzzy feeling had returned.
I arranged for Muddy Madam and I to have a look and not only was the Surf genuine, but more importantly for me, so was Paul, it’s current custodian. He insisted on showing me its service records and discussed at length what he’d done to it over the 2 years. I was smitten, but more importantly, so was the ever doubtful Mrs Muddy. So we bought it, and I’m once again a Toyota Surf owner.