Peter Jacques: London to Cape Town
In mid 2007 I began to look seriously at a 2 year overland trip around Africa. I had met Julian the previous year when trying to decide upon which marquee, Toyota or Landrover. As a result of that meeting and my total lack of mechanical and engineering I decided upon Toyota.
In the late summer of 2007, I bought a Series 80 Land Cruiser on the back streets of Birmingham; the truck was probably clocked and was in need of a thorough overhaul. Julian took on the task of rebuilding the drive train, replacing worn components and in effect creating an overland vehicle from the ground up. Throughout this process he was only too happy to allow me to watch, help and learn; he was patient and considerate and a great tutor. Over this period I got to know Julian well and saw at first hand his dedication to his work, his encyclopaedic knowledge of all things Land Cruiser and his awesome mechanical and engineering skills; he was throughout careful to involve me in the decision making loop and as an inveterate researcher and lateral thinker, a man who provided solutions not problems.
Perhaps the finest and empirically based testimony to his skills is the fact that this novice overlander, with few if any mechanical skills, took the Land Cruiser Julian had prepared from London to Cape Town; a trip of just under 23,000 miles down the western side of Africa, through some of the toughest terrain in the world over a period of 9 months and the only problem we had with the truck was one slow puncture.
I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending, without qualification, Julian and Overland Cruisers to anyone needing work done on their Land Cruiser and, in particular, anyone needing to prepare a Land Cruiser for overlanding.