Words by Paul Murrell, Practial Motoring
There was a time, not very long ago, when it seemed the only vehicles you saw beyond the city limits were Toyota LandCruisers and Nissan Patrols. For many years, they were the first choice of country dwellers, and the Outback rivalry between Nissan and Toyota was almost as strong as the tribalism of Ford vs. Holden in the cities and at Mt Panorama.
Little surprise, then, that the ARB team at Moorebank in NSW settled on a 1991 Nissan Patrol GQ as their ARB Off Road Icon project. The Y60 4.2-litre diesel long wheelbase came from Orange and is yet another one-owner vehicle. A cursory glance shows it’s in pretty good condition for its age; there’s a fairly hefty dent in the rear quarter panel and signs of 20-odd years of service, although there is no rust, and the old girl looks as if she was treated to a respray sometime in the past five years.
For their $10,500 purchase price, the ARB Moorebank team bought themselves a tough old beast, substantially complete, but with a small power steering leak and some seepage around the sump. The thermostat needed attention and the windscreen was well pockmarked with stone chips and a substantial crack.
It was generally original except for an aftermarket stereo (would it have drowned out that distinctive Nissan diesel thrum?), an AM/UHF radio and a Hayman Reese brake controller.
As for all the goodies bestowed upon the old girl, she was treated to quite an upgrade.
The GQ was subjected to some sympathetic modifications including an upgrade on the 4.2-litre diesel engine as well as a Safari turbo with intercooler and custom exhaust.
Other improvements included an ARB bull bar with side rails and steps, Kaymar rear bar with twin wheel swinger, Safari snorkel, Recaro seats, Redarc dual battery system with dual volt and EGT/boost gauges, GME UHF and aerial and quite a few more tasty bits and pieces (“too many to list” according to ARB Moorebank’s Lee Darcy).
Her appearance was enhanced with a return to the original-equipment and a very typical two-tone gunmetal grey, a popular choice when new.
There had been barely any issues with the Nissan, although the body damage in the rear quarter panel had proven a little difficult, being directly above the nearside tail light.
Lee Darcy made a point of acknowledging the assistance the team has received from suppliers including REDARC, Safari, GME, Recaro and Kaymar, with a special mention to everyone at ARB Moorebank.
Check out how the ARB Moorebank team transformed her!WATCH NOW