By Pat Callinan 5 Min Read

God bless the rabbit hole that is Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace and eBay. Here, you will find a collection of some of the finest (weirdest!) backyard builds known to mankind. Here is some of the latest crop worthy of an Unsealed 4X4 mention.


VN COMMODORE 4X4 – $6,000


Just six grand will land you a 4X4 that would have had comfortably $40K spent on the conversion. A 5.0 litre V8 powers this ranga-capped Holden, but it actually sits on a HiLux chassis (because leaf springs are rad, okay?!). And while it’s unregistered, it was actually engineered in NSW many moons ago, so you have half a chance of registering it again (unless of course you live in Queensland).




If a picture tells a thousand words, then I’ll just leave this here….

But you might like to know that this is based on a forward control Land Rover 101, and was one of 30 ‘City Cabs’ which were used in the Judge Dredd movie. Apparently only six are left.

The bad news is that you’re unlikely to ever get it registered, owing to the mega custom body. Personally, I reckon if you can ride a motorbike on our roads and subject yourself to that risk, why not a weird and wonderful custom 4X4? Freakin nanny state…



VW THING – $39,500

Any vehicle named ‘Thing’ gets the tick of approval in my books. But when that vehicle is a mint right hand drive 1978 military Thing, then it’s a lay down misère. And while it’s not actually a 4X4, it has all of the attributes of a dune buggy, being lightweight, high clearance (280mm!) and rear-engined. And with 0-60mph times at 23.2 seconds, you’ll be able to eat your entire Wiener schnitzel before you hit the highway speed limit.


It has also been converted to 12 volt, and sports Recaro seats, so you have your next desert touring vehicle right there. Then you can finally get that bumper sticker made up that says: “I did the Simpson in a two-wheel drive”.









GMC CCKW 6X6 $24,000

When 4X4 isn’t enough, and you want to get all WWII, you’ll not just want, but you’ll need this vehicle. It’s a GMC CCKW 6X6 (catchy name, I know). It weighs 4-tonne (empty), but when you’ve got a OHV 4.4-litre petrol engine banging out a thumping big 68 kilowatts…okay, somebody say traffic jam?

But this rig is in great nick, and at those slower speeds, you can soak up the scenery from on high. She’s battle hardened too, having done a run from Perth to Alice and back.


6WD HILUX – $85,000

Somebody say custom canopy and extended touring vehicle? This bare bones 6WD conversion is all government approved and ready to roll. You just need to blow another $50K fitting her out with wheels, tyres, lift and a custom camper on the back. Not quite sure why a breathless HiLux 2.8 is the donor vehicle, but hey, slap a ‘Yota badge on stuff and people seem to dig it. V6 Rok? Colorado with 500NM? But a 79 Series conversion, and now we’re looking at something more sensible.


6X4 CRUISER – $60,000

Okay, so it’s not a 6X6, but a 6×4, but is that more or less capable than a 4X4? I’m not too sure, but it could sure as heck carry more stuff. And with a mere 110,000 clicks on the clock, this rig will be sold before you can say ‘bad turning circle!’.

But it’s a quality mod done by Creative Conversions, who pretty-much modified Jesus’ 6X6, so you’re all good there.


LANDIE ON 36s $8,000 ono

Yes it’s from 1963. Yes it’s unregistered. But just think of the possibilities of a fresh paint job and an engineer’s certificate… You’ll be the coolest cat in the carpark. Just don’t expect to be welcomed at the latest Land Rover club gathering, when they sneer at your non-genuine rims and rubber. But you can sneer right back, knowing that your coil-converted Rover rides better than their lackluster leaf springs. Go forth and give this sad-faced puppy a new home.

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