With 260 litres of diesel in the tank, Luke Oldfield’s chopped GU Patrol dual cab is an escape artists dream.
Tough enough for any track but with creature comforts to match a studio apartment, Luke has built his Patrol so he can leave the world behind for months at a time.
His first car, a Holden one tonner, didn’t hang around for long. With a budding interest in off-roading, the low-slung hauler was passed in for something a bit taller. Luke and his old man set about restoring a HiLux that would give him a first taste of the rough stuff.
As he progressed through his diesel mechanic apprenticeship, he fell in with a gang of mates with a similar idea about how to spend weekends.
It was around this time Luke was struck with a question every four-wheel-driver has to reply to at same point; Are you a Toyota man, or are you a Nissan man?
The short wheelbase Patrol that arrived shortly in the Oldfield family driveway was his answer.
“I found the light,” says Luke. “At the end of the day it’s an obvious choice. You’ve got to go with the Nissan.”
The shorty GQ helped him hone his craft, flexing and rooster tailing through local hot spots, but a taste for extending the weekend fun began setting in.
Spotting a stock 1999 GU Patrol wagon on Facebook with a blown head, Luke pounced. It was time to get out and see what Australia had to offer.
The brief – a tourer that could disappear into the bush for months at a time, without losing the ability to charge hard when wheeling with mates.
The car barely made it into the garage before the standard 2.8 litre diesel motor was on the floor and a 4.2 litre TD series donk was wedged in its place.
With a big turbo fitted, four inches of lift added and 35 inches of chunky tyre ready to sling mud over the custom barwork, touring time had arrived.
Suffering some damage to the rear quarter in a Yawal adventure gone slightly wrong the decision was made to break out the angle grinder, and convert the wagon to a dual cab ute, fast.
“I rebuilt the car in a two and half month period. A fresh engine and the duel cab conversion,” says Luke.
“We chopped the cab and installed a factory ute wall , then redid the barwork on the back around the aluminum box and set it up as a tourer.”
Luke didn’t build the car to mall crawl. He hit the road as soon as it was done, starting out the big lap with a group of mates. Touring through Cape Yorke, Fraser Island, LandCruiser Park and the Kimberleys, Luke’s squad had to hit the road after reaching Broome.
Luke pushed on alone. With the GU Dual Cab he toured the west coast, soaking up the national parks and great expanses. For three glorious months he roamed the trails and enjoyed his own pace.
“The plan was no plans… I met some really nice people over there… I even taught a couple of backpackers how to fish and in return they taught me how to kite surf,” he says.
His favourite modification, the sun deck, allows him to perch on top of the car and survey the epic landscapes that he has conquered.
Hitting the Nullarbor and heading home to Sydney, the adventures are from over for for the Patrol.
“The next trip will be the Simpson desert, and hit up Birdsville pub for a schooner.”
Have one for us too, Luke.
UFI 18g billet
UFI 11mm hot pump
Top mount intercooler
Rebuilt 4.3 genuine gears
Series 1 ARB air lockers F&R
Hybrid super flex arms
Drop out cones and clamps
Comp spec steering arms
Sway bar extensions
Duel cab chopped using genuine GU Patrol ute rear wall
Relocated seat belts
Series 3 lights
Stainless steel snorkel
Slimline roof age
Ford XR6 front seats
Series 3 rear seats & door cards
Outback roof console
2 x UHF radios
Dvd player and system
Bullbar and sliders made by Kinselas Kustoms
Oldfield Performance custom cab and canopy protection bars
Engel fridge one freezer
AGM 120amp batteries
CTEK power set up
Switch and power board
MSA fridge drop slide
Travel Buddy oven
60L water tank
315x75x16 mud terrain tyres
16×8 -23 Dynamic D black rims
33″ Light bar
DOUBLE row rock lights
REar camp lights
Custom rear right board
Fast fit rooftop
Sundeck on back