Welcome to wheels, Nancy. It is quite rare to find a lady who not only enjoys off-roading but is also extremely talented at it too! Tell us what attracted you to it?
Thanks for featuring me in the magazine! Well, I sell safari packages and events in the desert but never actually did any myself until I eventually went with a friend of mine and really enjoyed it. Two weeks later I bought a 2010 Jeep JK Islander with a manual gearbox and started venturing off-road at least five times a week — sometimes with friends and sometimes alone — to get more off-roading experience.
Hailing from Germany where we have lots of amazing natural beauty, I have always been a fan of the great outdoors, but the desert is something else totally. I have always been fascinated by it and now I love driving off the beaten track any chance I get.
It is ever so thrilling to hit the dunes — literally!
And your rugged Land Cruiser 71 is your ideal companion…
It sure is; my trusty Toyota ensures I never stop having fun out there.
I saw the pick-up variant quite often on the road and then the hard top in the desert performing ever so well. I was a Jeeper before (I have owned two Wrangler JK’s) but I was attracted to the LC71 the moment I first saw it and even though I was tempted by the Nissan Patrol Y60 I decided to buy the Toyota and am ever so glad that I did.
I love the box shape and also love the fact that you don’t see that many around but most of all, it is just too much fun to drive!
It has a 4.0-litre V6 which makes around 230 horsepower mated to a five-speed manual. With 4WD and my lead foot, it is almost unstoppable.
These are basically indestructible — but does it give you any problems?
No trouble as such but the AC is not great and I wouldn’t mind the 4.5-litre engine! However, I love the simplicity of it; there aren’t too many buttons and functions, it is very down to earth and very easy to work on — I guess, as I haven’t had any issues yet! In most new cars, the dashboard lights up like a Christmas tree with the slightest of problem! The 70 Series is very basic and I love it.
I bet you turn a few heads with this…
You can say that again! Most people don’t believe it is mine — they expect a guy to step out of it but when they see me and the manual gearbox, their shocked expressions are priceless!
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Has it been customized?
I generally prefer to keep my cars in stock condition but if I feel I need more power then I start customizing and modifying them. I have added front and rear differential breathers and it has rear spacers to help maintain stability on turns because it had quite a narrow track at the back.
I do plan to change to a short front bumper and maybe add a Radflo suspension but to be honest, I like to keep it as original as possible. It sure gets a lot of attention and I have been asked a few times if I am selling. My friends often wonder why I bought a car at this price that doesn’t have much in terms of comfort or options — but they just don’t understand!
We do — it’s really cool! Where are your favourite off-roading locations?
Obviously Liwa is the perfect playground but sometimes Badayer is just enough for a quick blast. Al Owaid, Al Faqa, Sweihan and Al Faya are pretty good too.
I prefer areas without any bushes — we have destroyed a lot of the natural landscape already so there’s no need for me to destroy the little bit of vegetation left out there!
That’s a good point! Ok, take us back to how your passion for motoring began...
My initial passion for cars started when I was a toddler; dad would sit me on his lap and let me hold the steering wheel and it progressed from there.
My first car was Renault Clio and since it was always breaking down and overheating, I soon learned to appreciate the mechanical aspects of cars rather than just their exotic shapes! Who cares about the looks — the heart is what counts most!
What other interesting cars do you own or have you owned in the past?
I currently also have a Ford F150 and owned a Honda Jazz and Toyota Echo.
Back home in Germany, I drove several cars including a BMW 3 Series and a Smart, and although they’re really popular I never wanted a Golf as they’re the easiest to break in to!
Finally, what’s your dream car?
It’s more of a list; a Mercedes-Benz G500, Mini Cooper, Suzuki Jimny, Nissan Patrol Y60 VTEC (and Patrol VTEC pick-up), Audi TT, BMW Z3, Porsche 911 Cabrio, Jeep TJ, GMC Sierra, a bunch of classics and maybe a Toyota Previa or something similar for family trips!
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