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Car memories on Oerol. Part two. The Land Cruiser plea

Car memories on Oerol. Part two. The Land Cruiser plea
ER Classics Desktop 2022


After three years, it's that time again. The Oerol festival on Terschelling returns. I am a regular visitor to Oerol, which has a lot to offer for everyone. You can go to performances, but you can also use Oerol to immerse yourself in a casual atmosphere of vacation and celebrating a nice party, everywhere on the island. It is a little less obvious to make car memories during Oerol. Nevertheless, a number of memories have been an extra icing on the delicious Oerol cake. On June 16 I will return to Terschelling with my friends. And in the run-up to that, I'd like to share some beautiful car memories with you.


It is June 2013, when I go to Terschelling with two friends with the VW Westfalia (T3). For me a visit to Oerol is already a few years ago, now it's that time again. We settle in, and that is traditionally the prelude to a few beautiful and completely carefree days.


Our spot is not far from the main entrance, so we get a lot of activity on the beautiful and large campsite. The camper is built. We settle into comfortable camping chairs, grab a beer and pull out a good bag of chips. We have a good view of the parking lot of the owner of the campsite, where a Land Rover Defender and a young Toyota Land Cruiser are standing side by side. Although I don't want to constantly treat my friends to car talk, I can't resist now. I am a Toyota fan and give it a try. “Look. I love Land Rovers. But what's next to it is better. For an LC, the real work only starts in places where even a Land Rover can no longer go on.”


Bingo. The boys bite, ask first what an LC is and try to measure me afterwards. What I have with it, because I drive Opel. And Toyotas? They are boring, they stand for imitation and interchangeability. A Land Rover has much more charisma. And you see them much more often. Isn't that for nothing? The taunts are good for another LC plea on my part, which I don't even need to put too much pressure on. As an introduction, I will tell you that Land Cruiser history already started when the Japanese army discovered a Bantam in the Philippines. That was in 1941, and not much later the Japanese authorities asked Toyota to also build such a car. Those were the first steps towards the Land Cruiser, which came later than the Land Rover. But the history of the LC in turn goes back further than that of the British opponent.

I'll put things in order. And I point out to the gentlemen the year 1974, when Land Rover was defeated by Toyota in America and left there with a loud drum. And on Australia, where the Land Cruiser effortlessly took over from the Land Rover by wiping out the British market share. I also point out to them the TV images from the Middle East, South America and Africa. The more inhospitable it gets, the more Land Cruisers you see. †Or would all those operational organizations have chosen the Toyotas by chance? Oh no? That's not for nothing guys."


What I don't tell the guys is that I love the Defender and its predecessors too. Moreover, in the very last Defender you can still see the basic concept of the original version from the forties. That is telling, then the concept has been very good. And you also came with that lidded British evergreen an end† But still: the LC is more highly regarded by me. Because Defenders and their predecessors are also cherished because of their hip imperfections, which partly determine the cult character of the Land Rover. But hip imperfections are of little use in the desert, the Middle East and the Andes mountains.


I decide to put the car topic to rest. We have fun, open a few more beers and then have a few great days on Terschelling. Those are the days you don't want to end. One of those trips that can't take you long enough. But the goodbye is inevitable. We pack the camper and are ready for a quiet departure to the boat. But the normally always reliable VW doesn't give a shit, he's as dead as a doornail. A leakage current from one of the two batteries and a probably slightly too heavy use of the electrical circuit mean an undesirable delay in departure. Staying on the island is an attractive idea, but not in this situation.


The campsite owner offers solace, and does not hesitate to direct his car to the camper. He goes to help the VW camper with his Land Cruiser 200, and he says that he often has such chores. “I sometimes pull a Land Rover out of the sand, with the Land Cruiser. That car is very strong.” I decide not to say anything for a while. There is some unrest due to the approaching departure of the boat, time is ticking. No jokes now. But after the assistance of the camping owner and us, the 1.6 boxer engine of the VW starts. And then I can't resist pointing to the logo on the grille of the Toyota. Without saying anything. Without taking my eyes off my comrades. My triumphant look says it all. And my revenge is sweet.

3 Comments

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  1. In the mid-70s, the defense looked for a replacement for the Nekaf. There were three candidates: some AMC product, a Landrover and a Landcruiser. The Landrover turned out to be the easiest 'piece' to drive, especially breaking wheel axles. The American did considerably better, but the echelon of 'test drivers' with the assignment to drive each product across the border, turned out to be very pleased with the relatively better comfort that the Toyota offered during these antics. And not even a proverbial lamp broke on the Japanese vehicle. The Toyota was clearly the winner, with the Laro by far last. The fact that the Defense organization went on the (paved) road in significant numbers with the Rover product had everything to do with politics, with the excuse that the parts supply of the other two brands would run over too long lines. That argument turned out to have a practical interpretation.

  2. I love Land Rovers, have ridden enough in a variety of conditions. But there are points where you say, what a crappy car, starting with the heating.
    The appearance remains unbeatable, but why?
    With a 2CV you also get to places where you don't see any other cars, except Defender and LC.
    The LC drives nicer and faster than Landrover. It also has a typical appearance of its own, in such a way that I would not exchange it for an overpriced English manufacturer.

  3. Nice, Land Rover vs Land Cruiser….
    In Australia there is a saying about the reliability of the Land Rover:
    ” if you wonna go into the wild, take a Land Rover….
    If you won't get out again, take a Land Cruiser”
    So……
    Kees

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