NOVeMBeR 07 getaway \x2 Wheels The Americas Unlimited Mileage in Namibia 9s Damara- land, the danger signs with the little black elephant silhouettes made sense. )wo dusty-grey animals were head- ing towards us 3 down the middle o3 the solitary dirt track. Te \x3rst one looked angry, \x2apping his ears and stomping up dust clouds.
Okay, how 3ast was a Jeep 9s reverse gear? According to DStv 9s Animal Planet, the desert variety is more aggressive than other elephants. Should we high- tail it out o3 there or not?
Meanwhile, we could take some photos. Te new Jeep Wrangler Unlimited has an in- genious roo3 construction. Te plastic hardtop sections can be opened indi- vidually.
Tere are two in 3ront and one at the rear. We unscrewed the passenger side, converting the Jeep into a game-tracking vehicle. Just then, a bakkie with a 3ew locals on the back approached.
As the driver spotted the elephants, he braked hard, Somewhere on the C43, south o3 Palmwag It still looks and feels like a real Jeep, despite the fact that you have enough room for a family and all their luggage It was born in 1942 and its name is legendary: Jeep, the progenitor of all ... more. less.
4x4s. Dieter Losskarn borrowed a brand-new Wrangler Unlimited for a 6 600-kilometre trip to Namibia. getaway NOVeMBeR 07 \x3 turned around in an impressive cloud o3 dust and roared o back to where he 9d come 3rom.<br><br> He clearly knew some- thing I didn 9t. I pulled the Jeep to the 3ar le3t o3 the track, close to bushes, and switched o the engine. We held our breath as the giants moved past, watching us closely and snifng the air with their trunks alo3t.<br><br> Phew! Somewhere south o3 Solitaire, we had the traditional Namibian puncture. Te new electronic stability programme (ESP) gives the Wrangler 3antastic dirt-road holding abilities, but even in two-wheel drive, it 9s difcult to immediately detect a \x2at on a sandy, heavily corrugated track.<br><br> So we wrecked the tyre. No problem, I thought a3ter put- ting on the spare, it 9s not too 3ar to Swakopmund with its many tyre shops. However, none carried the rather exotic Goodyear Wrangler 255/75 R17.<br><br> A couple o3 phone calls later, it was clear there were none in the whole country. We were 3orced to do the rest o3 the trip without a spare 3 nerve wracking on those roads 3 until we could pick up a new one in Wind- hoek on the return journey. Be warned: i3 you travel in a new 4x4 to remote areas in Southern A3rica, it 9s best to take two spares with you.<br><br> Even with 3our doors, the Wrangler can 9t deny its heritage. It still looks and 3eels like a real Jeep, despite the 3act that you have enough room 3or a 3amily and all their luggage. Te only anomaly is the rather bulky, but apparently pedestrian-3riendly, 3ront bumper.<br><br> Irrespective o3 the eternal wrangle between Jeep and Hummer about who 9s building the better 4x4, the two vehicles have a lot in common. Tey are both American war veterans and were created in accordance with strin- gent military standards. Te 3amous Jeep Willys MB helped win the Second World War, whereas the Humvee dominated the \x3rst Gul3 con\x2ict.<br><br> And both companies began building very success3ul civilian versions o3 their khaki warriors that looked much the same as the war-time versions. Te \x3rst peace- time Jeep was Willys- Overland CJ-2A, a civilian version o3 the M38. Te Jeep brand survived the war and also various changes o3 ownership: 3rom Willys to Kaiser, then to AMC, even to Renault 3or a short period and recently, a3ter the Daimler-Chrysler divorce, back to the Jeep/Eagle division o3 the Chrysler Corporation.<br><br> Te classic CJ-5 had the longest production run o3 any Jeep, 3rom 1954 to 1984. In 1981, Jeep intro- duced the characteristic rollbar in the CJ-5 Renegade. A huge step 3ollowed in 1986, when the Wrangler YJ replaced the CJ range.<br><br> Although the Wrangler shared the 3amiliar, open-body pro\x3le o3 the CJ-7, it had 3ew parts in com- mon with its 3amous predecessor. Mechanically, the Wrangler was more closely related to the Cherokee range. With its square headlights, it was a shock to all Jeep enthusiasts.<br><br> But it was success3ul, with over 630 000 sold. In 1997, a3ter a total make-over, the )J Wrangler was introduced. In a retro-move, the Jeep \x3nally got its round eyes back, looking like a classic CJ once again.<br><br> )en years later, it was time 3or more drastic changes. With the Un- limited, Chrysler is not only o ering a 3our-door Wrangler 3or the \x3rst time 3 there are several more crea- ture com3orts available, such as power windows and locks, ABS, ESP, air-con and the option o3 a diesel engine. Despite its com3ortable suspen- sion, the new Jeep hasn 9t so3tened ABOVE: Igna feu faci blandre raesecte con- umsan vulput utpat.<br><br> BELOW: Igna feu faci blandre raesecte con- umsan vulput utpaUn- tum nos consus. Vive, Catum fachuc. OPPOSITE: Igna feu faci blandre raesecte conumsan vulput utpaUntum nos consus.<br><br> Vive, Catum fachuc. Price: Starts from R219 000 for the two- door Wrangler Sport and from R314 900 for the four-door Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Engine: 3,8 litre V6 (146 kW) or 2,8 litre 4 cylinder CRD Diesel (130 kW) 0 3 100 km/h: 10,5/11,7 sec Top speed: 180/172 km/h Consumption: 15,6 litres/100 km (Unlimited Sahara Automatic, average consumption over 6 643 km) Fuel tank: 79,5 litres Tank range: 510 km Ground Clearance: 238 mm Sport; 253 mm Sahara: 256 mm Rubicon Approach angle: 37,7° Departure angle: 31,3° Towing capacity: 3 330 kg For more information: www.jeep.co.za To see Great Jeep Wrangler Unlimited commercial: www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6oe7YCjFC8 www.youtube.com/watch?v=blXNw2fEvxU A classic Wrangler TJ ad: www.youtube.com/watch?v=njauitC80KE Don 9t try this at home 3 Wrangler Unlimited crash test: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgyLlkIHGHI The low-down Be warned: if you travel in a new 4x4 to remote areas in Southern Africa, it 9s best to take two spares with you Next month in Wheels: We go camping in a Volkswagen T5 California TDI. This is my brother, Willem van Schalkwyk, in his Toyota Land Cruiser.<br><br> He was trying to cross the Limpopo River at one of the low-water bridges, but the flow of water was so powerful, it pushed the Cruiser off the bridge. His wife, Ria, and dog swam to safety. We managed to winch the Cruiser out.<br><br> Lodewyk van Schalkwyk, Polokwane If you have photographs of a 4x4 getting stuck, e-mail them to wheels@- getaway.co.za or post them to Getaway Wheels, PO Box 180, Howard Place, 7450 Cape Town. You could win a Nissan Secure Tech Survival Kit worth R1 000, comprising an Off-Road Tactix manual and DVD, as well as a recovery bag with pull strap, shackles and a pair of gloves. NOVeMBeR 07 getaway \x4 Uplif din 5 t 3rios One o3 the most a ordable 4x4s in the country just became even more interesting.<br><br> Te suspension on the Daihatsu )erios has been raised by 50 mm, which makes a big di erence o -road, and wider tyres (235/70/16) have been \x3tted. Up 3ront, a nudge bar with spotlights adds as much to the look as the side step-bars. A tow- bar completes the package.<br><br> Inside you 9ll \x3nd protective canvas 3ront seat covers and a DVD system with integrated satellite navigation, which un3ortunately don 9t work at the same time 3 it 9s either listening to music or \x3nding your way. Te distinctive new exhaust sound is the result o3 a 3ree-\x2ow stainless steel system. Te engine is a bit loud and not the most power3ul, but at R210 000, you can 9t complain.<br><br> For more in3ormation, go to web- site www.daihatsu.co.za. Accessories Come on baby, light my fire Originally developed for the Swedish Department of Defence, Swedish FireSteel is a flash of genius. Its 3 000°C spark makes fire-making easy in any weather and at any altitude.<br><br> Used by several armies around the world, Swedish FireSteel 9s dependability has also made it a favourite of survival experts, hunters, fishers and campers. Just grind the blade across the fire steel to create a hot spark. Magnesium, worked into the steel, does the trick.<br><br> A small stick (around R90) is good for 3 000 sparks. It 9s something every 4x4 should have in its glove compartment. The manufacturer also sells inflammable wood shav- ings in a box.<br><br> For more information and on-line orders, see www.light-my-fire.com. Available at Cape Union Mart outlets, tel 021-464-5825. Onse dit in eugait il ulputet aliquis isci- dunt nullutpatio odit utat, venit nim irit nulla faccum quat lor il elent ipit utatue modiam eugait nos nibh et, sum dun.<br><br> into a mellow SUV 3 it 9s still a no- 3rills o -roader. Part-time 4x4 saves you 3uel on the open road, but in 3our-wheel drive and low-range, it still gets you through almost anything. )he top-o3-the-range Rubicon model adds a di -lock and a discon- nectable electronic 3ront sway bar to its already impressive o -road 3eatures, making it one o3 the most capable 4x4s available.<br><br> Unlimited o -road trips are \x3nally 3un 3or the whole 3amily, with plenty o3 space available inside. It 9s also the only 8open 9 \x3ve-seater on the market and the only convertible allowed to enter any national park 3or close en- counters with elephants. Tin utatue delit luptat.<br><br> Giamcommy nulputatum zzril iusci bla feum aliquatuero diatum nonullu ptatet lametuer sum nullaore faccum ad mincil eu faccum vendip essi. Exercil iquatem zzriureet, consenis nibh esequamcore consequat prat. Ostion ut amcon.<br><br> Stylish rooftop carriers Staying with Swedish prod- ucts, Thule offers some stylish rooftop luggage carrier options. Even on a fancy SUV, the Xpedition carrier (R4 000) looks great, especially when fitted with one of Thule 9s attractive Atlantis roof boxes (from R5 700). Thule also has a sturdy tow-bar bike rack, the Euroway (R3 400 for two bikes, R3 900 for three bikes).<br><br> Check the website at www.thule.co.za to see how the equipment fits on certain 4x4s. If you are driving a VW Touareg, for example, you can select it in the right colour and then 8fit 9 the equipment to see how it will look on your vehicle. For more information, call 086-118-4853 or visit Thule 9s showroom in Joburg at 20 Waterval Crescent, Woodmead, Sandton, tel 011-804-2215.<br><br> In Cape Town, contact 083-252-8385. Stuck