It was a relationship with many highs and lows. A rough and rocky ride with the worst bloody steering, oftern you brokedown, or got bogged down along the way but you always got us there in the end. “Stella” our trusty Toyota Hilux is no more. She was as cheap as they came. We found her on the side of the road in need of some TLC, and she gave back to us in spades before eventually succumbing to the abuse of many surfers on a mission to explore King Island’s many great waves and finding untold riches. Alas, she is now tainted beyond repair… and we must move on and let go.

 Stella and her white racing strips - the early years.

Stella and her white racing strips - the early years.

Fortunately we have found a new love - “The Beast”. A middle aged Nissan Patrol with 7 seats and enough room up top for a quiver of surfboards and fishing rods. The Beast has more accessories and lights that it probably needs. She has a 48 inch lift kit with tractor tires fitted needing a ladder to get up and ride her. Enough recovery gear to get you out of the trouble. More lights than the MCG, you can now happily keep surfing all day AND night. A rear camera for… umm all that crazy King Island traffic!? An alarm system which would have been very handy in Melbourne’s west, but slightly overkill on a small island where no one is going anywhere fast.

 The Beast, doing what she does best.

The Beast, doing what she does best.

We picked her up from a suburb we’d never heard of far out in Melbourne’s western suburbs where all the pimped out cars are found. Parked on the grass as we rocked up, it was love at first sight “this is the one” I said to Anatole, all those other cars we have been looking at were just fleeting romances. Anatole remarked, “Don’t be fooled by her stunning good looks, its what’s on the inside that counts”. Before Anatole had a chance to give her a good shake down and test drive I was handing over wods of cash to a dodgy looking bloke and signing the paper work.

We’ve been driving The Beast around Barwon Heads and doing a couple missions down south Vicco on some 4WD tracks putting her through her paces. She’s a weapon alright, easily passing over any terrain and soft sand we could throw at her. She is perfectly suited to the riggers of King Island apart from that one small thing…. the black liquid leaking from her engine?! I do recall someone once saying to me “be wary of buying any car thats parked on the lawn… it probably means that they are trying to conceal the leaking oil underneath”. Anyway, a couple trips to the car doctor and a lot of $$ later she has past the KI test with flying colours. Time to ship her over to her new home at King Island for our guest to trash... I mean enjoy! Enjoy!!!

Farewell, I hope you have a long and happy island life. May your rust spots be few, and waves you find many.

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