We’ve assembled an incredible list of modified machines for the inaugural Custom 4X4 Of The Year award.
Craig McGuiness’ 2004 Nissan GU Patrol used to be a wagon in dire need of attention. Nissan never really clicked to the idea of a Patrol dual-cab ute, so like so many 4x4 enthusiasts with dreams of owning their perfect creation, Craig set about making his own.
First, Craig replaced the dead ZD30 motor with a 5.7-litre LS1 V8 engine mated to a four-speed 4L60E auto. Craig would have preferred a diesel but decided the extra $15K wasn’t worth it.
It was then fitted with a custom exhaust system courtesy of Scott’s Rods in Ipswich, before being tuned by Forced Performance & Tuning in Toowoomba. A snorkel was fitted and a reverse-cowl bonnet from a Camaro was grafted.
Craig then set about making his dream ute a reality. Darren from Custom RV Creations & Repairs sliced off the back of the wagon and grafted a new rear wall in place. Instead of just a simple flat sheet of metal, Craig had a GU single-cab rear wall installed. The finished job wouldn’t look out of place on the factory line.
The wheelbase was stretched by 600mm, lining the rear axle up perfectly in the middle of the new tray. The tray was constructed with a 3mm alloy sheet, with 50x100x8mm alloy channel providing strength.
The side doors were fitted with gas struts, compression T-handle locks and deeper back structures to provide better water- and dustproofing. The tray was decked out with a ply floor, roof panels and marine carpeting.
Separated into two, the passenger side of the tray houses two fridges on twin Clearview slides, as well as a separate drawer for cooking supplies. The driver’s side has three drawers and a shelf for storage, which is further complemented by a custom alloy roof rack.
For remote-area touring, there’s 150A worth of solar panels that feed down into a Redarc battery-management system, with two 120A AGM batteries that also power a heat exchanger and water pump for showers (the ute comes with a 140L water tank).
With a custom long-range tank, this really is a near-perfect tourer.
Vote for Craig's GU Wagon ute to decide this year's Custom 4x4 of the Year.