Below searing sunsets, she’d settle to watch endless galaxies of unblemished shimmering starlight. Arose to creeping sunlight to dance across red dusty trails and skipped along the skirts of billabongs, as feathered flocks fled from her sight. She’d flown herself, fleeing smoke filled savannahs with bushfires kissing at her heels. Cooled down while parked under blackened gumtrees, while lightening sizzled across infinite hazy horizons, and like the rest of us, she too helped pray for rain.
Battled head to head with wide horned buffalo hogging the back-tracks. Scattered crowds of lazy wallabies through the scrub. Became a safe fishing platform while nudging at cunning crocodiles as she cruised beside creek beds. And steered millions of cranky cattle refusing to give up their taste of the wild.
A matriarch that conveyed the hopes of many. Carted endless supplies to feed her army, trekking across a country she’d seen change with the days. She’d rescued the injured. Guided the visiting. Carried the new born, and even transported the newlywed.
Wouldn’t know what the black tarmac felt under her toes. Not once surrounded by concrete, or lost amongst a cacophony of cars that collectively crept along congested highways. Never stopped at a set of traffic lights. Nor seen the extravagant coloured night glow of a city gone to slumber.
Glassless. Roofless. Rust covered where chrome and straight painted panels once shone. A body of lumps and bumps, wearing patch-ups reminiscent of a front line survivor of WWII. Her engine adaptable to the simple rules of bush mechanics, reacting well to roadside repairs using whatever lay about. Be it a cattleman’s sweat laden leather belt, or strips of denim jeans to cinch up a pipe, it was always just enough to help her limp us all back home.
There’s no comparison to the shiny new tin toys of today that dare to compete with this grand ol’ beast unbothered about her beauty. They didn’t have her heart, or her unstopping stamina. The toughness to handle intense paint-blistering heat or sideways walls of flooding rains.
She was the cause of spreading smiles, a part of the telling-tall-tales sessions that told of her many adventurous travels. And always that stable grounding for plenty of the Brewers’ Best consumed, rested, and spilled across her dust covered bonnet.
She was reliable. Rugged. Territory tough.
So let’s raise a beer to this grand ol’ girl, may she follow that never ending fence line in the land of ‘Landcruiser Dreaming’. Always remembered as a true heroic, kickass, classic country car.