This is Ahmad Alroum, and this is his 1984 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60. And here’s why he would choose this anyday over an Italian supercar or even a current generation SUV.[Not a valid template]
Those of you familiar with Dubai – and specifically the very popular Jumeirah Beach Road – will know that this is supercar sanctuary on a Thursday night. One I usually find a complete nightmare, requiring me to wade through expensive metal on my way home. One then might ask if I’m wading through JBR’s Ferrari and Lamborghini lanes in something equally as formidable.
I have no ABS. No traction control. No airbags. My only safety option is in the form of a wide belt across my chest that is a lot older than I am. There are rust spots, it leaks oil, and a temperamental ‘all or nothing’ throttle, so doing anything close to highway speeds is a harrowing feat in itself. And yet, in some ways it has my JBR Italian competition licked. I for instance have lived in this city long enough to know where every speed camera and sleeping policeman is. So while your Ferraris and Lamborghinis have to slow down over the bumps to save face – literally – I can keep my foot nailed and let physics (and robust suspension) take care of the rest.
You see, 562hp may be an impressive number, but you’ll find that using all of that is nearly impossible in the real world. On paper and in the flesh, supercars are built to impress, but aside from a full throttle scream away from the lights (and heavier traffic means that even this is becoming unrealistic), you’re never going to drive a supercar day-today as it’s meant to be driven. Compare that to my 135 horse lump (when it was new anyway), out of which I squeeze every last unbridled stallion and because of which I receive more than my fair share of dirty looks from my supercar-owning fellow motorists.
Now I’ll admit that, since it’s already 20 years old give or take, my old Land Cruiser may not be as fit and healthy as a current gen model. I have no computer-aids, no driver assistance systems, and no warning beep to tell me that my door is open. Compare mine with a new model, and you’ll find the only similarity is the badge on the front.
But it was precisely this rugged simplicity that drew me to my FJ60 in the first place. I didn’t want to spend time waiting for my GPS to calibrate or for the bootlid to close automatically at the push of a button. I just wanted to drive with no fuss and no worry over cracking that carbon fibre lip or scuffing those pricey alloys. Simple, easy driving pleasure and without a computer kicking in and telling me what I should or should not be doing.