Hero Troopy V8


A Landcruiser VDJ78 Troopcarrier V8, purchased new in 2017 and built into the perfect two-person overlander, and prototype for the Autograph Overland Hero Troopy. It was sold in 2019.


It started out as a white, 2017 model,  and one of the first in Australia with the new gearbox and uprated (slightly) engine.

After a green 3M wrap, it started to look less like an ambulance and more like what I wanted.

A four-month build that would be tested on the fabled Canning Stock Route, which was planned for June 2017. It would be my very first Outback expedition. 

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4xOverland’s Hero Toyota VDJ78 Troop Carrier overland touring truck was built in 2017 and sold in 2019. It covered 46 500 kms of touring in Australia, including the Canning Stock Route, crossing Australia southerly route then across Australia via the red-centre route, the Holland Track (twice), Gibb River Road and Anne Beadell and Connie Sue Highways.


During the crossing of the Simpson Desert in 2018, the overly wide tyres on the rear right on full articulation rubbed the rear wheel flare, damaging the flare mounts. Also, the engine produced a warning error, indicating dust in the inlet manifold, and severe wear of the rear brake rotors and shoes resulted in replacing these components. Toyota refused to respond to a  warrantee claim despite the total mileage done on the vehicle at the time being just 9600 kms. 


In 2018 BFG held their global launch of the KM3 tyre in Australia. Following two weeks at the launch for which I was not paid, and where the Troopy was one of BFG's hero trucks, and then after driving across the Simpson and being the first to produce a video review of the BFG KM3 tyre in the world, BFG fired me as one of their global brand ambassadors. I guess they didn't like the fact that I said I preferred narrower tyres.  So I changed brands as a matter of principal, and tried the Falken Wildpeak. So far, so good.

Thanks for the following support

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Vehicle Details

Toyota Land Cruiser VJ78 GXL, built Japan Jan 2017. Odo read 46 500 kms when sold.

OE Details:

4,5L V8 diesel engine

5-speed manual gearbox

Front and rear diff locks

2 x 90L fuel tanks

Auto/manual front hubs

Two seats

Upgrades and modS

Bull bar, Side rail, Side steps ARB

Oil catch-can, fuel filtration upgrade, axle, gearbox and diff breathers

Safari Snorkel

Front underbody front protection, ARB

Recovery points front, ARB

OME BP-51 shock absorbers

OME 400kg spring set, front

OME 400kg spring set, rear

Alu-Cab Hercules tent conversion

Alu-Cab 270° Shadow awning

Sun Visor (Toyota)

Goby-X rear bumper. (cannot be used for towing in Australia)

Goby-X twin-spare wheel carriers

Warn Zeon 10 000lb winch 

ARB dual compressor 4L air tank, ARB.

Air outlets front and rear

3M full body wrap, 4xO green

Head-light protector plates

120W solar panel on roof

MPPT solar controller via external power cable

Fog lights

Overhead roof console

Victron battery monitor

Power outputs X 3

Rigid Industries Dually LED driving Lights

Terrain-Tamer brake rotor and pad upgrade front and rear

USB outputs 4x front, 2x back

Inverter 300W pure sin-wave

12v Duoetto Mk2 10L electric water boiler

Shower with unique twin-pump hot water-save system

Bucket/grey water intake system

Lead-Crystal batteries, 2 x 75 a/h

Redarc DC-DC 40-amp battery charger

Quick En-Suite shower privacy curtain

Quick side table with Maxtrax holder (can hold 4)

4 x Maxtrax

Rear door drop-down table by Pikra

74L stainless steel water tank and two pumps

Stainless steel gear lever extension

QuickPitch drawer packing system

Overhead LED lights, x4

External LED lights x2

Window tint, side and rear windows

Sound insulation double skin floor, Carbuilders

Door speaker pods, Dept of Interior

Centre console, Dept of Interior

Door pockets, Dept of Interior

Rear access step, fold-away

Sony head unit with Apple Carplay

FOCAL PS165 speakers with bi-pass, sub-woofers and tweeters. Sounds VERY good!

Alpine amplifier

GCE UHF radio, mic on centre console

UHF 2db rigid antennae


Red flag mount

Rear axle width correction by Tru-Tracker, Multidrive, Geelong, VIC

Snomaster 57L dual door fridge freezer combo, with remote.

SnoMaster 11L cool drinks fridge between front seats.

Takla CanTech seat covers

Takla sound insulated floor covers and mats

Tie down rails. Multiple in rear

Spade mount

Roof ladder

Camp Cover spare wheel canvas trash bag

Gull wing opening – kitchen

Gull Wing opening – fridge/shower.

TPMS with five external sensors

7” alloy  rims with 265/75R16 BFG changed to Falken.



I sold the Troopy in late 2019 to make way for the Aussie Dream Tourer

This Troopy was all that it was meant to be. A simple, extremely practical, two-person overlander with excellent range, comfort and off-road ability.

So much so that the instant I sold, it, I missed it. And that is why in 2021 I'm building myself another Troopy, applying all that I've learned from the other two.