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Nissan celebrates 60 years since first motorised Simpson Desert crossing

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Nissan is celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of the primary motorised crossing of the Simpson Desert, achieved by the Sprigg household of their G60 Datsun Patrol throughout 1962.

The Simpson Desert is the most important parallel sand dune desert on this planet, spanning greater than 170,000 sq. kilometres and touching the Northern Territory, Queensland, and South Australia.

With no actual tracks or maps to observe, the Sprigg household set off from Andado Station within the Northern Territory and spent the following two weeks travelling throughout greater than 1100 sand dunes.

The desert crossing finally ended on September 11, 1962, when the household reached Birdsville in Queensland.

The household averaged 5km/h on their journey. Together with the sand, the household needed to navigate the saltbush crops that posed a fireplace hazard in the event that they acquired bogged at any level.

This hearth danger was amplified by the actual fact the Sprigg household carried a 200L drum of petrol with them.

“In 1962 my dad took my sister, Mum and I throughout the Simpson Desert, and that may develop into the primary motorised crossing of the desert,” mentioned Doug Sprigg, who was seven when his household accomplished the crossing.

“I’ve such fond recollections of that G60. It was such a strong and dependable automobile. I used to be even shorter then than I’m now, and Nissan had even supplied me a manner of seeing ahead – by the air vents under the windscreen.”

“With 4 of us sitting throughout the entrance seat, a 200-litre drum of gas within the again, and a 200-litre drum of water, the automobile was fairly closely loaded, so I acquired to see the surroundings by the air vents, however the huge sand dunes arising I may see by the windshield.”

Doug is now the second-generation proprietor of the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, which is located in South Australia’s red-dirt outback, an eight hour drive from Adelaide.

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His father, Australian geologist Reg Sprigg, purchased the 144,000-acre property in 1968 after falling in love with the land.

Nissan caught up with Doug at Arkaroola with a “completely restored” G60 Patrol to have fun the sixtieth anniversary of the Simpson Desert crossing.

“Driving this automobile now, 60 years later, it’s simply unbelievable,” mentioned Mr Sprigg.

“Dad was wonderful in his variety of data, and I didn’t realise simply how a lot I relied on him till he died. And all of a sudden, this wonderful useful resource was gone.”

“However leaping on this Nissan brings these recollections again, it’s been wonderful.”

The second-generation G60 Patrol arrived in Australia in 1961 because the Datsun Patrol with a (then) trendy overhead valve 4.0-litre inline six-cylinder petrol engine producing 92kW of energy, and was supplied in soft-top, wagon or cab-chassis physique kinds.

Australia was among the many first worldwide markets to see the Patrol when the G60 lobbed, because the first-generation mannequin was solely offered in Japan.

This G60 iteration went largely unchanged for nearly 20 years till was changed by MQ Sequence Datsun Patrol in 1980.

Australia has lengthy been a key nation for Patrol gross sales, and for a small time period in the course of the mannequin cycle of the GU was really the world’s largest marketplace for the automotive.

The Patrol has additionally been in service on police, hearth, and emergency service fleets domestically.

Extra not too long ago, the Patrol set its all-time Australian gross sales report in March 2022, with 918 discovering their manner into buyer arms.

A few of the Patrol’s latest development has been assisted by provide complications on the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Sequence, which is its largest rival domestically.

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The Y62-generation Nissan Patrol has been on sale on 2014 and is focused on the Center East with its petrol engine.

It at the moment begins at $82,160 earlier than on-road prices and extends to $95,115 earlier than on-roads, with all variants powered by a 5.6-litre naturally-aspirated V8 engine producing 298kW of energy and 560Nm of torque.

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