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4×4

Willys MB Jeep with Renault R4 body conversion | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2016)

Revisited | Willys MB Jeep with Renault R4 body conversion

Flag FranceSix years ago I discovered a Willys MB Jeep with a Renault 4 body conversion and took some pictures.
Two and a half years ago I started to write this blog and decided to kick it off with the story about the converted Jeep.
A week ago, on a roadtrip home from Malaga, we spontaneously decided to cross the Massif Central instead of driving through the Rhône valley.

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Nissan Patrol Shumaisa Beach | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2015)

Nissan Patrol 160 | Catch of the day

Flag OmanBefore reading this story, please make sure to read the story called Fishermen’s Friends.

Most seafood restaurants have catch of the day on their menu: a special fish out of the many fish caught last night, served fresh. Drive-by Snapshots is not a seafood restaurant but a blog covering automotive topics – and the menu changes daily.

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Oman Road Trip | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2015)

Fishermen’s Friends

Flag OmanImagine you’re driving along a brand new and perfectly fine highway which, without prior warning, abruptly ends at a beach. Mind you, the beach was not the intended destination!

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Yellow and Blue | Day two

While digging through my picture archives, I became aware of having many pictures that have one thing in common: matching color schemes. It really is interesting how some color combinations can be found whichever country you go to. This week I’m going to feature a selection of pictures containing the bright colors Yellow & Blue.

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Land Rover Defender Janus | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2014)

Land Rover Defender variations. No happy end, unfortunately.

Flag GermanyBeing regular exhibitors at the Abenteuer Allrad in Bad Kissingen, the Off Road Center guys always showcase their skills with a couple of great Land Rover Defender builds, parts and accessories. This year they had, amongst others, their Janus-style Defender “Lotte” on display…

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FIAT Panda 4x4 Snatch Panda | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2014)

FIAT Panda 4×4 Mk1 | Snatch Panda @ Le Mans 2014

Flag FranceCamping at the Beauséjour campground in Le Mans near the Porsche curves provides a constant stream of interesting cars. Porsche, Lotus Seven, Aston Martin and other fine machinery are plentiful there. However, I choose this cute little FIAT Panda 4×4, nicknamed Snatch Panda, for my first LM 2014 posting. Why? Because it really stood out amongst all the high end cars and features lovely details, mimicking properly equipped larger scale 4x4s. You just gotta love the desert sand paint with the flat black accents. The camouflage nets in the rear windows are also a nice touch. Props to the builder/owner and thumbs up!

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Toyota Hilux | How to apply what you can’t order

Flag South AfricaLet’s suppose you just bought a brand new Toyota Hilux 4×4. It’s as bright and shiny as it came from the factory. No scratch, no dent, hardly any kilometers on the odometer. Everybody is admiring the beautiful black paint and chrome plated accessories, but you think there is something missing. You scratch your head and wonder which box you forgot to tick when you ordered the vehicle. Surely, something is missing. To find out, you head over to the FWDCSA Base4 club grounds and talk to the experts.

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Toyota LandCruiser Clay 4x4 | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2007)

Toyota ClayCruiser VX

Flag South AfricaWhile staying at the famous Blue Sky Mining Backpackers just south ofDurban, I had the chance to snap a few pictures of their Toyota LandCruiser VX clay model. The model was excellently detailed to the smallest possible detail! Hella auxiliary lights, badges, wipers, a surfboard rack and even a set of mudguards – fantastic 🙂
Unfortunately it was rather big and heavy and therefore I couldn’t possibly buy it and take it back to Germany. Luggage weight restrictions on airplanes be damned…

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Volkswagen T3 Syncro Westfalia | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2009)

Volkswagen T3 Syncro | The perfect travel companion

Flag FranceThe perfect travel companion? Should be able to go anywhere while carrying all the things you might need there. Oh… and providing ample sleeping space and a fridge to keep the drinks cool wouldn’t hurt either. This immaculate Volkswagen T3 Syncro Westfalia camper ticks all the right boxes and comes quite close to being the perfect travel companion, doesn’t it?

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Land Rover Series III Sodwana Bay | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2007)

Land Rover Series III | Alive at the beach

Flag South AfricaDiving in Sodwana Bay always means getting up very early, before sunrise. The boats, divers and their equipment are shuttled from the diving base near the dune to the waterfront. A tough job in sun, sand and salt. Most diving companies use late model bakkies or 4x4s. Ocean Divers Pretoria still uses a Series III Land Rover, which has been rebuilt a couple of years ago. The vehicle is in good overall shape with lovely patina, but rust caused by the saltwater is already visible again on the drivetrain and suspension components. Thank you for keeping the old Landy alive!

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Toyota LandCruiser 80 Series | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2009)

Toyota LandCruiser 80 | Leader of the pack

Flag FranceSome people drive a Citroën 2CV for fun. Some people want to have more fun with their 2CV and take them on a trip to the Sahara desert in Morocco. A great idea if you are not afraid to take your classic vehicle on long distance trips under sometimes harsh conditions. The French call this kind of adventure “raid” – and it is anyone’s guess whether or not this word originates from being afRAID once or twice along the way.

The Toyota LandCruiser 80 Series pictured here seems to belong to the head of the organization committee, called “Le pape organisation”. The bumpers have been removed and the suspension raised. A snorkel and a heavy duty roof-rack kitted out with various gear, necessary for serious off-roading, complete the picture. This rig looks to be ready to tackle some dunes!

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Jeep Wrangler Kallies Quarry | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2008)

Jeep Wrangler | Playtime at Kallie’s Quarry

Flag South AfricaKallies Quarry. A four wheel drive playground that features very steep tracks in some places, with deep ruts and a pond that requires wading through. This bone stock Jeep Wrangler did it without problems. A Jeep actually going offroad is a rather rare sight in South Africa, because most 4x4ers prefer either Toyota or Land Rover. This actually reminded me of the fun we had with Jeeps when I was living in Texas/USA, many years ago.

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Ford Cortina Bakkie 4x4 | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2007)

Ford Cortina Bakkie 4×4

Flag South AfricaFrequent readers might remember the Ford Cortina Bakkie based tow truck featured here at Drive-by Snapshots earlier this year. There is more variety to this topic, though. On my way to Bloemfontein, I found this Ford Cortina Bakkie 4×4 for sale at a used car dealership. Admittedly a nicely executed four wheel drive conversion in mint condition. Actually, I wouldn’t mind at all owning something like that. Pure early 80’s style & function!

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Mercedes-Benz MB Trac Sodwana Bay | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2007)

Mercedes-Benz MB Trac | How to launch a big boat

Flag South AfricaSmall boats may be launched by hand.
Medium size boats may be launched by a rusty bakkie.
Big boats need something a bit more substantial in weight an power…

This is where the mighty Mercedes-Benz MB Trac comes in handy. This being a highly sought after machine even in Europe, you can imagine how surprised I was to find such a brute at the remote beach of Sodwana Bay in South Africa. To be honest, it was spectacular how the MB Trac launched catapulted the boat into the sea!

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Hyundai Terracan in torrential rain | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2013)

Hyundai Terracan + Torrential Rain = Fun

Flag ScotlandWe tried to spot the famous Glen Seilisdeir sea eagles at the Isle of Mull, but failed miserably due to cold and rainy weather. Later on the same day, we encountered torrential rain on our way from the Iona Ferry Terminal to Craignure. The road was flooded and I jumped out of the Hyundai Terracan, armed with an umbrella and my trusty Canon DSLR. I awaited their return to take a couple of splash pictures, pointing the camera at the road. And moments later… a speeding Mercedes-Benz came around the bend. He slammed hard on the brakes, probably thinking that I’m a policeman with a speed gun. If he would have hit the flooded section at the speed he was going, he would have crashed. After wading through the flooded section he even stopped and said thank you. Friendly people, those Scots!

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Land Rover Discovery Mk1 Camel Trophy | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2010)

Land Rover Discovery Mk1 | Camel Trophy survivor

Flag GermanyDo you remember the time when the Camel Trophy was an annual highlight for all 4×4 enthusiasts? Seems like that was ages ago. I fondly remember watching the coverage every year on TV when I was a boy. I used to dream about doing something like that one day in the future. Great to see one of the survivors in good but authentic condition these days. The Land Rover Discovery Mk1 looks way too clean, though. In my memory, the vehicles have always been caked in mud. The pictures below have been taken at the 2010 Abenteuer Allrad in Bad Kissingen.

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Toyota LandCruiser HZJ 78 B̶u̶s̶h̶t̶a̶x̶i̶ Stretchlimo | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2008)

LandCruiser HZJ 78 | Stretched Bushtaxi

Flag SwazilandSwaziland, February 2008. Just before we left the the beautiful Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, two Toyota HZJ 78 B̶u̶s̶h̶t̶a̶x̶i̶s stretch limos pulled up at the visitors center. They looked like rather luxurious vehicles for long-distance traveling – but due to the decreased break-over angle caused by the extended wheelbase, the off road abilities might not be that great any more. Still far better than most SUVs, though.

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Ford F-250 4x4 Rusty But Trusty | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2007)

Ford F-250 4×4 | Rusty But Trusty

Flag South AfricaSodwana Bay is a famous fishing and diving spot in South Africa. The beach is accessible for all wheel drive vehicles and boats are launched directly from the beach without a concrete slip. The salty water from the sea and the heat add quite a nice patina over time. This rusty but trusty Ford F-250 4×4 has apparently seen many seasons launching boats…

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Jeep / Renault 4 Conversion | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2010)

Willys MB Jeep with Renault R4 body conversion

Flag FranceIn June 2010 we took the scenic route through the Gorges du Tarn. Climbing out of the canyon and heading towards Le Puy, we drove past a service station somewhere in the rural Département Lozère. As always, I immediately slowed down to take a closer look and was once more rewarded by finding something rather unusual: a leftover WWII Willys MB Jeep that has been cross-bred with a Renault R4. The bodywork of the conversion looked very professional and is actually very clever, because the region sees a lot of snow in winter. Judging by the faded red paint and the rotating light on the roof, it might have once belonged to the local fire department. The markings on the left door indicate that it may have been used by the local garage as well, probably as a service or recovery vehicle?

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