Since late 2016, I’ve been working on importing an Australian Land Rover Perentie 6×6. As you may recall, we had a customer bring one in earlier in 2016, and I was pretty enamored with the vehicle. So after more research on the Perentie, I decided that the 6×6 flat bed variant would be perfect for us, as it is the only Perentie that comes with the turbocharged 3.9l Isuzu engine, and would be a great platform for any future modifications or use. Not only did I get the Perentie as a cool shop and marketing vehicle, but going through the importing process is part of the knowledge I need for our shop expansion into vehicle sales as I am hoping to bring more of these great and unique Rovers to the states.
Here’s some more information from Wikipedia one the Land Rover Perentie.
So, after months of waiting (the import process is not an expedient one), I received word that the truck cleared customs the last week of February ’17. I immediately scheduled a flight out to Portland with my photojournalist friend Traci to pick up the Perentie and take a round about road trip back to Denver, CO. Of course, I’d already gathered some parts and supplies I thought we may need, and even went so far as to have some items shipped directly to our friends at Columbia Roving, as they were nice enough to take delivery of our Perentie after it cleared customs.
I was extremely impressed with the condition of the truck, it had only 12k km on the odometer, but it was still over 25 years old (the minimum required age to import a vehicle into the US). Sure it had it’s wear and tear, some dings and dents, and a bit of a transfer-case leak, but that should be expected with any military vehicle of this age. A quick general inspection and an oil change were all that was required before rolling out across country.
We gave it a little drive around Portland getting used to the right hand drive and maneuverability of the truck, and then rolled out the next morning on I84 eastbound for Idaho. The next morning we stopped at Idaho Motor Pool to check out some military surplus and see how the Perentie fit in next to some US military 6x6s (they dwarfed the Rover, who’s roof line barely was level with their hoods). The owner was nice enough to let us walk his lot, and then gave us a tour of his military vehicle and memorabilia museum. We then continued south east to Salt Lake City and made a stop in with Bill and Thom at GBR. GBR has been long known as an aftermarket driveline parts supplier for Land Rover, and for the last number of years as a repair shop as well. After a night’s rest just south of Salt Lake, we headed over Rt6 to Green River and onto Capitol Reef National Park. We drove some trails in Capitol Reef and Cathedral Valley for our 1st off highway experience in the Perentie while scouting the area to help Traci in some route planning for the Jeep Dirt-n-Drive event that goes from Las Vegas to Moab for the Easter Jeep Safari. From there we worked out way back to Green River for the night, and then onto Moab in the morning where we stopped in at the Moab Grill for breakfast before hitting the trail. We chose to run Fins-n-Things as this is a great introductory trail and a perfect test of what the stock Perentie 6×6 is capable of. I was quite impressed with how the unladen 2 tonne rated truck did, surprisingly the suspension worked very smoothly and it maintained good traction considering the tires were kept at full street pressures. After Fins-n-Things, we tried out Baby’s Lions Back as it’s a good steep climb. We went right up the front side, but I did manage to struggle on the even steeper optional return route. As we had a rough deadline getting back to Denver, and I wanted to be smart and no push our luck on any harder trails, we decided to roll out of Moab after a quick bite at Milt’s. From Moab we decided to head south east through the La Sal range UT-46 into Colorado and onto Montrose for our nightly stop. From Montrose we took US-50 into Gunnison, had a quick late breakfast there and continued onto US-285. A quick stop for gas at the Johnsons Corner Conoco for some gas and our 1st opportunity for a parking pic next to another Rover, then onto Rt-9 over to Breckenridge, with a photo stop at Hoosier Pass, to drop Traci at home before I continued onto Denver.
All in all, we racked up about 1600 km on our round a bout road trip home. We had a great time seeing the sights, meeting people, and getting to know the Perentie 6×6 in depth.
Since the trip I’ve already made a number of modifications to the truck; Upgraded the turbo, built a center console to replace the center seat, and installed some heavy duty alloy wheels and larger tires. I’ve got even more in store planned too 🙂