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Interview with Toyota Land Cruiser 4WD Club of Australia (Victoria Branch)
(Image: The Land Cruiser 4WD Club VIC on one of their trips.)
Q. When did the TLCCV start?
The Club was formed in 1973 by Graeme Wilson and John Whitney and following some community adverts on radio 3AW and the placement of flyers on vehicle windscreens, a meeting was held which saw more than 40 potential members turn up.
(Image: One of the clubs very first 4WD trips.)
The Club from the start was supported by Toyota Australia, with an executive from Sydney flying down to be part of the inaugural meeting. A Committee was subsequently formed and the Club experienced rapid growth. Today the Club enjoys a growing membership above 700 members. Owners of all makes of 4WD are welcome, although most members drive Land Cruisers!
(Image: On the second Tuesday of each month.)
Q. How often does the Club meet?
The Club meets monthly at the Mulgrave Country Club on the second Tuesday of each month. TLCCV also has a Branch based in Geelong catering for members based in the south western region. Currently, meetings are held on Zoom, although we are looking forward to face-to-face meetings resuming early 2021.
(Image: The club runs 70 4WD trips per year.)
Q. What activities does the Club hold?
Our core activity is four-wheel drive touring, providing a wide variety of 4WD and 4WD-related activities for our members.
(Image: 4WD Club remote campsite touring.)
Pre-Covid, the Club would typically run around 70 4WD trips each year, varying from beginner trips to medium and very hard trips. These may be day, weekend or extended trips. When allowed, annual trips are typically run to such locations as Fraser Island, the Canning Stock Route, Beadell Outback tracks, Simpson Desert and specially planned remote touring in isolated areas of Australia that are rarely visited.
(Image: The club runs a program of training activities for members, this is their Chainsaw course.)
The Club also runs a program of training activities for members, covering such subjects as tyre repairs, camp cooking, photography, latest communication technologies, trip preparation, vehicle setup, wheel bearings, bush mechanical repairs, chainsaw usage and first-aid.
(Image: The club runs a program of training activities for members, this is their driver training.)
Q. Does TLCCV provide driver training?
Yes. The Club was the first in Victoria to offer members 4WD training. Today accredited trainers provide theory and practical training to members. As a condition of membership, all new members must complete the course. A theory evening is held in Melbourne followed by a practical weekend at the Club property. The 4WD training component is included in new members joining fee.
Advanced four-wheel driving is also offered, along with specialist recovery training.
(Image: Crossing the Snowy River.)
Q. Does the Club have its own property?
TLCCV owns a 300+ hectare property north of Yea - just over 1-hour travel from Melbourne.
Largely an undeveloped bush block, it features a large hut and fireplace, which is the venue for many Club social activities, and base for special training and educational courses. There are hot showers and amenities for members, along with a large network of tracks which are used for driver training activities. The property provides various driving obstacles, such as sand and mud and a challenging water crossing. There are many campsites and areas suitable for caravan access. A purpose-built training facility is currently under construction.
(Image: Driving through the Mud at the Cruiser Khana.)
Q. What other activities does the Club run?
The Club hosts an annual Cruiser Khana 4WD fun event, which is open to members of all FWDV affiliated Clubs. It involves completing a series of specially prepared obstacle courses, involving skill and knowledge of a 4WD. Clubs battle for the Perpetual Club Trophy, which is currently held by a TLCCV team. Each event sees over $10,000 in prizes distributed.
(Image: Club trip convoy.)
Q. What other benefits does TLLCV offer members?
There are Toyota Land Cruiser Clubs located in all States and members share reciprocal rights to participate in other States TLC club trips. The Clubs maintain an Association of Toyota Land Cruiser Clubs, which meet every 2-3 years in a different State where a conference, social activities and local 4WD trips are enjoyed. The next get-together will be held in WA in 2022, with a large contingent of Victorian members attending.
(Image: Remote group touring.)
The Club produces a full-colour monthly magazine and electronic communications, entertaining meetings with interesting guest speakers, member trips and various special events.
(Image: Club convoy along the sand dunes.)
The Club also has an active Community Response group that is activated following natural disasters. Club members have contributed hundreds of hours to fire and flood relief work, along with staging hay runs to support drought-affected farmers. Whatever your interest, there is a group within TLCCV that you will be welcomed to be part of.
Q. How do I contact The Toyota Land Cruiser Club of Victoria?
While the Club has a presence at many 4WD and Outdoor Shows across Victoria (when allowed again!) the Club maintains a detailed website at www.tlccv.com.au
This site provides membership details on the club and an overview of club activities.
Enquiries are also welcome at email@example.com
For details on Toyota Land Cruiser Clubs located in other States, simply google the Club name and State.