I recently got the chance to catchup with Shaun Whale from 4WD 24/7 (formerly 4WD Action). Among the best known 4WD personalities in the country, I have to say that he’s also very approachable and surprisingly down to earth in person. I gave him the usual questions, and here’s what he had to say:
How did you get into 4WDing?
My first 4WDing memory outside of using them on the farm was when my dad took me on a trip to Fraser Island in our old 4Runner and I was hooked. Fast forward to when I first got my Ps, I bought a little Suzuki Sierra and used that vehicle off road and to camp out of at every chance I got. I was also very passionate about spearfishing and fishing, so would use the vehicle to go off road and find remote fishing spots. From there, my 4WD obsession grew!
How many 4X4’s have you owned?
I’ve owned a few 4WDs over the years. In order from my first 4WD to now, there’s been a Suzuki Sierra, 60 Series (the Dirty 30), 80 Series (a white TD that was immaculate – wish I never sold it!), a 79 Series Dual cab, 80 Series (Sooty), a 47 series Landcruiser ute, 200 Series and finally a petrol GQ called Darryl. I don’t tent to sell many vehicles as I get very attached to them… for some strange reason, even Darryl the GQ is still in my shed. I sold the Zook, white 80 series and 79 series and have kept the rest!
What’s your favourite thing to do when you aren’t busy filming or wheeling for work?
Outside of 4WDing my biggest passion is fishing. When I get home from filming, I love taking the boat out and heading offshore. I chase just about everything that swims, but love heading wide and fishing for tuna and marlin.
What’s your hidden talent?
Singing and dancing! Nope, that’s a straight up lie… to be honest, probably cooking. I obviously cook on 4WD 24/7 for the cameras and sometimes it looks like I’m butchering the odd meal, but at home I do all the cooking and love smoking meat and cooking fresh seafood that I’ve caught.
What are you the worst at?
Wow, I’m not sure there is enough room to get all of this down. But something that might surprise you is that I can sometimes have a terrible sense of direction off road. It’s not hard for me to become geographically embarrassed, thank goodness for Google Maps!
What do you think has made 4WD 24/7 so successful?
It really is a simple formula as to why 4WD 24/7 is successful. We are all very passionate in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Passion is what drives us and keeps us excited. If we weren’t 100% obsessed about the off-road lifestyle and genuine blokes, I think the audience would see straight through it. We’ve always tried to show the average Aussie what can be done on a budget as well as given them the inspiration to get out and explore this great country of ours!
Where haven’t you been yet, but are keen to explore?
I would love to explore the WA coastline. It looks like a magical place with some of the best camping and fishing in the country. I’m pretty keen to travel up that coast for a month or two!
Favourite 4X4 destination?
That’s a really tough one as we’ve been to so many amazing places. But the Kimberly and Arnhem Land would be my favourite because it’s so raw and untouched.
Most useful 4X4 accessory you’ve ever owned?
It would have to be a winch. They’ve saved my bacon on so many occasions! But a fridge would have to be a close second 😉
Least useful 4X4 accessory you’ve ever owned?
I once fitted a bigger exhaust to a Suzuki Sierra and I was on the tightest budget ever at the time. I can now think of around 50 mods that would have been better bang for my buck!
Most epic trip you’ve ever done and why?
There are so many, but some of the big epic trips like the eastern beaches Cape York mission and Lorella Springs back in the day and the recent Kimberley show with the new Dirty 30 would have to go down as the most epic!
What’s the best thing about being insured with Club 4X4?
It’s simple really. Club 4×4 get my passion about 4WDing and understand 4WDs and what we do with them. When they speak my language, I have the confidence that my pride and joy is in good hands should something go wrong. I know they’ve got my back.