At Club 4X4 we are a very fortunate bunch – we have the opportunity to jump in our beloved GU Patrol and head all over Australia to various trade shows, open days and other industry events to educate people on what we are offering, as well as how the insurance industry works in general (plus, we just love going wheeling!) Just over a week ago, myself and Ross headed down to the Melbourne Showground in the in the #MobileHQGU for the National 4X4 Outdoors Show, Fishing and Boating Expo.
The show was packed full of action from start to finish but please see below some of the highlights as told by yours truly.
The Patriot Mega Tourer:
Perhaps one of the most talked about events occurring for this year’s show was the unveiling of the Patriot Mega Tourer. Justin and Sarah of Patriot campers were not telling porky-pies in the weeks leading up to the show when stating that we had not seen anything like this from them before and that we would be blown away when we saw it. When I first saw it from the rear, my first question was “what vehicle is this based on!?” Looking at the shape of the body it became apparent quickly that it was the iconic 79 series – but that was just about the only thing recognisable as you can see in the photo! There is custom 6-wheel air suspension, custom TJM bar work, a 500HP V8 tuned engine, custom Redarc gear throughout including solar, and that is only just scratching the surface of what has been done. An easier question would be “what hasn’t been done?” As you can imagine it has a price tag well into the triple figures, but then again it is a BEAST in every sense of the word so you can understand.
Amarok V6 Proving Ground
Although it was not launched at the show, the Amarok V6 is still relatively new to the Australian market – most of us have read about the features and spotted them out and about on the roads and tracks, but few of us have had the chance to jump in one and see what all the fuss is about. One of the great additions to the Melbourne show this year was the Amarok proving ground where myself and many other enthusiasts got to jump behind the wheel and test the off-road capabilities of the new ‘Rok on terrains such as sand, rocks and logs. Immediately I noticed the massive increase in power compared to the various 4-cylinder turbo diesels available on the market with 165kW of power and 500Nm of torque! It was also the first time I had encountered the 8-speed automatic transmission and although the terrain was not exactly extreme, it coasted through the course seamlessly. All in all it was good fun to drive and had me drawing up a savings plan in my hotel room later that night…
4WD Industry Council Breakfast
Held before the gates actually opened to the public, this breakfast was organised to give exhibitors the chance to interact with eachother before the chaos of the show and also so that they could update us with what is happening in our community at the moment. As part of this, our GM Kalen Ziflian, and the Managing Director of REDARC, Anthony Kittel were asked to jump up and talk about what the future potentially holds for us in the 4X4 community. The brief for the talk was “What is over the horizon?”, and together they explored a number of topics such as self-drive vehicles, Euro emission standards and much more. It was great to gain insight from people with such vast experience in our industry and to bounce our questions and ideas off one another.
Mixing with the personalities of our industry
One of the most exciting parts about attending these events is getting to rub shoulders with the people that become familiar with through our televisions on Sunday afternoons as we grab some lunch and get inspiration for that next trip or next mod we want to fit! We have recently become a sponsor of The Offroad Adventure Show and have also been entrusted to cover their vehicles as they continue to explore the great outdoors for our entertainment. On various occasions throughout the show, Rick and Starlo came over to our stand to say g’day and share stories with us and our customers. And I can confirm that they’re every bit as fun and knowledgeable as they come across on the telly.
Of the all the goings on at these events, the main reason we that we get out to all of these events is to interact with the community that has given so much support to us. I was lucky enough to be the very first sales consultant for Club 4X4 and have had the opportunity to grow with the company – I can still remember taking the first call and even setting up the very first policy back in 2015 when we launched at the Sydney 4WD and Adventure Show! Since then, it has been great to see our customer base growing rapidly and we are starting to see more and more familiar faces at these events. On top of all of the people we provided with quotes at the show, a large amount of people were dropping in just to let us know they were with us already and to grab a cheeky sticker from us to slap on their rig.
I could keep going, but we would be here all day. I look forward to flying the flag for Club 4X4 for many years to come and it is events like this that make it all worthwhile.
So please, if you see that we are attending an event near you, do not hesitate to come and have a chat!
Until next week.