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    Customer Stories pt. 15: The Legendary Land Cruiser

    Customer Stories

    Name: Catherine White

    The classic: Toyota Land Cruiser

    ‘It’s lovely to drive, makes you feel safe and it goes absolutely anywhere. It’s never let me down. I’ve travelled all up the East coast of Ireland, down to Cornwall, and into the northern reaches of Scotland in it. You never notice the distance in the Land Cruiser.

    When I first bought it, I told myself I’d be driving it for the next couple of years. Two years became five, and after that it just became my forever car!’

    Catherine is based in Kent and has owned her beautiful Toyota Landcruiser since 1994.

    ‘I wasn’t planning on buying a new car,’ Catherine explains, ‘but my boyfriend and I had ordered a new Buccaneer caravan. Around ten months before we went to pick our new caravan up, the dealer told us that we’d also need a new car, as the VW Golf I owned at the time wouldn’t be able to manage the weight of towing the caravan.

    ‘They told me to go and get something ‘really big’ like an estate car, but my boyfriend suggested that we get a 4×4 instead. We went to a Toyota dealership, they told me about the Land Cruiser and I just loved it. It’s been my car ever since!

    ‘It was 6 months old when I bought it, and had belonged to an estate in Scotland.’

    Heritage customer Catherine White standing in front of her green Toyota Land Cruiser
    Catherine White: the proud owner of a 1993 Toyota Land Cruiser

    Having kept her Land Cruiser in tip-top shape for almost three decades, Catherine is determined to keep it as original as possible. ‘I hate when people get old cars and put new things on them,’ she explains.

    ‘When the CD player broke a few years ago, I searched everywhere to get it fixed and replaced with the exact same one. I like it be exactly as it came out of the factory; it’s how it should be!’

    The mechanics of the Land Cruiser

    When it comes to the mechanical side of things, Catherine prefers to do most of the work on the Land Cruiser herself, alongside her partner. ‘We try to do most of it ourselves, but occasionally it will need to go to a Toyota specialist garage,’ she says.

    Catherine has a rule about parts – ‘they all need to be from Toyota – and with good reason! I remember one occasion when I’d bought generic parts and had a horrendous incident driving on the A1.

    ‘I was doing about 60mph and overtook a truck, when suddenly the car was going all over the place. I thought one of the tyres might have gone, so I pulled over to take a look. Weirdly, there was nothing wrong with them, so I checked over the rest of the car and couldn’t see a thing – it all seemed fine.

    Front view of Catherine White's green Toyota Land Cruiser front view
    Catherine’s Land Cruiser is her forever car

    ‘I carefully drove it the rest of my journey to the caravan in Nottinghamshire and told my other half about it. He took it out the next morning for a drive, but he couldn’t figure out the issue either. But when he got back, we looked at the wheel and there was smoke coming from it!

    ‘It turned out that the locking tab of the wheel bearing had worked its way off, and the wheel bearing had collapsed and broken the stub axle. It still drove, but we were told that if it was any other vehicle, it would have turned over and probably killed us.

    ‘That was a generic locking tab, so it made me completely change my mind about generic parts. I’ll only accept parts from Toyota, aside from little things like windscreen wipers or bulbs.’

    Life with the Land Cruiser

    Although Catherine prefers to work on the car herself, she didn’t have any mechanical experience when she bought it. ‘I’ve learned everything from my partner and YouTube videos!’ she laughs.

    ‘It’s amazing what you can do with a Land Cruiser; they’re really straightforward because there’s a lot of bolt-on/bolt-off parts which are pretty each to navigate.’

    Interior of green 1993 Toyota Land Cruiser
    The interior of Catherine’s Toyota Land Cruiser
    Back corner view of green Toyota Land Cruiser
    Back corner view of Catherine’s Toyota Land Cruiser

    Although in recent years she has felt some pressure to retire her beloved Land Cruiser as her daily car, for Catherine there’s simply nothing that compares. ‘It’s lovely to drive, easy to work, you feel safe in it and it goes anywhere. It’s never let me down,’ she says. ‘I’ve lived quite high up in Scotland, and it’s never failed me, even driving up through the snow.

    ‘I’ve half retired it now as I’ve got a Land Rover Discovery II. I found the Discovery in a quarry; it was in awful condition at first – I was embarrassed to drive it back home! I spent two weeks cleaning it with the idea to do it up and sell it, but I decided to keep it in order to give the Land Cruiser a rest. I’ve been using it every day up until 2020, so I thought it needed a break.’

    Travels around the UK and further afield

    Catherine’s Land Cruiser has certainly come in handy over the years, transporting her all over the UK for various house moves and adventures.

    ‘During the time I’ve owned it, it’s moved me from Kent to Southern Ireland, then to Scotland, and back down to Kent,’ Catherine recalls. ‘On top of that, it’s been all over the UK on numerous trips and holidays.

    ‘I’ve done almost all of Ireland: the east coast of the North and all of the South. It’s also been to Cornwall and to the very top of Scotland whilst I was living there. It’s been virtually everywhere in the UK!

    ‘I also used to jump on the Euro tunnel when I lived in Kent and do my shopping run in France, then come back – that was every fortnight. It never fails me. You just get in it and drive; you can drive miles upon miles and just not notice the distance.’

    Catherine White's green Toyota Land Cruiser front view
    A timeless classic which has been all over the UK
    Ian Cook's drawing of a green Toyota Land Cruiser
    Ian Cook’s drawing of Catherine’s green Toyota Land Cruiser

    Would you like the chance to be part of our Customer Stories project?

    If you’re a Heritage Car Insurance customer and you’d like your classic drawn on one of our live drawing sessions, please send a maximum of 150 words about what your classic means to you and at least 2 images to We’ll send the original drawing to you for free, as well as a printed T-shirt and mug. It’s a wonderful project to be a part of, so if you’re interested simply get in touch!


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