A 4,370-mile road trip in classic Toyota Land Cruisers might not sound eco-friendly, but the Clean Cruiser Project aims to make its journey carbon neutral
When people talk about that fabled ‘man and machine’ connection, they are often talking about a dainty sports car and twisting mountain roads. However, venturing off the beaten track in a 4x4 requires the very same communication to avoid getting stuck.
We love off-roading and so do the guys behind the Clean Cruiser Project – that’s why they want to make their trip to Panama ecologically sustainable.
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To enjoy battling through nature in your 4x4, that nature needs to be there in the first place. The goal of the Clean Cruiser project is to raise awareness for environmental issues, but also present a solution to those of us who aren’t so keen to jump into an electric car and leave our 4x4s behind.
The team are restoring a pair of Toyota Land Cruisers, a 1979 BJ40 from Costa Rica and a 1982 BJ42 from Canada, which have been selected for the 4,370-mile trip from California to Panama. They want to keep these iconic 4x4s on the road instead of buying new ones which can contribute up to 35 tons of carbon to the atmosphere per car.
Furthering the trips green credentials is the use of biodiesel which burns far cleaner and so doesn’t required the carbon intensive processes needed to extract fossil fuels. To achieve this, out went the original B-series Toyota engine from the BJ40 and in went a Cummins R2.8 turbodiesel, mated to a five-speed NV4500 transmission. They kept the factory Olive Brown color, at least, though with some pinstripes for added style.
The aim of the game is to make this epic road trip carbon neutral, and so the Clean Cruiser Project will also be planting a minimum of 200 trees in the rainforests of central America on their journey. Within a year of planting, these trees will have cancelled out the carbon emissions of the trip and will continue to reduce CO2 as they grow for the next 25 - 30 years.
You can also ‘donate a tree’ for the team to plant on your behalf by sending your chosen donation via their website, as they aim to reach their goal to plant 10,000 trees while on their adventure.
The hope is that this trip inspires others to look at different ways of doing things, not to the detriment of their enjoyment, but in a way that’s perhaps more environmentally responsible. It’s a fine and noble cause and we wish the team the greatest success in 2019.