Who is MadMatt?

G’day, I’m MadMatt,

There is nothing better then escaping the city with the family and camping equipment packed in the back of the Cruiser.

I am always been into my camping and 4wdriving from a young age and I am passionate about what I do.

Mad Matt keeping warmI have always loved the bush, born in Cairns and travelling very young with Mum and Dad around Australia in a Combi van was just the start.
When I was just 18 months old I went up Cape York with Mum and Dad as far as the Jardine River. Dad didn’t let me drive that time which I’m just getting over now.

Where did the name MadMatt come from? When we were kids, my mates and I first started owning cars we used to play hide and seek on the AM CB radios at night and we all had code names and mine was MadMatt.
I didn’t use it for many years after that until the advent of internet forums and when they asked for a user name it seemed to be the first that came to mind and now it’s kinda stuck.

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As a kid my family moved to Papua New Guinea to work as missionaries. Growing up there was awesome and I attribute my love of 4wds to this time. I started to drive the tractors when I was about 9-10 years old and Dad taught me to drive the Landrover and Landcruisers soon after that. My favorite memories were the days when I could finish school early and go out into the remote villages to buy rubber off the local rubber farmers. The tracks were muddy, steep and FUN. One hill we would have to winch up on the way in and slide down overloaded with rubber totally out of control on the way out. I think if I knew than what I know now I would see some safety concerns with those days.   One day as a 16 year old a few mates and I decided to go and walk the Kokoda Trail. Not knowing what it was all about we just headed of for a walk. It took us 4 days because no one told us it was meant to take 10 and I did it in bare feet because I didn’t own a pair of shoes.

Where we lived was the point where the Australians and Japanese in the Second World War first fought. It was from here the Australians were pushed back along the Kokoda trail towards Port Moresby until they finally won the fight. The house we lived in was made using timber stamped with US military details and out in the bush were a number of fighter plane wreaks.

In 1987 I started my apprenticeship as a motor mechanic. My time as a mechanic saw me work in a range of areas primarily in the heavy diesel side of things up to 8000HP generators and as a diesel fuel injection specialist. I finished my mechanics as a teacher teaching mechanics to disadvantaged youth.

During my apprenticeship I bought my first 4wd a 1982 Holden Jackaroo. I ran this girl into the ground in 2 years I did so much 4wding with my mates. She was not very capable but that didn’t bother me to much as I thought she was fantastic.

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After the Jack I bought a 1986 Toyota Bundera turbo Diesel and owned her for 5 years. Once again she was off-road more than she was on-road; I couldn’t get enough of 4wding. During this time I got to go on a trip through Africa leading a 2 vehicle team as Mechanic and 4wd expert. Aside from lots of adventures on this trip one of the Landrovers dropped an exhaust valve in the Sahara desert and all but wrote the motor off. Bent the head and conrod and destroyed the piston. I still have the piston with genuine Sahara Desert sand in it. A tip for you don’t rebuild engines in sand.

While in Africa I tried to climb Mt Kilimanjaro but got altitude sickness on the last bit and had to turn back. Now if I could have driven I think I would have been fine

After I sold the Bundy I bought a 4.5 ton Mitsubishi Canter 4wd truck. I built this into a long range touring truck that could seat 6 adults and be self contained for a week or more out bush. I had her fully engineered and registered with an Island cab behind the rear cab. This had 3 bucket seats with seat belts for the rear passengers. She wasn’t too bad as a rock crawler either but mud was never a good thing. The Canter is now in Fiji being used as a mobile dental clinic for a mob called Marine Reach. It’s perfect for their needs.

I currently own a 1995 80 series Toyota Landcruiser and another Bundera. The 80 is the family 4wd/shopping trolley and my play thing that I have to be too gentle with in case I break it out bush  The Bundy is undergoing a ground up restoration that will result in a V8 powered toy for me to play with.

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Some of my dreams are to own and run a competition truck team that competes in the local 4wd comps in Australia. I also have a dream of 4wd touring through the USA, Canada and Alaska. Other things I really enjoy putting my efforts into are my church and an organization that does amazing work with kids in East Timor check it out at http://www.timorlestechildrensfund.org.au/

As far as 4wding goes, I usually go to bed thinking about 4wds and wake up thinking about them. I’m always keen to learn from others because together we know far more than one of us as an individual. But I would happily throw my hat in the ring for who’s the most passionate about 4wds competition. It’s out of this passion that that MadMatt came about and I hope that you enjoy my passion as much as I do.

I’m MadMatt, stay safe on the trails.

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