“All these wonders in one world and you a man upon it.”
— The Land of the Blue Flower
For the team members of Expeditions 7, a breakfast meeting in 2011 would lay the groundwork for an ambitious expedition; to drive a Toyota Land Cruiser around the world. An ambitious goal by any expedition standard, Expeditions 7 (E7) would bring two different adventurers’ dreams onto the world’s stage.
Back in 2007, Scott Brady had started dreaming about a seven continent journey across the globe on his motorcycle. To some, this might be an extreme version of a road trip, but for Scott, who is the publisher and chairman of Overland Journal and ExpeditionPortal.com, crisscrossing the globe in search of adventure has been his passion and career for the past 30 years. It would take the next few years to document nearly every stage of the journey including logistics, costs and potential roadblocks to his dream ride.
“As with many of life’s goals,” Scott stated, “I needed to wait for the best timing, or in this case, the best partner.”
Fast forward to the summer of 2011, where Scott Brady and Greg Miller would discover their shared dream of a global expedition. Greg, the CEO of the Larry H. Miller Group (whose companies include professional sports teams, a world-class race track, a chain of movie theatres, a top-ten auto dealership group and a host of other businesses), is no stranger to travel or adventure. In fact, Greg has one of the most complete and rare collections of Land Cruiser vehicles in the world, and his driving experience ranges from the extreme terrain in Moab, Utah to high-performance driving in the Gumball 3000. It was his passion for Land Cruisers which lead him to dream about driving one around the world.
Over breakfast, as Greg and Scott discussed their shared love of overland adventures, the idea of a seven-continent journey began to take shape. As Scott shared a few details of his planned trip and they each discussed their personal goals for such an undertaking, by the time breakfast was over, they agreed the timing was perfect to set their shared dream into motion.
Greg and Scott, as well as the team that would eventually make up Expeditions 7, wanted the journey to be purely about adventure without the constraints of third-party promises or commitments. If they were going to do it their way it would mean they would hit the road without sponsorships.
For the leaders of the team, the three-year journey is epic. “Expeditions 7 is a dream turned reality, the opportunity to explore the world with good friends and talented cinematographers, and in the most exceptional of vehicles.” Greg expressed the hope shared by many adventurers and explorers; “I am looking forward to being able to observe and immerse myself in many of the world’s most fascinating cultures, and travel across its most beautiful and challenging landscapes.”
Greg is a passionate Land Cruiser collector and overland traveler with over 40 years of global adventuring. He brings a wealth of experience in technical terrain and precision driving to the E7 team.
Scott is the publisher and chairman of Overland Journal and expeditionportal.com. He has spent the past 30 years exploring and photographing the world while exploring on motorcycles and expedition-worthy 4-wheel drives.
Josh is a trained driver on race- and off-road course, as well as a FJ40 Land Cruiser owner, and serves as one of the team's photographers. He's also taken an interest in outdoor cooking. Josh is currently attending the University of Utah.
Bryce recently spent two years living in and around Santiago, Chile as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He currently works for Miller Family Real Estate and is attending Salt Lake Community College.
Oakley is passionate about adventuring and photographing the varied landscapes of the world, especially his home state of Utah. He has been driving off-road since the age of 12 and owns his own FJ40.
For the Expeditions 7 team, getting ready for the journey would prove to be a monumental task in and of itself. As the definitive route began to take shape and the equipment list began to grow, the team was in agreement on the most critical piece of equipment: the vehicle. From day one, it was agreed that the Land Cruiser 70 Series would be the vehicle of choice. The most utilitarian in the series being the 78; a high-roof, three-door “Troopie” with a full metric-ton payload capacity. The only snag was getting one.
Because of EPA and safety variances, the 78 Series Land Cruisers could only be brought into the United States with temporary importation permits. The vehicles would end up being registered and titled out of New Zealand. Greg and his team went straight to the source, Toyota in Japan, to spec out the vehicles, including a 5-speed manual transmission. The two matching vehicles would also come equipped with front and rear electronic locking differentials, air conditioning and raised air intakes. Right off the assembly line, the 78s were ready to hit the road. All that remained were a few additions for trail performance and passenger comfort.
The trucks and teams spent a little time in Arizona and Utah in the Spring of 2011 for equipping, modifications and testing in the rugged San Rafael Swell and the world-renown slick rock trails of Moab, Utah before heading north to the starting line of their world-wide expedition.
A flat sleeping surface is critical for comfort. The height is set to match that of the National Luna fridge.
The water and electrical systems are stored on the driver’s side and are easily accessible for repair.
Aluminum tie-down rails help secure the bags in the loading area. A recessed 12 V switch activates the water pump.
The thin profile of Baja Design LED light bars surround the underside of the Eezi-Awn rack.The entire rack is set back, limiting light scatter on the hood.
AKA "Sherpa I"
This pickup was enlisted to haul all the camera and support equipment for the team. Powered by a 1HZ diesel with an aftermarket low-pressure turbo, the 79 Series also boasts an ARB bull bar and front and rear ARB locking differentials. A custom canvas top includes drop-down sleeping “wings” and a secure storage drawer.
AKA "Sherpa II"
Vehicle specs & dimensions coming soon