An Australian team has set world records for the longest and deepest underwater drive with a modified 1978 Toyota Land Cruiser nicknamed “Mudcrab.”
The team of engineers, industrial divers, and automotive enthusiasts last week drove the classic Land Cruiser 4.3 miles under the harbor of the Australian city of Darwin, reaching a maximum depth of 98 feet, ABC News Australia reported. To try this, the Land Cruiser needed rather more than a snorkel.
The Land Cruiser, which started off in unroadworthy condition, was converted to electric power so it could operate without oxygen to burn. The tires were also crammed with 330 kilos of water. The team reportedly only had time for one saltwater test drive before the record attempt.
The route took the Mudcrab and its drivers/divers across the harbor from Mandorah to Darwin. This had previously been attempted in 1983 by one other group from Darwin with one other Land Cruiser. They didn’t make all of it the best way across the harbor, hitting a rock ledge 1.8 miles into the journey, but they did set records for underwater distance and depth. The attempt has turn into an “urban legend” in Darwin that served as inspiration, Matty Mitchell, head diver for the Mudcrab team, said in an interview with ABC News Australia.
For this attempt, 30 industrial divers took turns behind the wheel. While the harbor is home to sharks and crocodiles, the most important challenges turned out to be mud and silt. The Land Cruiser got bogged down multiple times, requiring inflatable buoys to lift it out of the muck. The SUV also needed to be lifted over a gas pipeline, which took two hours.
The underwater drive ultimately took 12 hours—about five hours longer than originally planned—with the Mudcrab emerging from pitch black waters at around 9:00 p.m. local time.
The Land Cruiser nameplate has been absent from the U.S. for the past couple of years but a brand new generation returns for 2024 with a retro design and a cheaper price goal.
This Article First Appeared At www.motorauthority.com