This past week has been full of records. Not only have we now been on the road for two months and driven 13,000kms since we started this trip, but Vanda celebrated passing her 250 thousandth kilometre of driving! Yep.. thats a lot!
If our beloved van were able to speak, we would let her choose her own ‘kilometre-day’ present – but seeing as she doesn’t, we thought we’d give her a good thorough service instead.
As Delicas were never sold in Australia (only imported from Japan) its very difficult to find somewhere that knows all about them and has all the tools required to work on them properly – even Mitsubishi service centres aren’t big fans of working on Delicas.
However, in the past 2 months on the road we’ve met around half a dozen Delica owners who all swore by two mechanics from a little service centre in Geelong called the Delica Garage. Its actually Australia’s only service centre specialising in Mitsubishi Delicas, and when we got in contact with them we were surprised and overjoyed when they offered us a complete service for free.
After completing the stunning Great Ocean Road drive, we arrived in Geelong and headed straight for the Delica Garage. It was a surprise to see so many Delicas parked together out the front – normally we get excited just seeing *one* Delica on the road as they are reasonably rare (a flash of lights or a friendly wave is always exchanged by the owners).
Delica Garage co-owner Phil was happy to work away on Vanda while we sat and chatted. Soon after Theo, a Delica owner and mechanic who worked nearby, also arrived and joined in the conversation. It was a morning of many laughs and good stories, and Vanda had been completely made over by lunch time – new oil and filter, new sway bar links and a good check of the wheel bearing we had fixed ourselves back in the Kimberley. Theo even had a look at our rear diff and fixed a small leak for us on his day off!
Just before handing Vanda back to us, Phil decided to do a quick check of the entire van to make sure everything was safe and in good working order. He had a good look and went for a drive – when he returned I asked if he thought Vanda would survive the coming 150,000kms we plan to drive on our trip around the world. This is always something people ask us (seeing as Vanda isn’t the youngest of vans), and although we trust her to get through anything, having an experts opinion would reassure us a lot.
Phil just smiled and said calmly, “If you keep looking after her there’s no reason she shouldn’t last up to a million kilometres!”
Exaggeration or not, we were extremely happy to hear this and very grateful for the service. Although Phil and Theo refused our offer to take them out to lunch we left some chocolates and a card for them and continued on the road.
At 250,000kms Vanda is running smoother and better than ever – here’s to the next quarter of a million kilometres!