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1969 Simpson Desert crossing recreated by Chris Collard and BFGoodrich

US off-road guru, Chris Collard, has led a recreation of the 1969 Simpson Desert crossing by Ian McDonald who tagged along on the drive as part of the Jeep BFGoodrich East-West traverse of Australia.

Respected US off-road writer and photographer, Chris Collard was guest of honour at the Jeep BFGoodrich East-West traverse of Australia and led the Simpson Desert crossing, recreating the 1969 feat by Ian McDonald. McDonald met up with the team at Cape Byron, he drove a CJ Overland in his original crossing. “There is no comparison to what we drove…these new Jeeps are just amazing,” said McDonald.

Jeep BFGoodrich East-West traverse of Australia

“The Simpson Desert drive is just one leg of the month-long Jeep BFGoodrich East-West expedition. Piloting a 2018 Wrangler JL Overland four-door, Collard led five Jeeps from Birdsville to an abandoned oil well known as Beachcomber. From there, the group set a course due west to the Simpson’s geographic centre and then to Old Andado Station,” said Jeep.

The key changes to the Wrangler Overland was a long-range fuel cell, suspension lift, steel Mopar bumper, and Warn winch.

Jeep BFGoodrich East-West traverse of Australia

From Alice Springs the expedition will follow McDonald’s tracks to Ayer’s Rock, the Olgas, and through the vast expanses of Western Australia. By the time the team reaches Steep Point, the westernmost promontory on the continent, they will have passed through every state and covered more than 5000 kilometres.

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober