Nissan is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the first motorized crossing of Australia’s vast Simpson Desert, achieved by the Sprigg family in their G60 Nissan Patrol. The family adventure, which has since made its way into Australia’s record books, was undertaken by Doug Sprigg, his sister Marg, and his parents Reg and Griselda in 1962.
Looking back at the journey, nearly-70-year-old Doug fondly recollects being just seven when he and his family squeezed into the front seat of their G60 Patrol and set off on the adventure of a lifetime. With no real tracks or maps to follow, and with a 200-liter drum of fuel and 200-liter drum of water in the back, the family averaged just 5km/h on their journey. By day, the family would track across the desert, and each night the family would camp beneath the stars.
Starting from Andado Station in the Northern Territory, the two-week journey saw the Sprigg family navigate the endless sands of the Simpson Desert before completing their journey in Birdsville, Queensland on September 11, 1962. The Simpson Desert is the largest parallel sand dune desert in the world, stretching more than 170,000 square kilometers and touching the Northern Territory, Queensland, and South Australia.
“I have such fond memories of that G60 Patrol. It was such a robust and reliable vehicle. I was even shorter then than I am now, and Nissan had provided me a way of seeing forward — through the air vents below the windscreen and I remember the vehicle was magnificent. Every other vehicle had significant problems, with gearboxes in particular, or with differentials, but the Nissan never had any issues”, said Doug.
Globally renowned for its breathtaking capabilities and having earned its title as the “Hero of All Terrain”, the Patrol recently celebrated 70 glorious years of transporting people across the harshest of terrain in absolute comfort and luxury. This milestone coincided with the ‘Year of Patrol’ and was celebrated through a one-of-a-kind event last December at Expo 2020 Dubai in the Middle East.
Recognized in the Middle East for its capability to conquer the harshest of terrain, the Patrol has built a legacy, composed of a deep-rooted heritage, power, and superior off-road capability over the past 70 years. Since its introduction to the region in 1957, the Patrol has become an intrinsic part of the Middle East and its people, integrating itself as a culture within society.
To cater to the unique needs of customers in the Middle East, Nissan continues to introduce Middle East-exclusive versions of the iconic Patrol, including the luxurious Patrol 70th Anniversary model, the rugged Patrol Super Safari, and the race-inspired Patrol NISMO. In the region, the Patrol has earned its position as an icon and one that is passed on from one generation to the next.