American pickups have an almost mythological nature about them. They’re big, they’re brash and, despite their size, they’re so eminently practical. The winner of Mater Cars for Cancer draw 101 will get one, along with two KTM dirt bikes, but it’s the Patriot TH610 Toy Hauler that has truly grabbed my attention. It’ll grab yours too, but first, you’d better grab a ticket.
Throughout time, almost every invention has improved what came before. The combine harvester replaced back-breaking human labour. The ute supplanted the horse and cart. The computer superseded, like, about 1000 things, including the typewriter, the slide rule and speed dating.
But every so often, someone invents something we didn’t know we needed, such as the iPad, chilli hot chocolate or David Attenborough. And now, Patriot have created the heavy-duty Patriot TH610 Toy Hauler which means you no longer have to choose between a base camp and a ride through the wilderness. Well, assuming you’ve won Mater Cars for Cancer lottery number 101.
The Toy Hauler combines the features of a flatbed vehicle trailer with those of a base camp, cleverly placing equal importance on both. Up front, the TH610 includes a functional, L-shaped kitchen with scratch-proof, stainless steel benches, and on top of another, slide-out bench, you’ll find a 53L portable fridge/freezer and cutlery compartments; everything you need, including the kitchen sink! A Weber Baby Q completes the domestic facilities required to go off grid and escape the everyday, but only if you’ve got your hat in the ring.
A mad escape into the bush to sleep under the stars and explore the surroundings will require some off-road action. For that, the Patriot TH610 is well-equipped, with a DO35 360-degree hitch and self-levelling airbag suspension to get you there, plus a 115L water tank, gas hot water system, 180-degree awning, Fusion stereo and REDARC 240V battery management system to ensure the stay is comfortable.
Stay? Oh yeah, there is a two-person, rooftop tent fitted to the top of the Patriot TH610, meaning you can get to where you’re going and don’t have to leave until you want to. And you’ll have plenty to do, because the rear half of the Toy Hauler does what it says on the box; in this case haul a pair of supplied KTM 500 EXC-F 2022 dirt bikes. Australia’s favourite enduro, the EXC-F has conquered the NT’s Finke Desert Race nine times in the last 11 years, so anywhere they can’t go, you should probably stay away from.
The Patriot TH610 Toy Hauler and the two KTMs combine to form an impressive bit of kit that will be yours, should your ticket be the winning one. And such a kit requires an impressive rig; something big, brash and in this case, unapologetically American. Because there’s just something intangibly awesome about a pickup truck.
The 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ is the latest iteration of GM’s iconic pickup, proudly converted to local compliance by GMSV. It runs a 6.2 litre EcoTec V8 producing 313kw of power and a beastly 624Nm of torque; more than enough to pull the 1580kg dry tare weight of the Toy Hauler and then some, as the Chev has a huge 4.5 tonne towing capacity.
The EcoTec V8 features automatic stop-start, while the 10-speed auto trans has overdrive on the three tallest ratios, both contributing to surprisingly good fuel efficiency which is officially quoted at 12.3L/100kms. Aluminium panels render the Silverado over 200kgs lighter than the previous gen, but at the end of the day, it’s roughly the same size and shape as a block of flats. And that’s what makes it cool.
The Chevy truck has been around for over 100 years, Mater Lotteries over 60 years, and cancer has been affecting our lives since forever. Buy a ticket today, maybe win a Chevrolet truck, two KTMs and an insanely practical Patriot Toy Hauler, but foremost contribute to putting an end date on this insidious disease. In that respect, Mater Cars for Cancer lottery No. 101 is win-win.