• If you currently own, previously owned or want to own an Avalanche, we welcome you to become a member today. Membership is FREE, register now!

Australian Avalanche Adventures


SM 2003
Full Member
Jul 11, 2002
Melbourne, Australia
Well my Australian avalanche adventures have finally started, after a long wait my vehicle has finally arrived.

Let me give you the background... I started looking at the Chevy avalanche back in 2001 but the prices were out of my budget back then. ?Then on June of 2002 I came across this web site ?:rolleyes: and thanks to all you avalanche enthusists I found myself addicted and just had to have one.

In August of 2002 I ordered a 2003 model avalanche; black 2500 4x4 with leather, roof racks, sunroof, camping package, bug deflector, vent visors, 145 amp alternator, car bra & car cover as well. ?I ordered it through a dealer in Canada as the exchange rate for Australians works better against Canada than it does against the USA.

Well my vehicle duly arrived in November, after a terribly long wait and was loaded onto the ship to depart on Dec 26, 2002. ?It finally arrived at the docks in Melbourne on Jan 31, 2003 and I was able to pick it up after clearing customs on Feb 6... and here begins my adventure.

It was a balmy day of about 28oC and the dock taxi dropped me off beside my av. ?
It had been sitting in this spot fo 6 days now, out in the weather and was fairly dusty and covered in grime. ?This was my first chance to stand back and have good look at her. ?It was taller than I was expecting and for some reason shorter than I thought it would be. ?The back of the av was loaded with all the extras and the mid gate was down to ensure they all fitted in properly so I couldn't really get a good look at the interior.

Turn the key (fingers crossed), it starts beautifully, purring away it sounds awesome... a walk around to check for any damage, none.. not a scratch. ?Unfold the external mirrors and climb into the drivers seat. ?Move it as far back as it will go, dayum, my head hits the roof... lower the seat as much as it will go..MMmmm still only about 1/2" of room, ahh well I guess my stetson wearing days whilst driving are over.

Cruise out of the car park down to the security gate and hand in my paperwork, stop at the holding bay and fit the dealers plate so I can drive it home.

Out of the holding bay and on to public streets for the first time, it's a bit odd driving a left hand drive car down here. ?You have to get used to seeing everything from the passengers perspective and get used to positioning your butt in the LH side of your lane and not the RH as normal. ?

Of course the low fuel warning light is glowing steady and I have no idea how far I'm going to get on the little bit that they put into it for transport. ?Cruising down Beaconsfield Parade along the beach, windows down, sunroof open, sea breeze blowing through the cab... geez life is good at the moment. ?Turn down Fitzroy Street (a trendy cafe area near the beach) cruise about 10 under the limit. ?People are staring, pointing and craning their necks to see. ?LOL it's driven about 5 miles and people are gawking already. ?Geez it's hot in here, why is that. ?Trying to figure out the door controls.. geez the heated seats are on, how do I turn them off? ?It's hard to figure all this out whilst your driving. ?I finally get them off and things start to cool down.

To the service station for fuel, I only put in $50.00 because I only have to go 200 Kilometres. ?I am aware that more than a couple of the people filling up are staring?? ?Pull out of the service station, gauges now looking good and I'm feeling less anxious. ?Now a short drive to show the missus before I drive it out to the engineers workshop.

Pull up out the front of the beauty salon and out she comes for her first "inspection". ?Mmmm she says, gee it's high and black! ?Sue has a grin on her face so I know she approves, nice looking front she remarks and lots of room inside... OK then you can keep it. :rolleyes:

Trying to pull out of the parallel parking out the front of the salon is no easy feat when driving from the LH seat and of course not wanting to scratch my baby before she even gets to the engineer. ?One bloke in a little Suzuki 4WD nearly ran into a parked car trying to see what it was pulling out as he went passed. ?A few sets of lights later I got caught at a red light in front of a pub. ?Within 15 seconds there was over 20 people with their noses pressed up against the windows trying to get a look at what this strange car was at the lights.

The rest of the trip was on a Freeway so other than people driving beside me for an unusually long time it was fairly uneventful. ?The comfort of this thing is above average and the ride about what I expected for the 2500... firm but not harsh. ?
Drives really well and goes where pointed on the road, it's the first car I've had with steering wheel controls so I can see that I'm going to like those.
Seems to have lots of grunt, although I didn't want to open it right up. ?I'll wait until the 1,000 Kilometre mark for that. (y)

When I got to the engineers workshop we gave her a wash and a good look over. ?
No damage, not a mark and I'm going to love the black. ?Probably wont like cleaning it but I'm sure I'll like how it looks when it's clean. ?I took some photos and some video of my baby and then handed over the keys. ?:6:

Now I just have to wait the 5 or 6 weks until she is converted and then the fun will begin. ?I can't post the photos taken outside the workshop at the moment as my computer is in getting tuned so here is a copy of the photo taken on the docks when she first arrived. ?:love:

Wow! Skidd! I'm so happy for you. ;D Your new AV is a beauty!

Thanks for the entertaining story... I loved it!

Congratulations! (y)
Well Skidd I think you already know what the rest of us have been saying. The AVALANCHE is GREAT! You are in for a great experience!
Skidd, there is a dearth of adequate things to say to someone who has waited this long for a dream to come true - just a little longer and you will be cruising the beaches, turning young things heads and having a ball (y) (y) (y)
gandolphxx said:
Skidd, there is a dearth of adequate things to say to someone who has waited this long for a dream to come true - just a little longer and you will be cruising the beaches, turning young things heads and having a ball (y) (y) (y)

Hold on a second ..... (scratching head).... you mean my AV isn't strictly for work purposes and the occasional hauling of crap from Home Depot?????

Dam I've been missing out :eek: :rolleyes:
Congrats Skidd! I've been checking up on your posts, anticipating this one. I see that you're one proud papa! ;D
Great story Skidd! I found myself smiling as I was reading it. I'm sure you'll have people turning their heads for months.
Congrats again and I hope that 5 or 6 weeks comes quickly for you! :B:
Skidd said:
It finally arrived at the docks in Melbourne on Feb 31, 2003...

Wow, I thought it was just the seasons that were different Down Under. Our February only has 28 days, unless it's a leap year. ? ;)

Congrats. And get used to being stared at.
Congrats Skidd. I still can't believe that you're actually telling stories of an Av down in Australia. I'm happy for you and I get a big smile knowing that you have your Av (in Australia nonetheless) and you're enjoying it.

I'm glad the good folks at CAFCNA have been able to help you (y).
Skidd....it must be 100 times better to drive that thing down under. Your the only 1 you'll see. I still love my AV for all it's worth, but i see atleast 4-5 a day.

Knowing you are one of few if not only AV around, has got to feel really cool.
tymcneal said:
Wow, I thought it was just the seasons that were different Down Under. Our February only has 28 days, unless it's a leap year. ? ;)

Congrats. And get used to being stared at.
Thanks ty... I've fixed my obvious mistake, I've really got to learn to check my posts better than that.

Thanks everyone for your enthusiasm for me, I'll get the pictures up as soon as I can. I know that you all know how great this vehicle is and you have always told me so... but you can't believe how glad I was when I seen it that I actually liked it. See it was the first ever time I'd seen one other than on the internet.

I hope to keep you all informed of my progress and recent adventures... stay tuned. (y)

Now you need to get it lifted with 33/35 inch tires too.... >:D

It is so cool knowing that you finally got you AV!
I imagined myself being a Kangaroo sitting in the back of Skidd's AV as it cruises down the road on it's maiden voyage. I look around. "Hey, all of these cars have the steering wheel on the wrong side!"

I liked reading of you experience so far Skidd. Best of luck. I can't wait till the conversion is done. I think I'll be looking forward to the conversion pics more than the WBH pics we were all waiting for.

My Cookie Monster is a 2500 also! :D
skidd, ...you are in,...once you get it converted, every day, when you go out and get in...your...av, you ..will say to yourself....aaaallllrrriiiiggghhhtt, i got me an av!!

i did not realize you went for black, like got change..

since i live in florida, ...every day, when i get home, .....before i go in and say good evenin to....mama.....i give a quick wash, to clean the days dirt, from my truck., utilizing my rear bumper beverage holder,during the cleaning process
skidd, get a ...california water blade, and wipe off the water drops, and you will realize,black is beautiful.

and skidd,,we all have been with you ,watching your posts, and the task before you now, is to:

day, by day, inform us about mod after mod, and let us ride along with you, and ...your avalanche, down the av trail.

hey skidd, first question, did you lay ....."down under"
the av and see the view, you got the aluminum driveshaft, right,?
and question, of questions, while the av was on the frieght dock, did you have enough time to slip in a set of amber drls????????

CONGRATS! loved the story, thanks for sharing and keep em coming! ;)
it is a really neat thing to be unique and the one and only. since finding this site and doing some modding, no Av here in town looks or sounds like ours, and we are the ones being stared at also! :eek: people are trying to figure out what the deal is with our amber DRL's, and the other mods.
keep em staring! (y)
Congrats on your first dive. Nothing compares. Heck nothing even comes close.

Ya really feel like a celeb. when driving and people are gawking. :eek:

Congrats Skidd!

Enjoy your AV! It is such a great vehicle that I've frequently thought that if it were female, I'd probably marry it! :eek: Keep us posted on your further adventures.
Skidd wrote: "To the service station for fuel, I only put in $50.00 because I only have to go 200 Kilometres." ?

$50.00? and it isn't full? ?How much is fuel down there? ?Up here $50 would fill me up and have enough left over for a good lunch.

Great to hear that you got your truck!
Congrats Skidd, sounds like the you're going to be the talk of the town for quite awhile. ;)

I remember when I was down under and had the opportunity to drive a moke and a small bus(not everyone in the outfit was allowed to drive), I nearly wrecked a couple of times forgetting to drive on the left. :cautious: Was great fun though.

Sure hope you can get some pictures of the conversion in process. Very interested to see how things go. :B:
Congrats Skidd - sorry I missed this thread when you first posted.

You'll find your neighbours much more friendlier now I'd expect. ;)

You are going to love that 8.1L motor. A little hungry on gas, but the fealing of power is !!!!!!!.

Good Luck and keep the picutres comming
Congrats bloke! Sounds like you had a fantastic maiden voyage! ;D