Friday, August 17, 2012

Boys and their (tracked) toys!

Australian reader Snoggeramus informs us of a motorsport enthusiast in that country who's adapted a World War II light tank for his displays.

What do you get when you cross a monster truck with a Stuart army tank and a supercharged 7.0-litre V8 engine?

The bizarre mix, devised by Victorian monster truck enthusiast and self-confessed “mad scientist” Sam Xuereb, results in a car-crushing machine that can go almost anywhere and punch a hole through virtually anything.

The engine that powers the tank is based on the same Chevrolet LS7 unit used in the HSV W427, which with 375kW stands as the most powerful production car ever built in Australia.

Latrobe Valley mechanic and inventor Xuereb went several steps further, supercharging and refettling the Chevy-sourced powerplant to almost double the output.

Bolting the engine and a specialised gearbox into the tank, he retained the rest of the World War II relic’s original running gear and stripped off the armour plating. The process took about two years and wasn’t without its difficulties. “As you can imagine, it’s not easy to source the parts,” Xuereb says.

The result is a six-tonne World War II tank, dubbed MegaTrax, that can accelerate to 100km/h in seven seconds - quicker than a six-cylinder Ford Falcon. But it’s the MegaTrax’s ability to jump - and destroy things - that is its showstopping trick.

Xuereb has completed a ramp-to-ramp jump across three cars in his tank, but if he falls short it’s no problem because car-crushing is another of MegaTrax’s specialties. He has also been known to punch holes through caravans and schoolbuses.

“It makes a bit of a mess out of things,” Xuereb says. “Caravans just explode when I hit them.”

There's more at the link.  Here are two video clips of his modified tank, the first taken at his workshop, the other at a car-crushing display.

I wasn't aware of it until I searched for the two video clips above, but there seems to be an entire sub-culture of tracked car-crushers among monster truck and demolition derby enthusiasts.  I also found this video clip of a whole range of similar vehicles, some much larger than their Australian counterpart.  I recognized the tracked undercarriage of a Sherman tank on some, and what appeared to be Russian underpinnings on at least one other.

It certainly looks like they're all having fun.  I have only one quibble.  My vehicle-destruction experience usually involved the application of high explosive, delivered at high velocity from as far away as possible (which sometimes wasn't nearly far enough, as far as I was concerned!).  That being the case, why not just leave the cannon on the tanks, and act accordingly?



Old NFO said...

LOL, having cannons 'would' make things a bit more interesting!!! :-)

Quartermaster said...

When one is killing Tanks, no weapon has sufficient range. But, having been a Tanker, I think all anti-Tank weapons have too much range. It's all in your perspective.