At this point, we’ve all heard someone call a hefty luxury sedan or a bro-dozer truck a “tank.” Of course, it’s a figure of speech as nothing comes close to the weapon of war in any way other size, and even then it’s a stretch. The creation we’re talking about here isn’t a tank by definition, either, but it’s got the heart from one and in a bunch of ways, that’s all that matters.
You’re looking at Russell Lowe’s Ford tank/car/truck. It’s a Model A body sitting on top of a 1949 Ford Bonus F-250 chassis. Propelling all of that is an enormous 27-liter Rover Meteor V12 tank engine strapped up front. The absolute unit of an engine came from a Centurion tank and makes between 1,000 and 1,200 horsepower using two carburetors and a supercharger that runs around 6 psi of boost.
In an interview with Street Machine, Russell said he and a pal built the contraption for fun, but mentions the process wasn’t at all easy. Since the engine came from a military vehicle, technical details were scarce, and many related documents were classified. Brakes and steering are original to the F-250 that was sourced for the project, which according to Russell should “slow us down, with a little bit of luck.” Fuel delivery comes courtesy of a tiny beer keg from New Zealand Breweries, so the vehicle’s driving range most likely leaves plenty to be desired.
The rig looks impressive for having been built in a garage by a couple of beer-drinking Kiwis, but that doesn’t mean it won’t deliver a good deal of sketchiness on the road. Russell said they could get more power out of the engine, but the build is about fun, not breaking things. In the same breath, he mentions taking it out for a drag race in a few weeks and says that “we’re not sure how straight it’ll go, but we’ll get it out there and give it a crack anyway.”
God bless you, New Zealand. Never change.
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h/t: Engine Swap Depot