Tornado attack vehicle – Click above for high-res image gallery
One of the toughest aspects of tornado chasing, besides running headlong into almost certain death, is finding a vehicle that can withstand the violent onslaught of wind and debris generated even by (relatively) weak storms. Over the years, storm chasers have come up with all sorts of solutions to the transportation issue, with everything from beefed-up pickup trucks to balls-to-the-wall armor-plated beasts.
The Tornado Attack Vehicle is the latter, and is credited as being one of the first specialized tornado chasing machines ever created. The truck was commissioned by legendary tornado chaser Steven Green and is the first vehicle to be driven in to the heart of a funnel cloud. Even with heavy modifications, Green knew a road-going pickup truck platform wasn't going to cut it. To ensure he and his team got through the twister and lived to tell about it, he had the truck built from the ground up.
The skeleton of the monster is a steel tube frame, draped with 16-gauge steel bodywork. The windows and wheel covers are made of bulletproof M10 Lexan plastic, while the windshield sports a triple layer of super-strong DuPont Mylar. According to the listing, one layer of Mylar is enough to stop a .38 caliber pistol round.
All that armor means this thing isn't what you would call light, so a Chevrolet ZZ502 big block was chosen to send power to front and rear Dana axles through a custom Turbo 400 automatic transmission. That's an impressive list of specs to be sure, but we'll stick to doing our tornado watching courtesy of CNN. Check out the full eBay listing here.