The Best Project We Never Did Yet

Back when [Caleb] was around here at Hackaday, he was tasked with making a few YouTube videos. His Portal Gun got 1.6 Million views, and we got a takedown request because of this video even though that company was more than willing to use [Caleb] as a guinea pig at CES.

This post is not about those videos. This post is about the best project we never did yet.

The grand plan for The Best Project was a zombie survival van. It’s exactly what you think it is: a van armored and armed for driving through a herd of walkers. Proposed mods included a cow catcher and roof rack, a motorized turret, a poofer (propane tanks shooting fire from underneath the van), a bartender that launches molotov cocktails, and a beautiful little contraption called an ankler. The Ankler is just a pair of chainsaws that fold out from under the van.

The base vehicle would be a 60s VW bus. [Caleb]’s a big fan of aircooled stuff, and if you think about it, 60s VWs are pretty good for the zombie apocalypse. If you’re doubting that, just ask how many tools it would take to change out the engine in your car.

Although the dream of a Hackaday aircooled zombie apocalypse van died when [Caleb] left, that doesn’t mean we’re still not considering an official Hackaday ride. All of this is still in the planning stages, but we have a few ideas; the first, and biggest, is a mobile hackerspace on a trailer. This would be a standard semitrailer, loaded up with tools, 3D printers, a laser cutters, and a couch. It would be the perfect thing to load up with swag and haul to events.

We’re considering another more sensible vehicle, and right now the top contender is an early 2000s Astro or Safari cargo van. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: the coolest vehicle we could come up with is a minivan. There’s actually some logic to this, so hear me out.

The Astro/Safari shares a lot of parts with the S10, and that means parts are everywhere. The Astro has an AWD variant, and with a 4″ lift, upgraded suspension and big, knobby tires the Hackaday van would be very, very fun to take out into the desert. It can haul eight foot sheets of plywood, they’re cheap, everywhere, and they just don’t die.

While the best idea right now is an Astro van, we’re also considering other AWD vehicles: an AMC Eagle would be cool, and I think RedBull has a few Suzuki X-90s sitting around. An M35 Deuce And A Half would be fun. A US Mail Truck would probably last forever, and if we go with the semi-trailer concept we would probably want a smaller vehicle on site wherever we park the truck. Current options for this parasitic vehicle include a Nash Metropolitan, a Trabant, a Citroen 2CV, a Renault Dauphine, a Lada, or a Yugo. Yes, they’re all ridiculous but they’re small and can fit in the back of a semi trailer.

It’s still an idea we’re throwing around, but we really need a reason to have a van before we go out and build a hackaspace on wheels, a zombie survival van, or something to launch off some sweet ramps. We don’t go to that many events, and driving a crappy old van across the country a few times a year sounds like fun but surely isn’t.

You can check out [Caleb]’s pitch video for the zombie survival van below.

96 thoughts on “The Best Project We Never Did Yet

  1. Why not go the RV route? The fancy ones have tip outs, and I’m sure it wouldn’t be much trouble to rip the furniture and cabinets out to make room for some benches. Toss some folding tables and a pop up awning and you got yourself a makeshift hackerspace or demonstration center anywhere you want.

  2. As a guy who learned automotive mechanics on a ’68 beetle and ’67 bus I would like to point out that they have a major advantage. You can repair/rebuild them anywhere. I rebuilt the ’67 in a truckstop parking lot after a #3 valve stem failure and recovered from a #3 piston melt in a ’68 Ghia by removing the connecting rods and driving ~100 miles back to the house on 3 cylinders.

    Air cooled VWs are much higher maintenance, but they’re easy to get going when they break. That’s not true of recent vehicles. So what do you expect the repair parts supply chain to be like during the zombie apocalypse?

    1. I would say get a 4Runner and forget about it for the next 300,000 miles (Or an original 6 cyl FJ40) or a Subaru if you want air cooled. Fahrfegneugen is the feeling you get in the pit of your stomach stuck behind a National Socialist Volks Wagen bus going over a mountain pass.

          1. those are all small stationary engines!

            the biggest bitch about the first Subaru engines was the fact it is ALMOST a direct copy of a VW engine, with a water jacket added, only the left out a couple of head bolts, on both sides, which made them blow head gaskets into the water ways.

            I been rebuilding Subaru engines since 1978 and have never seen an air cooled automotive Subaru engine.

            p.s.

            from the link,

            if you ever need to buy a rural fire fighting pump, the ones Subaru make on that page are friggen great!

    2. In an apocalypse I expect the parts supply chain to look like every single other vehicle sitting along side the road.

      Also: need inspiration? I’d suggest the MadMax movies.

      Furthermore: Lots of apocalypse movies overlook the need for auxillary fuel tanks but when refuelling becomes less simple than pulling up to a pump you’ll want to do it as infrequently as possible. You’ll also want your own pumping solution with you because it’s going to take a long time to top off all that extra capacity. I’d recommend something other than a basic electric pump for this.

      1. Got to love the major logical disconnect of Mad Max: it is the apocalypse, gas is even more scarce than virgins, and EVERYONE is driving around in vehicles with big, armored, gas-guzzling V-8s, superchargers, and FLAME THROWERS! Typical fuel economy is going to be 6 – 15 mpg (2.5 – 6.5 km/L (or 40 – 15.5 L/100km if you prefer)). Assuming the gas stations are completely drained in the first week, the refineries will be overrun by week three. There will be no fuel available anywhere within two months. If you can survive for three months, your fuel options will probably come down to solar electric or alcohol. You will have to distill the alcohol yourself, and you will have to figure out what you are going to make the alcohol from. IF you can find a loaded grain silo, you will be sitting pretty, unless you are found by some gang.

        I suppose that syngas is also an option, and probably the best bet long term, assuming long-term anarchy; and assuming you can hold onto it.

        1. True, there is a disconnect there, but the MadMax movies are set in the future *YEARS* after the downfall of society. In the early days gas will still be plentiful and (somewhat) freely available. Most people don’t consider that gasoline has a finite ‘shelf-life’ and if it’s not used before then will eventually turn into something that fouls your engine. All the more reason to consider something with a diesel engine so i can run fryer oil if it comes to it.

          In a zombie-apocalypse fuel economy can be damned and I’ll worry about what comes after *if* I live to see what comes after. In the meantime my main concern is going to be something that is hardened and can plow through any packs of walkers that I might come across. This makes me want something with enough power to carry the “cow-catcher” and all the pointy bits of metal that I’ll be welding on.

    3. My dad had a basement full of VW engines with blown #3 exhaust valves, underneath his repair shop. Hardly the vehicle I’d want to have to depend on in a zombie apocolypse.

      1. You only need to relocate the oil cooler on older stock VW air cooled engines to prevent the #3 exhaust valve problem. Don’t expect to stay too warm in winter in a type ll without a gas heater. And you can almost walk up a mountain faster than driving a bus.

  3. Bread truck (or RV as mentioned above).
    Lots more space for stuff, like a generator, A/C, refridgerator, furnace/wood stove, 19″ racks (ham radio, computer, SDR, Audio and video equipment. Room for bunks and a biffy water tank and sink, flat top roof for lawn chairs, sniper, telescope, satelite dish, antennas, solar panels…
    My high school electronics teacher had an old telephone company truck, it was like a bread truck with a small backhoe mounted on a rear corner. I don’t know what became of it when he died (or his wife’s 57 Chevy).

    1. If it weren’t for the locking doors on the outside, I’d say one of those refrigerated food delivery trucks. Not the big rigs, but something like swans (or how ever it’s spelled). Growing up, a neighbor up the street drove one, I remember his being a walk in, but google pics don’t show them that way.

      Otherwise, any cargo van with a roll cage added. Put a good alternator+inverter in the engine, some ARM and SDR and HAM stuff in the back. 19″ rack? I’d go smaller and lower power draw for most stuff, and keep the roll safety. Extra power, if needed, my little Honda 250cc has a 400 watt alternator stock, just strap the bike on the back for solo or scouting (cause 80 mpg beats a van) and use it as a backup generator when needed too.

  4. Gotta pick the zombie rules man… If you’re doing classic zombie, any ol’ van will do. I’d shoot for the A-team Vandura. Add some steel plate…

    If you’ve got some Resident Evil going on, consider something armed to the teeth and hammer proof.

    Long term survival ala Walking Dead would necessitate supplies and cargo.

    Zombieland? Make sure you’ve got seatbelts. Rule #4.

    1. European countries can buy a fully functional (no weapons though) BRDM-2 for less then a new passenger car…if you need more space, there’s the BTR series…
      Apart from having actual armor (scarce resources means you might need to fight over them…), they are amphibious and engines are simple and built to last…
      The BRDMs also have an interesting feature – engine is accessible from the inside, so no need getting out of the armored vehicle to fix it…

  5. Rather than work from the the movie-set perspective (fun though it is), why not look in those dusty places in the world where real wars are being fought with real vehicles a long way from any parts stores. Given that US wrecking yards sell inventory to the shredder pretty regularly, your better bet centers around older still-running Toyota pickups (which often share a 4 cylinder engine model with about half the planet’s cars). Never mind the script writers, observe everyone from Somalians to the Special Forces (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Tacoma#American_special_forces_use) and enjoy the world of “technicals”.

    1. See, a Hilux would be the top of the list, but you can’t get them in the US. A Tacoma doesn’t have the payload, doesn’t have the frame, and doesn’t have the suspension of the Hilux. They’re completely different, despite being called a country-specific rebadge by everyone.

      Although this is appealing:

      1. I vote for BJ60 Landcruiser, FJ60s are available in the States, but the better BJ60/HJ60s are diesels and basically unkillable, most third world countries love the 60 and 70 series landcruisers because of that. Your pic is of a 70 series Landcruiser Pickup, not a Hilux. Great pic though.

      2. You are correct about the differences, but the ubiquity of parts is compelling as is the durability/payload gain over VWs air cooled models. Eventually this turns into a regional argument – here in the flatlands of the Midwest, an F-150 would be the preferred mount simply because every other vehicle happens to be one.

  6. What a lack of efficiency in that zombie survival van, just gimmicks.
    1. Top chop the front, smaller windows easier to clean.
    2. Make a big string trimmer, where you can push out and retract the string at you will.
    3. Mount it between the middle seat, with a light angle of incidence.
    Enjoy Salami !

    1. They’re properly called “pilots” (thx Wikipedia!) or “cow catchers”. And were invented by Charles Babbage! Yes, that Charles Babbage. So where would this conversation be without him?

      Can’t find out how much they weigh yet, thru a light Googling. But they’re strong enough to bounce cows without bending. And a train has a HUGE amount of momentum behind it, and a very solid frame, built on, essentially, girders. So I’d guess, lots. Half a ton or so?

      1. Some cow pushers are springed. Not all though, check the train museums. Problem is they can potentially cause pile up on top of the vehicle and not allow you to go over the bodies, which is what is desirable on a train but not so much for a vehicle.

        Better solution is a good Roobar. If the zombies don’t bounce off, they’ll go under and your vehicle will go over. Too many bodies may risk high centering but that is true for any vehicle.

    1. If it rolls over near a bunch of zombies, you’re gonna get some extremely major injuries. Unless it squashes them, and has spikes and fire shooting out in all directions, and even that doesn’t stop some zombies. Much better a vehicle that will never roll over. Don’t school buses have quite feeble walls? And lots of vulnerable windows?

      Depends how much space / weapons / speed / armour you need, but I think a light tank would be nice. That’s not gonna roll over. Plenty of room for extra fuel, plenty of carrying capacity, and a few nice weapons already included. A machine gun or two will clear roads for you. The main gun can batter through things, if it runs out of shells. And the ammo is all standard military stuff, so there’s megatonnes of it stashed in the right places. You can buy military vehicles second-hand in most countries. Generally the weapons are deactivated, but since Americans can buy that sort of thing at the supermarket, just use the existing mounts for your own.

    2. I second the school bus. I have seen one that had a wooden deck built on top. It wouldn’t be too difficult to put a ladder from the inside to go up. If you want to get crazy, add a hatch that opens on the bottom as well.

      Yes, a school bus has lots of windows (a “stock” bus anyway), but that is a trivial thing to correct. And armor? Let’s think about this for a second. How long would it take anyone reading this to PUNCH a hole in a bus wall? Even if you had a pick-axe (something that is supposedly beyond a zombie’s mental capacity), could you get inside faster than what it would take for someone; sleeping inside: to wake up, get dressed, walk to the weapons locker, open the locker, grab their weapon-of-choice, load it, and then walk to where they can blow your brain case inside out? The movies drastically overestimate the upper theoretical limits of the rotting human body, while underestimate the material strength of common everyday items (such as steel).

      You can pack a good deal of machinery inside a garden-variety school bus. Plus, you put all the critical, but low interaction equipment (ie: air compressor, extra generator, water and fuel tanks, etc) below the floor. I might even put a beefy welder in the belly, and run bus bars to carry welding current to various places where I could plug in my welding cables.

    3. A bus was on my suggestion list as well. Scrolled first to see if someone suggested. Of course, I was thinking about the mobile hackerspace, not zombies.

      For the zombie apocolypse, the vehicle should go with a wide wheel base. It’s not like you need to obey the laws of one lane anymore at that point. And like a dune buggy, have the wheels outside of the frame on a-frames that can extend up high for getting over that mountain of bodies.

      Better yet… bus with steam roller drums instead of wheels. Just make your own road out of them.

      A wide scoop wood chipper on the front perhaps? Chew em up and spit them out the back.

  7. For the hackerspace what about a trailer? Cheap enough to get and you can park it and still use the car that hauled it to drive around. As for the zombie van, I picture something like this, only without the safety guards.

  8. I’d go electric. First thing that’s going to happen in a zombie apocalypse type scenario is that the power grid’s going to go. That means no getting fuel out of gas stations as they’ve got electric pumps. And drilling into the underground tanks will (a) require some serious equipment and power, (b) expose you to zombies, (c) risk igniting the tank with sparks. That’s assuming there’s even any fuel there – first sign of an apocalypse and everyone’s going to refuel and empty the gas stations – without the infrastructure of tankers etc keeping them fueled, there’ll be no gas.
    So if the station’s got power to the pumps, you’ve got power to recharge. But you can also charge, albeit slowly, with PV cells, without leaving the vehicle and exposing yourself. Even if you move slowly, not leaving the vehicle sounds like the best plan.

    If, somehow, you’ve got a supply of fuel, a hiilux is probably the best plan, they are extremely durable (Google topgear’s attempts to destroy one). Weld some higher sides on the back for protection.

    1. If you’re relying on PV cells as your fuel source, you’re dead before you can even warm up a hotdog. If the petrol station has no power, you use your own generator, splice it into the station’s power, or just to one pump. That’s actually a good thing, most of the other petrol-wasting zombie-fodder won’t have thought, or the knowledge, to do something like that.

      Electricity either needs power stations, which are nice and defensible but not very mobile, or fuel-powered generators. Possibly an electric hybrid will have less moving parts in the transmission to go wrong, and can keep going even if the petrol engine dies (for a while, til you fix it). But they’re not commonly available. Toyota trucks are the abused and battered workhorses of militias all around the world. I’d take their example. If I couldn’t get a tank.

    2. Siphon the fuel the same way it went in. Park over the cap and pull a panel in the floor of your to access the cap. Drop a hose then use your own engine power to run the pump. If you’re worried about a zombie crawling under, just add a drop cage underneath. Watch for fumes though.

      1. I’d assume there’s some protection against siphoning fuel from petrol stations. You could run your own generator to pump it, true. But the whole thread is worried about how easy an engine is to tear down and rebuild… I’ve never once had an engine torn down and rebuilt on any car I own. I think the bigger issue is will you survive the first few weeks, and can get to a safe location, and for that, any vehicle which moves will do. Hybrids or electric vehicles win – if you w got fuel you can charge them (from a generator if it’s pure electric), and if you’ve any other source of electricity, you can also charge them.

    3. I can’r recall the name of the movie, but Lee Majors didn’t have problem refueling his race ar from the dregs left in the underground tanks. Of course that movie made about as much sense as the Mad Max movie did

  9. whatever the vehicle, engine would need to be an older diesel, bosch p-pump mercedes or mechanical VP pump as used in thousands of european diesels. as others have said fuel is your biggest issue, engines powered by these pumps will run on used engine oil, used cooking oil, vegetable oil, tbo anything that feels oily lol for me it’d have to be a LWB 4×4 mercedes sprinter, but swap the common rail engine out for one of the older mechanically pumped non-turbo engines (for reliability)

    1. Should add, every festival or event I attend in my old austin mini that requires a decent drive i pass literally(in the true sence) dozens of air cooled pieces of shit that have overheated or broken down, usually after a long but not even steep incline. I wouldnt rely on one to pull me out of bed, not that they have the power too.

    2. True, a biodiesel factory is pretty much a few oil drums and some filters. You could load that onto the back of the truck / van, and go plundering petrol stations and fast-food places alike. Plus you can actually eat the fast food. Well, it is a zombie apocalypse.

      I was impressed once, before a long trip, to see my friend change his Land Rover engine from fuel-injection to carburetted, I think he swapped the manifold, somebody will know better than I did. He would have kept the fuel-injection but he’d run out of Jubilee clips. Something like that anyway. I was impressed. Took less than an hour.
      Prior to that he worked on science missions on ships, he studied at Liverpool John Moore’s, so I suppose he picked up some tricks. He quit the ocean job cos you don’t meet many women in the middle of the ocean.

  10. Hey guys, Caleb here.
    One point that is somewhat overlooked in the article and in the comments here is that impracticality was part of my plan. This had to be amusing (its entire goal was to have broad appeal, like a tv show). To that end, pretty much anything actually zombie related would be big, flashy, and highly impractical. Zombies aren’t real folks.

    The practical elements would have been sandwiched in-between those. Things like building a small water wheel generator from broken down cars, or making a heating stove that won’t suffocate you in your zombie van, etc.

  11. I have a 1988 Fleetwood Bounder ( Identical to the Breaking Bad RV – same panels, awning, curtains, etc)

    hopefully the pic worked, here you see the Hydra next to it with the HDMI & USB cables run inside to 4 screens.

    https://hackaday.io/project/1071-the-hydra-multiheaded-virtual-computer

    This was built in the RV:

    https://hackaday.io/project/4927-hydra-multi-os-gaming-console-controller

    So I have the rolling hackerspace already, not really “Breaking Bad” more like “Voiding Warranties”

  12. Make it a super-scavenger electric vehicle. Solar cells on top, a tiny multi-fuel engine for generating power, and a thermoelectric generator for burning random crap. Do heavy aerodynamic mods to increase the range.

    You also need some directional antennas and a powerful-enough SDR to run any communication you can think of. Maybe a small tethered hot-air balloon for optical surveillance and increasing radio range.

    1. The only solar-electric vehicles that go anywhere are those flat skatefish-looking things with a bubble for the driver and a bicycle chassis. Not particularly zombie-resistant. And of course bugger-all use at night. Unless your vehicle is loaded down with batteries, and a lot of them, which will of course increase the weight and therefore need more energy etc etc. Even in the desert, it’s not gonna be practical. Thermoelectric too. Very expensive, bulky, not efficient, and where the hell do you get spares from? This is all stuff that’d weigh more than the van that carries it.

      Maybe a modern steam car, powered by burning anything. But that’s developing from scratch, and not conducive to hacking in your garage.

      1. Steam downright sucks, you need lots of relatively clean water, also very inefficient…
        If you don’t mind burning wood, there’s woodgas. Most gasoline engines can be converted to run with a woodgas generator, these were quite common in Europe during WW2…
        Maybe an indirect drive woodgas/electric hybrid, that way you would have ample electrical power for…more hacking! :D

        1. Actually forgot about that, I read about it in, I think, the New Scientist ages ago. It was called “producer gas” and was made the same sort of way they used to make Town Gas from coal, in the Gasworks every town used to have.

          The idea is you burn carbon (wood, coal, etc) under steam, without much air. The combustion produces CO2, but also CO, H2, and methane, all of which are flammable. This is the reason, also, that people used to put their head in the oven when they’d had enough, the carbon monoxide finished them off quickly. No longer possible with natural gas, which is why gas leaks are at least no longer poisonous, if still a bit explodey.

          The picture I saw was a doctor’s car, which had a convertor (burner / steam etc) in the boot, and a giant inflatable bladder on the roof to store the gas, unpressurised. It would run into a petrol engine with just a minimum of tweaking. Obviously the carbon monoxide is dangerous, among the mix of explosive gases generally. But so are zombies. That actually might be a good idea! You’d need some retired gasworks engineers to build it properly, and, having mostly died of natural causes ages ago, might be among the zombies, depending on the specific zombie rules you’re using. I suppose they’d mostly be bones by now, which technically makes them revenants.

          But yup. Would work nicely on either coal, which many countries have tons of in neglected coalmines, or charcoal, which isn’t hard to make from wood. Which you get from the burned remains of people’s houses, it’s like mother nature or something!

      2. Use a Stirling Engine. External combustion so it runs on anything that burns, and you don’t have to worry about it exploding, because it doesn’t require high pressure to run.

          1. NASA did make a few vehicles that were directly powered by Stirling engines

            but the intent was to power the electric motors, not direct driving. It’s a “super-scavenger electric vehicle”, you run whatever fuel you can find. Gasoline, wood, garbage, zombie corpses ….

  13. Mercedes Unimog – anything else is a pathetic compromise. Sling a Citron CV2 off perpendicular life raft divots at the back, replace all trim strips with Picatinny rail, and paint the whole thing in a WWI “dazzle” paint scheme.

    1. That’s the same reason there are so many s-10/s-15 parts around… they’re all breaking down so often! Ain’t never a good reason to buy a 90’s or newer GM anything, heck, 80’s either. Or most of the 70’s. Just skip anything GM and you’ll be fine.

  14. When my kids ask what the best zombie apocalypse weapon is, I always say “light saber”. Since they are both about as real, and we are probably closer to having light sabers than we are to zombies. There are people trying to build light sabers, I hope nobody is trying to create zombies (as cool as they are)

    But if you want the perfect vehicle for zombies, you need one of those tractors with the articulating lawnmower attachment they use on the highways for sideways mowing. Just move that sucker around and give em all a haircut. put a cowcatcher or snowplow in front to shove the mess out of the way.

    And when you are low on gas, just hitch up a bunch of zombies with no jaws/arms and put some meat on a stick in front, move the stick from right to left to steer. ( always save a little gas for emergencies).
    Just like Mad Max did with the camels tied to his car…….

  15. I like the thought of a VW van, well maintained will run forever. BUT, you will need to run over the bodies of the slain undead. Stock 45 hp is just not going to cut it. An almost a stealthy as a Harley.

  16. probably better to learn th ins and outs of car alarm systems, and hotwiring cars. Relying on 1 vehicle when most are abandoned is pretty silly. My family has a late 50s bus, and has owned a few of the 60s ones. Yes they are simple to fix, but the parts are super specialized and were hard to find 15 years ago, let alone now. 50s era ones go for hundreds of thousands if they’re operational.

    Beyond that your going to want a lot of metal up front because theres nothing but a very thin steel skin and some glass between you and the zombies your going to be impacting. With that you dont have enough engine power to plow through more then a few unless your going at high speed. So add window protection and some sharp edges to that cow catcher.

    ..just learn to scavenge all the available vehicles.

  17. There is a place you can go, in the desert, where you don’t need a reason to make a completely insane and unsafe car. In fact, you might get banned from bringing it if you don’t make it crazy enough.

  18. First and foremost I don’t think an undertaking like this should even be considered without extensive review of Top Gear(http://www.topgear.com/uk/). Secondly, if there are any plans to drive this thing anywhere, a VW bus simply would not work. By the time all of the modifications were made the thing would probably be quite heavy, and in reality any form of mini-van-esque vehicle would probably be a poor performer. There’s also the slightly major problem that there is no way to make a minivan cool.

    Ideally I would suggest something with a more industrial powertrain, which can often be had quite cheaply. If you want easy to work on I would suggest something with a Cummins 4BT or 6BT, or perhaps something with an International DT466. Those engines have been around for quite a while, and parts are literally everywhere. You won’t need any tools to work on them either, because they don’t break down.

    If you really wanted to go for broke you could try and do something with a Detroit, maybe a “small” one like a 4-53 or a 4V53. Detroits are kind of the crazy uncle of the engine world. They slobber and make weird noises, they never die, and on occassion they run away(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NRaqgab0_w).

    The next step in the powertrain shouldn’t be a transaxle, it should be something with a PTO(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_take-off) that could be used to run a generator, or a compressor, or swirling blades of death.

    If you want some old-school useful, put a belt drive on the PTO. Then you can fill a trailer full of old belt drive equipment(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bmu9_5dfoJQ) and run the whole thing off the vehicle’s engine.

    Unless you plan to spend most of your time off-road, or trying to go around a turn very quickly, skip AWD. It’s complicated, expensive, and mostly used by people with no driving ability living in places where it snows.

    Again, if ambitious but rubbish is the goal(http://www.bbcamerica.com/top-gear/guide/specials/ambitious-rubbish/), review the works of the experts in the field.

    1. As far as PTO and belt-drive go, you’re probably better off with electricity. You can get 230 / 110V alternators for engines (some small leisure boats use them). Or just replace your existing 12V alternator for a bigger one (you can get those too). Depending on how much electricity you’re gonna use of course, efficiency will come into it, if you need a lot.

    1. Couple years ago I had a conversation with the guy who currently owns it. It’s in fully working condition. Driving is done through CCTV monitors…so is noticing that a cop is pulling you over to issue a ticket. I was offered a chance to drop by and go for a spin…regret never doing that.

  19. LOL zombie apocalypse van bench racing, looks a lot like bug out vehicle bench racing, although using a bug out vehicle is more probable. For those preppers and “militia” unwilling to what it takes to live where a need for a bug out vehicle is more likely to be needed.

    1. So you’re saying there are places where a bug out vehicle isn’t needed? Where is this Camelot? Just because Suburbia is “safe” today, doesn’t guarantee it will be tomorrow. Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, firestorms, riots, terrorism, reactor meltdown, pandemics, do occur and resulting food, water, security, medical, and energy shortages to follow.

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