This is a stunning and very accuracte replica of the Thunder Machine toy of G.I. Joe fame. In the Fictional universe, it is a four wheeled, armored, weaponized vehicle used by the Dreadnoks, a biker gang/mercenary group in the G.I. Joe: A Real Americian Hero comic books and cartoon series. The Dreadnoks work for Cobra, the primary enemy for G.I. Joe. The vehicle was created and driven by Thrasher, one of the newer members of the Dreadnoks. The fiction describes it as cobbled together from parts salvaged from several different vehicles, including a 1980s model Pontiac Trans-Am, a dune buggy, a pickup truck and various others. The Thunder Machine is propelled by a jet engine similar to jet-propelled dragsters. This made it fast but hard to maneuver. The vehicle was built on a military truck chassis, similar to a Humvee. It had armor plating riveted over most of the exterior surface. The armor is believed to be from old tanks, and according to Thrasher, the Thunder Machine is capable of taking as much, if not, more damage than a Cobra H.I.S.S tank. The front tires were racing tires, adding some maneuverability. Since an engine wasn't required, the front of the truck was replaced with the nose of a 1970's era Pontiac Trans Am on top of which was mounted a roll cage and two huge armor-piercing Gatling guns.
In the real world this is a full scale recreation, created originally for use in the DragonCon parade. Though not built by Mad Max Cars, it is still an excellent replica. This Thunder Machine is built from a 1992 Camaro RS. Although heavily modified, the Thunder Machine is completely drivable and mechanically sound. All of the Thunder Machine’s ‘armor’ is sheet metal, cut to the dimensions of the toy. The frame around the cab is pipe welded in place, and the red gull wing doors swing open (also just like the toy). For ease of getting in/out, the two doors were made to open and shut; held closed with cotter pins. The permanent vinyl stickers are exact copies of the ones that came with the toy and blown up to scale… even if some of the wording doesn’t make much sense! The police light bar, red police bubble light, and halogen lights all work. The police bar has its own on/off switch, and the halogens are wired into the stock headlight pull switch. The nose is from a 1981 Firebird, just like the toy. The headlights on the nose are not currently hooked up. The front of the car has numerous dents and scrapes; what you would expect on a Dreadnok vehicle. The functional brake lights are from a towing kit. To make the vehicle as close to the toy as possible, the entire car had to be narrowed. To reinforce the unibody, steel beams were welded into place, running along each side. The steps on each side can support people standing on them. The two gatling guns spin inboard and are powered by two windshield wiper motors. The switch to turn on the guns is right next to the light bar switch. The ‘ammo’ for the guns is fake. The V6 has had a tune up less than a year ago. New brake lines, battery, tires, and starter. Due to all the extensive electrical modifications, a battery shut off switch has been installed to insure it won’t be drained. Any questions, please ask!