Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
There I found myself, in the jungle, in a situation I never thought I'd find myself in: Surrounded by signs of impending danger, sitting in control of a 17-ton tank and covered from head to toe in brown, gooey mud.
But it was by my own free will that I put myself in this situation at Tank America in Melbourne. Although it's not far from the family-friendly theme parks of Orlando, this experience appeals to a different kind of audience — you can probably leave the kids at home for this one.
Mikhail Kalashnikov, the poor farmer who became the a legendary weapons designer, left a deadly mark on the art of war. Revered in the Soviet Union for developing the ultra-reliable AK-47, his fame spread beyond Russia as the improbably godfather for the ubiquitous semi-automatic rifle favored by militaries, militias, and insurgents around the world. Millions of his Kalashnikovs have seen battle in almost every active theater since World War II.
What’s cooler than even the most cutting-edge, modern motorcycle? How about an armor-plated, tank-treaded, German-made wartime motorcycle-tank — one that you can actually own?
If and when the apocalypse ever comes, it won’t be the meek who inherit the Earth. It will be whoever can afford one of these bullet-proof beasts: Introducing the Ghurka RPV Civilian Edition, a street-legal, 13,500-pound off-road vehicle designed to roll through war zones like a rhinoceros in a petting zoo. Built by Terradyne, a Canadian manufacturer of armored personnel carriers and light tactical vehicles, the Ghurka RPV can ram through chained gates and drive in water up to 30-inches deep. It can also withstand 7mm armor-piercing rounds. And it’s packing heat: the 6.7 liter V8 turbodiesel delivers 300hp and 660 Ib.-ft. of torque, as well as a top speed of 70mph. The only catch? It costs $278,000. But, hey, you can’t put a price on indestructibility.