The Top 10 Cars for the Apocalypse

October 15, 2008

People have been saying it for years, but now more than ever, it seems painstakingly obvious that the end is nigh. And you’ve got to be prepared! Forget the bottled water, the radio (zombies will take over the airwaves anyway) and focus on the real essentials. You need a set of wheels that is badass incarnate. You need the top ten cars for the apocalypse.


Talk about taking some initiative: this guy had the foresight to just skip raiding what’ll be left of military bases in the post-apocalypse and simply hand-built his own tank.

The diesel motor powering this bad boy ensures some reasonably reliable motivation, while the pneumatic paint ball canon could easily be retro-filled for use as a flame thrower or napalm launcher of some sort. This is the kind of guy you on your side when the chips are down.


9. ZIL Screw Drive


Simply put, when it came to off-roading, Soviet Russia did not dick around. The ZIL 29061, also known as the Screw Drive, was a prototype from the Cold War era designed to deal with the vast expanses of inhospitable terrain across the U.S.S.R.

You know what’s worse than getting ran over by a tank? Getting ran over by a drill tank.


8. DAF Turbo Twin


If you find yourself in need of something to outrun a horde of mutants (or anything else, really), here’s your ticket. Designed to complete in the 1988 Paris-Dakar Rally, the DAF features not one, but two 11.6 liter diesel engines, putting out 1200hp and almost 3500 ft-lbs of torque. EACH.

2400hp and 7000 pounds of torque will get you to this truck’s top speed of 150mph in hurry, and it’s going to take something pretty serious to bring this puppy back down. 

7. The Landmaster


Constructed for the 1977 Sci-fi flick, Damnation Alley, the Landmaster cost about $1,200,000 (in 2008 bucks) to build. Fully amphibious, this 12-wheeled monster was no typical movie prop. Popular Science said this of the Landmaster:

Three independent drive sources running from a gasoline power plant. Uses semi truck parts in the drive train. Can operate with the front or rear wheel trinary out of commission. Side and top hatches on the main unit and rear and top on the after section. Full running lights and brake lights for urban street use. External video camera is mounted on the forward pylon located just behind the front top hatch. Could also house the antenna. All pylons are hardened and armored. Can operate in water and will remain sealed when fully submerged. Can float while half full of water.

That'll work.

6. The Dreadnaught from Death Race


While this might not technically be a real vehicle, the design seems pretty straight forward. Take a tanker truck, armor the living hell out of it, and put 50 caliber machine guns and missiles where the storage would normally be.

It may lack the versatility of the Landmaster and the maneuverability of the ZIL, but when it comes to flat out assault, looks like this would definitely get the job done.


5. Steelwheels Draco


Built off the Oshkosh M1000 platform used for military applications, the Draco’s steel reinforcements, elaborate communications array, Caterpillar drivetrain making 335hp and 1000fl-lbs of torque, and fully stainless steel kitchen makes this an effortless method to strong arm your way through the urban ruins while grilling up a turkey burger.

The Draco was recently sold at Barrett-Jackson for the bargain-basement price of $45,000, and the guys at Steelwheels made it clear on their website that he did, in fact, get a screamin’ deal.

4. Bagger 288


Ok, I know what you’re thinking: “Holy shit.” I’m also thinking that. When the apocalypse hits, if you’re at the helm of this thing, you win. You just do.

Created as a means of doing massive excavations quicker, the Bagger 288 was designed in 1978 by Krupp, a German steel company. The saw-looking thing on the front is actually a series of scoops for removing dirt, and the Bagger 288 is designed to be fairly harmless, but tell that to the bulldozer literally stuck in its teeth.

3. The Wothahellizat  


This ain’t your uncle’s RV. The undisputed winner in the naming content, the Wothahellizat is was designed by an Australian photographer who needed a way to spend extended periods of time in the wilderness while maintaining a comfortable lifestyle.

With a list of features far too long to list, suffice to say the Wothahellizat combines a luxury condo, an armored car, and an urban assault vehicle into one tasty platform, complete with solar panels and diamond plating. Just watch out for those low overhangs.

2. Ford Falcon Interceptor XB


Truly, you can’t talk about vehicles suited for the apocalypse without giving a nod to Mel’s Aussie-built Interceptor from the Mad Max films. This particular Interceptor has all the hallmarks of a badass dystopian vehicle – monochromatic black paintjob, quad side pipes, a bird catcher sticking out of the hood, and a beefy V8.

What it lacks in the weapons and armor department, it more than makes up for in speed, maneuverability, and sheer cool factor.


1. The Killdozer


On June 4th, 2004, Marvin Heemeyer, a welder and owner of a muffler shop in Granby, Colorado, had finally had enough. Frustrated over a zoning dispute that effectively forced him to shut down his business, he created the ultimate vehicle for the apocalypse, The Killdozer

Heemeyer took a Komatsu D355A bulldozer and armored with layers of steel and concrete, and also added cameras for visibility and also mounted several high powered rifles within the cab for good measure. Then he went to work on ‘ol Granby, destroying the town hall, the judge’s home, and various other buildings along the way.

Heemeyer himself was the only person killed in the destruction, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after the bulldozer became immobilized from a failed radiator.

I hear the zoning are little looser in Granby these days.

Hat tip goes to Heemeyer for inspiring us all to rise up against the oppressive forces in a truly destructive and awesome way.