Big Bertha

Big Bertha
Circa 1940, on the streets of Rochester New York, Bertha does her work.
"I don't make hell for nobody. I'm only the instrument of a laughing providence. Sometimes I don't like it myself, but I couldn't help it if I was born smart."

1st Sgt. Milton Anthony Warden.
"From here to Eternity"

Paul Valery

"You are in love with intelligence, until it frightens you. For your ideas are terrifying and your hearts are faint. Your acts of pity and cruelty are absurd, committed with no calm, as if they were irresistible. Finally, you fear blood more and more. Blood and time."

The Wisdom of the Ages

"When a young man, I read somewhere the following: God the Almighty said, 'All that is too complex is unnecessary, and it is simple that is needed',"

Mikhail Kalashnikov
"Here lies the bravest soldier I've seen since my mirror got grease on it."

Zapp Brannigan

Monday, February 23, 2009

The God of Trucks

Or, "The Truck of Gods" if you prefer.
Maybe "God's Truck" assuming He would have such.
It all depends on which side your heresy is buttered I guess.

Yet another thing - important thing at that - that I've discovered thanks to the wonder of the internet.
This is what every monster-truck in existence sees itself as - but falls far short.
What you see is a Scammell Explorer (for those who can't/won't read captions), a British "recovery vehicle" (read off-road, tactical wrecker - big fucking wrecker)from the second war.
I don't know how to present this to the testosterone-poisoned of the masses but - this kicks ass on anything I see lurking above supermarket parking lots.
I admire your efforts but... running across one of these must be like seeing the pyramids just after you finally got that water feature the wife's been after for the front yard.
This unit is the bigger brother of the earlier Scammell Pioneer, a sorry spectacle, cursed with only 4X6 drive.
OMG How stone age can you get?

Even though it must have been horrendously crippled by that dead front axle, it's still a wicked-bad looking thing.
Enough.
What's cool about these things isn't even hinted at by these pictures.
And what's up with the bed? Why so high?
Shut up and watch the movie.

Did ya get that?
The axles can tilt through almost a full ninety degrees.
The front axle pivots at its center while the rear wheels, which aren't mounted on conventional axles, do something different.
Rather, they pivot at the midpoint between the fore and aft of the rear wheels.
See picture:

Scammell started as Victorian coach-makers of Spitalfields, London, who somehow stumbled onto the heavy-hauling industry and pretty much specialized in that, as well as providing other special-purpose "lorries".
Off the topic, they also made a baby semi called the Scarab.
Pictured next: An early contribution (1929), the first 100 ton capacity tractor.
One-hundred tons - with the tongue bearing on just one axle - with solid tires and chain drive to boot.
Still, this thing could haul an Abrams with space for several SUV's as well.
Slowly. Very slowly.

Only two of these were made one served decades at the shipyards in Liverpool.
Another pic; one of the guys 'on the job'.

I love the cab on these things. It must be eight feet wide. It's like the bridge of a ship.
In closing: These tank retriever guys are amazing.
Lots of Brits are anoraking out on them as we speak.
Someone needs to manufacture a downsized version.
Say Toyota Forerunner size.
Another movie. Boring but short - and imminently miss able.
It's an Explorer towing a centurion ARV (52 tons) around a track.

Now, finally, finally... And I really mean it.
A funny story involving an overturned Scammell,
here.
Hell, I never really mean it.
Here's a Bedford Recovery Vehicle.
Only 4X4 but the cutest over-sized off-roader you're likely to run across.

It's in civilian garb now, obviously.

1 comment:

Andy said...

Whoa. Way more soul than a hemmet and more practical than a rifle that shoots 16 rounds of .44 in less than a second.Definitely badass. Like your idea of a downsized one; piss off the Hummer crowd!
On another note, think you'll really like Pressfields new book "Killing Rommel". he definitely did his research on the LRDG venicles.

Locations of visitors to this page