SIX-WHEEL TSUNARMY!

TEAM ARMY IS SET TO UNLEASH A DIESEL-POWERED TIDAL WAVE WITH ITS NEW TSUNARMY PROJECT CAR

STORY KAN HEAGNEY PHOTOS TEAM ARMY

THE Australian Army’s Team Army project vehicles have been doing the event rounds for years now, with the ‘Project Digger’ Ford LTD and six-wheel-drive Land Rover, ‘Armygeddon’, wowing crowds and smoking rubber since the mid-2000s, and soon they’ll have a new stablemate to play with.

Dubbed ‘TsunArmy’, Team Army’s latest project car is a 2014 Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen. This particular car was initially part of the Army’s vehicle-testing fleet, where it was damaged during the gruelling trials. Rather than scrap the sorry remains, Team Army decided to turn the six-wheel-drive Mercedes into a mean burnout machine as its new showcase car.

While the G-Wagen will spin all four rear wheels on the pad like its Land Rover predecessor, it won’t be doing it under the power of petrol. To keep it in line with the advancing technology in the real-world Army fleet, TsunArmy will be running a two-stroke Detroit Diesel 6V53T V6 diesel mill. If rolling coal doesn’t interest you enough already, then the news that this thing will be running twin turbos and a supercharger should get you as excited as we are.

“We chose the diesel as it’s more relevant to where our Army technology is going,” says Team Army’s Major Graham Anderson. “Plus it allows our trainees to gain skills with loosely the same equipment we have out in the field.” The project is not only a great way for the Army to make promotional appearances at car shows and the like, but the build and maintenance also allows a group of 30-plus Army trainees to hone their skills in preparation for working on the Army fleet for real.

The donk itself is being put together by experienced engine builders Wally and Aaron Dewar from Dewar’s Performance Engines, and they’ll also help the team of Army trainees fit the Allison TX100 ’box, twin rear diffs and so on. Jole Styles from Choppertown Motorcycles & Kustoms, with assistance from Dusty Benson (BBE Engineering) and Chris Spicer, will prepare the body and customise and fabricate the interior, helped by the Army trainees. Owen Webb from MotorActive will oversee the entire project, as he has done with previous Team Army builds.

TsunArmy has been in the build for roughly 12 months now, and is slated for a May finish and June unveiling. It’ll then tour the country at numerous car events along with Project Digger the and end Armygeddon, of the year. before s the latter is retired at the end of the year.

HOT GOSSIP

HOT WINNER

HOT rodding legend and land speed stalwart George Poteet’s 1936 Ford has won the big prize at this year’s Grand National Roadster Show in California, taking out the coveted 9ft-high trophy for the 2019 America’s Most Beautiful Roadster competition. George battled it out with 13 other sterling rods, including former Hot Rod magazine cover car ‘Tweety Bird’, originally built by Jim Govro in 1951. Congrats!

SUMMERNATS, THE MAG!

THE Street Machine Summernats 32 magazine is out now! We’ve given the mag a birthday this year, with a total redesign and lots of new ideas. Available at all good newsagents and from magshop.com.au.

NEXT!

DON’T miss the April issue of Street Machine for quids! It will be jam-packed with automotive awesomeness, from informative tech features to a Legend yarn on one of the most influential characters from the golden age of street machining. You can also expect to be greeted by a stellar mix of mental feature cars, which may or may not include a matching pair of heavy-hitting turbo Torana pro streeters. On sale 21 March!