Tricked-up army street machines set to fire up for Henty

TR6-CFN-web Adriana-Rogers-and-the-Team-Clipsal-2013September 3, 2013

A slick muscle car fitted with a supercharged 460 big block is set to roar and snarl its way through the Henty Machinery Field Days on behalf of the Australian Army.

Dubbed Project Digger, the street machine has been tricked up with an 8/71 blower, twin 950 Holley carbs, a MRC Powerglide transmission and Moser nine inch diff.

It will be joined by its sibling, Armygeddon, a Landrover powered by a seven litre engine and able to do burn outs in either five, four, three and two-wheel drive.

Project Digger and Armygeddon are the army’s coolest recruiting tools, designed to capture the imagination of Australian youth, and will be at Henty for the first time.

Project manager Lieutenant Colonel Tom Regener said Team Army, based at Bonegilla’s Latchford Barracks, aims to encourage young people to consider completing a technical apprenticeship in the Australian army.

Team Army draws on about 200 vehicle mechanic apprentices, 100 armament fitters, 100 electronic technicians and electricians.

It was modelled on a project using Nascar racing to brand the US army across the country.

Extreme high-tech concept cars, the X1 Mustang and Vapor Challenger, were built by the US air force to stimulate interest in joining the US military.

The Army School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering were challenged to develop a car to engage Australian youth and create awareness of technical trades available in the Australian army.

A group of volunteers, badged as Team Army, converted a Landrover, previously used for active service in East Timor, into a machine more at home on the drag strip.

Dubbed Armygeddon, the Landrover was equipped with a seven litre Chevrolet fuel injected supercharged engine.

Regener said growing demand for Team Army at events across the country meant a planned approach to ensure the army connected with motor enthusiasts and young people.

“Team Army will have on hand a number of young soldiers undergoing an apprenticeship to discuss first hand their recent experiences with recruit and technical training at the Army’s Tafe college equivalent at Latchford Barracks, outside Albury-Wodonga,’’ he said.

This year’s team includes LT Chris Bulow, WO2 Tim McDougal and CPL Sam Pratt, and Craftsmen Bree Bailie, Troy Simmonds, Wes Atkinson, Bradley Patterson and Rowan Birch.

Regener said Team Army was a voluntary activity for young soldiers to participate on Wednesday nights as an extra curricular activity.

The high performance street machines have been showcased at the Summernats, Clipsal V8, Bathurst, Townsville V8s and Sydney’s MotorEx event.

Project Digger and Armygeddon will fire up at 9am, 10am, 2.30pm and 4pm each day at site 950-951, on the southern side of the field days on September 17-19.