Ultimate Zombie Apocalypse Rig? MRAP From Fear The Walking Dead

A Look Inside the Awesome MRAP From <em>Fear The Walking Dead</em>

Jay KopycinskiWriterAMC NetworkPhotographer

When people talk about the grisly scenario of a post-apocalyptic world overrun with flesh-seeking zombies, discussions often center on what would be the ultimate zombie survival vehicle. It’s gotta be strong, durable, capable, foolproof, and, at the very least, a 4x4. So how about an up-armored 6x6 with onboard machine guns, food, and survival gear? Bring out yer dead, baby.

AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead series (Sundays 9/8c) takes viewers into the sobering world where civilized infrastructure has mostly collapsed. Characters face threats daily from both zombies and other humans who are trying to scratch out a meager life in the horrifying new world. In the current season we are introduced to Althea, an aspiring journalist in Texas, who is trying to document personal experiences under the toughest of circumstances. Coincidentally, her mode of transportation is an armored SWAT vehicle that, in the story, was previously owned by the Bexar County Sheriff's Office before being found by her. Packed inside the armored truck are foodstuffs (especially ramen noodles), supplies, weaponry, and other gear.

But that’s all fantasy. What’s reality is this particular behemoth started life as a 2012 BAE Systems Caiman MRAP (Mine Resistant Armor Protected) Category II vehicle. Before being sold to the public, it was demilitarized, which included removal of the armored body. AMC commissioned builders Nathaniel Smith and Billy Myers, both from Georgia, to turn the surplus rig into a showstopper. The team started with the chassis then scratch-built a new body from 1/4-inch-thick steel plate that is visually similar to the original. Up top you will see an added structure. It's actually a machine gun nest with guns that Althea can control from the driver seat. Spare fuel and water cans also sit atop the cabin of this battle-worn truck.

When faced with the end of the world, a fortified, off-road 6x6 may offer the ticket to your survival. Thirty tons of rolling mass can build a lot of zombie-crushing momentum, and huge tires can trample a lot of bodies. Despite its size and heft, Althea warns not to get too many zombies caught up in the wheelwells, as you may never get them out. Expect lots of decaying flesh and guts splattered all over, but it should buff out.

Tune in to the latest Fear the Walking Dead episode here to see this sucker in action. And catch up on the whole series and future episodes at AMC’s page.

About the BAE Caiman MRAP

The Caiman MRAP was designed to transport U.S. troops and protect them from the various dangers of exploding ordinance in hostile zones across the globe. The powerplant is a Caterpillar C9 six-cylinder turbodiesel putting out about 450 hp and an estimated 1,500 lb-ft of torque. The fulltime all-wheel-drive 6x6 chassis uses a six-speed automatic transmission. A torque biasing differential splits power between the front and rear axles as needed during normal or off-road operation.

The axles have an overall gear ratio of 6.18:1 with planetary gear reduction at the wheel ends. DCDL (driver-controlled differential locks) units are inside the differentials. The suspension rides on dual-rate coil springs. Traction comes from Goodyear MTV 395/85R20 MV/T treads that sit nearly 47 inches tall.