One of the neatest things about 1980s monster trucks is that most of the original machines started out as street trucks at some point in their life and eventually morphed into what were the first generation of crowd pleasing, car crushing, behemoths. This video below tells the story of the Heavy Metal van which was built by a body shop owner in the Bronx. As you will see in this video, the van started out as a large but street legal project with some very 1980s custom body work (like the cat eye shaped windows) and continued to grow from there. It actually grew all the way into a legit monster truck with the huge agricultural tires and a center of gravity slightly lower than that of the Eiffel Tower in France.
We’re not sure what the van had for an engine but we’re going to guess that by the time it reached peak size, it was packing a big block. The best part of this video is seeing the truck not only morph in size but in popularity. We get to see it car crushing, mud bogging, sled pulling, and keeping fans on their feat screaming and yelling. It had to be kind of terrifying to drive this thing over a stack of cars because it was SO high that the driver surely had to be concerned with making sure the van did not get any lean going on because at the height this thing is, any sort of off-camber situation would probably be really bad.
Heavy Metal was featured in a bunch of magazines when it had grown so large that people had no choice but to acknowledge and respect what it could do. When Charles Wickam sent me the link to this video my eyes bugged out because I can remember seeing that van in those magazines as a kid. I always wondered what it would look like in action and then I got my chance to see the other day.
As we understand it, the original van is no more. That just means someone has to build one that is bigger, better, and cooler…..or at least better and cooler because bigger may physically be impossible. Crazy!
PRESS PLAY BELOW TO SEE THE HEAVY METAL VAN IN ACTION –