As the only writing member of BangShift who has seen legitimate combat, I can say that the virtues of speed for wheeled vehicles is the most underrated thing in the military fleet. A HMMWV struggles to do sixty miles an hour if they are three-speed vehicles and the four-speed versions don’t do much better. Generally, the military is still stuck in the hell of the 55 mile an hour speed limit days, with precious few vehicles able to seriously better that figure that are combat-capable. Most of the fast moving machines have gone towards Special Operations forces, and they are Volkswagen-style rear-engined dune buggies that are modified to meet mission specs. Speed can be a virtue. So can stealth…if they can’t see you and can’t catch you, then you have an upper hand and can use it to your advantage. Get in, get out, and don’t get caught.
So what does that have to do with a Mad Max-looking second-gen Camaro? Plenty. This 350-powered machine might look like something you’d see at a low-rent rock club’s parking lot, but then you start to pick up details: there is no back glass, just metal. There is one thick ram bar up front, and paddles underneath it? Those are mine sweepers. There is something about the paint that seems…strange. What is all of this about? You are looking at one of the most infamous Camaros to ever show it’s face anywhere. It’s known to some as the “ghost car”, others as the “War Camaro”. It is the combination of a Danish Special Forces officer named Helge Meyer, an officer at Rhine Main Air Force Base. It is a car that delivered medical supplies and other materials to individuals in need in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the simmering phase, after the main war ended but still in a dangerous time filled with tribal warfare and criminal gangs. It was still a very dangerous place to travel and Meyer, who had left military service after Desert Storm, would be running with no weapons, just the Camaro.
The Air Force performed the modifications, many of which were adapted during the course of the missions. The 350ci V8 and TH350 automatic were deemed sufficient, but the paint is what you would find on a F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter. A nitrous oxide system was fitted as an emergency “bug-out” setup. Infared driving lights and the necessary equipment needed to run them, a helmet and body armor were provided. The Camaro was armor plated…the entire underside of the car, plus under and behind the seats, were steel-plated while the doors and trunk were lined with Kevlar. Radio equipmemt, foam-filled tires, fire extinguishers, two spare tires carried on-board and radio equipment were installed.
The Camaro’s missions could be likened to a moonshine run: under the cover of darkness, Meyer would make his deliveries and during the day the car would be hidden however possible. Chased and shot at from both military and police, the Camaro’s inability to be radar-detected and Meyer’s ability to make the car disappear at will courtesy of a well-timed nitrous shot and backroad knowledge has saved his bacon more than a few times. Hence, the “ghost car” nickname…it was there, then it was gone.