I’m Invincible In my Car

How many times have you sat at a red light and imagined gunmen spilling out from the back of a van and spraying your car with high velocity rounds? I know, all too often, right?

Well I have a solution that’ll leave the gunmen scratching the top of their balaclavas and you with a smug grin on your face.

Picture the Royal family in their Rolls Royce, the President in a stretched Cadillac or the Pope in his silly white cubicle car and you’ll know what I’m on about – armoured cars.

So unless you are royalty, the leader of a country, a religious figurehead, or a gangster rapper, here’s what you would have to consider if you were to go about turning your car into a impenetrable fortress.

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I’ll cover the important upgrades:

RunFlats

Tyres:

To escape gunmen in a car you’ll obviously need a tyre that will take a few rounds. The answer is pretty simple: Run Flat Tire Inserts. These assure continued operation of the car despite ballistic impacts and prevent a total tire blowout.

The system used by the U.S. government is comprised from lightweight, high strength polyester elastomers that make up the roller and a runner. The runner is securely attached to the wheel in the drop centre, and provides a track or channel in which the roller is allowed to move or “rotate” about the wheel at the same speed as the tyre, thus reducing friction and heat build up.

Mercedes_E-klasse_Guard_beschoten_2

Windows:

Bulletproof lightweight glass-clad polycarbonate is used as multi-hit protection against those pesky bullets. The glass is seamed, edged and finished using a proprietary quality process that provides unprecedented UV and delamination resistance. All glass features excellent ballistic protection and superior optical quality with very minimal distortion.

Below you can see types of rounds and the velocities taken into consideration when building an armoured car.

Fuel Tank:

This is one component you wouldn’t want punctured. Although a stray bullet is unlikely to cause an explosion (I saw this proven on TV program), a fuel tank resembling a piece of Swiss cheese will leave you stranded. A bullet proof fuel tank features a flame retardant coating, self sealing polymeric foam, insulating foam, and a Kevlar or ballistic wrap.

Bomb Proof Floor:

You can’t be too careful; whilst you are throwing your car around like Ken Block, trying to avoid gunfire, you may have missed the grenades rolling under your car. A bomb proof floor is comprised of multiple layers of Kevlar fabric that’s stitched together rather than bonded under heat, enabling the Vehicle Fragmentation Blanket more flexibility with a blast impact.

Body Panels/Doors:

Depending on the level of protection – bullets or bombs – there are various materials that can be used for a car’s body and door panels.

As I’m avoiding bullets, a wise choice would be Kevlar armour panels. They are very durable, light and easy to install. Because they are so light as opposed to heavy bomb proof steel panels, you don’t have to go crazy upgrading your brakes and engine to cope with the added weight.

Flame Thrower:

This is a little extra, an after thought inspired by a movie. To distract any menacing gunmen, give them a few licks of fire to deal with.

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A Realistic Zombie Proof Car

Zombies-Run

Over the past decade, zombies and the apocalypse have saturated the fiction and film industry to the point of complete buggery. It has not only tested originality in spinning the yarn, but it has dealt with ways in which the living deal with the undead. Whether it’s weapons or armoured cars, they are very unrealistic – how many of you can weld? How many of you could turn the contents of your garage into a lethal killing machine like the A Team?

Forget the movies and the vehicles pictured like the monstrosities below – for a start, zombies will only die from having their heads removed, so why in God’s name would you want them skewered to your car like rotting kebabs? What exactly are those tin openers doing on the wheels? If anything they’ll just get caught on something and either A: snap off or B: bugger your wheel alignment.

These may look great as movie props, but in the real world you’ll need something a little more ordinary.

If the undead climbed out of their graves with rumbling bellies, you’d need a car you are familiar with, something easy to drive, something reliable yet a little sprightly.

Right, let’s get serious. I’ll go with German for build quality and reliability. I’ll select an auto transmission for ease and freeing up hands in case of any complications. A diesel engine because German diesels are like tanks and will always start in the cold weather. Diesel is less flammable too, preventing any potential accidents.

Okay, I have come to a decision and gone for a Mercedes Benz W124 estate chassis with the 2.5-L Diesel engine and auto box.

I have owned two W124s and a similar 190e, and despite their age (20 years), they never once failed me. They were smooth, easy to drive and spacious. All of the electrical features still worked (on all three cars), including the non-leaking sunroof – it’s well-known zi Germans over-engineered these models, as you’ll find them for sale with 300K+ miles on the clock.

The panels and doors are solid enough to withstand any damage made from a clumsy ham-fisted zombie – the windows too, although you could simply position some galvanised metal grating over them and bolt into place.

Once you have removed the rear seats, you are left with an enormous amount of space, perfect for storing weapons, supplies, spare wheel and fuel. The roof rack could also carry any extra fuel and spare wheels. Put some chunky wet weather tyres on to deal with any boggy areas you have to cross – I have dogs and the W124 is more than capable in dealing with rough terrain.

Before you suggest a 4X4, I didn’t choose one because should there be a zombie apocalypse (and I have thought hard on the subject), I’d stick to main roads, highways and open spaces, easy access to shops for supplies etc… To go into the countryside would just mean a tougher terrain, more obstacles and more places for those pesky zombies to suddenly appear from.

Tyreweld would also be very handy in any dangerous situations where you find yourself with a slow puncture with zombies wandering about. Simply fill your tyre with foam and it will allow you to drive to somewhere safe for a wheel change.

A little boring, but along with spare wheels, keep a backup battery, jump-leads, HT leads and spare spark-plugs to ensure you have the fundamentals in keeping your engine running.

Try and find a model with leather seats (you may as well travel in style and comfort), and if you are bored you can pretend the bonnet star is a WWI fighter plane gun sight before running zombies down.

Aesthetics wise, and if you have time before the apocalypse hits, you could spray the alloys flat black. Spray a skull onto the bonnet and then apply your lucky number to the door as if you are in a Death Race 2000 style rally. Oh, and you must give it a name, which in my case would be Matilda.

Matilda

As this is a car site, I’ll leave weapons of choice to you, but I will say avoid a flame-thrower (pointless, unreliable and likely to leave you with 3rd degree burns). My choice would have to be a shotgun – if you miss the head, it’s more than likely you’ve removed a limb or two.