One-of-a kind vehicle is bullet proof

It looks like a mix between the Batmobile and a vehicle out of a Mad Max movie. Made out of mild armour plate steel for small arms fire protection, the Screaming Eagle weighs in at around 8,000 kg (18,000 pounds) and gets around three km per litre (seven to eight miles per gallon) in the city.

Above: Jack Holt talks about the 1

It looks like a mix between the Batmobile and a vehicle out of a Mad Max movie.

Made out of mild armour plate steel for small arms fire protection, the Screaming Eagle weighs in at around 8,000 kg (18,000 pounds) and gets around three km per litre (seven to eight miles per gallon) in the city.

The monolithic vehicle — 8.5 metres (28 feet) in length and around 1.8 metres (about six feet) tall — was created by Jack Holt.

The Red Deer man created the Holt Tree Spade in 1957 and has more than a passing knowledge of all things mechanical.

Holt first designed the vehicle in 1999, after being contacted by a stuntman from Ventura, Calif.

The stuntman wanted a bullet-proof car that he could drive through buildings, haystacks or just about whatever else came his way.

Holt had already designed the vehicle, done the engineering for it and looked into parts and supplies, when the man couldn’t come up with the money to build the car. A couple years after that Holt decided to built it himself, making it from scratch.

“This is the only one in the world,” Holt said. “Nobody else has designed one.”

It took 4,000 hours, over an eight- to nine-year period, to complete the unique transportation.

The Screaming Eagle has a two-cycle diesel engine, built by Detroit Allison, a division of General Motors.

It is known as a heavy-duty emergency engine and is the same one that is used in fire department boats. The supercharged and turbocharged engine is capable of 1,020 horsepower and speeds of more than 300 km/h (200 miles/hour), but Holt has set it lower for licensing and insurance purposes.

The engine inspired the name because a Detroit diesel two-cycle is often called a Screaming Jimmy as a result of the noise it makes.

Holt said the engine can be quite loud when revved, but out on the open highway, driving normally, it isn’t overly loud.

The vehicle is street legal, with it being built according to highway standards. It has been inspected by the Alberta Department of Transportation and is licensed and insured for the road.

The two-seater is built in a cockpit style, with the cab lifting up like the cockpit of an airplane.

The engine is located midship — meaning it sits in the middle of the vehicle — with a 2.4 by 2.4 metre (eight by eight foot) engine room. There is a 2.1 by 1.8 metre (seven foot by six foot) wide bunk in the back of the car.

Holt started the construction with one solid plate of steel on the bottom of the vehicle, with just two holes for oil pans, then built the body and the rest of the car.

He has created it so that it is virtually theft proof. All the wheels and brakes lock so it can’t be towed away. He can shut off the entire system with a remote so that nothing will work.

Both of the axles are air ride, meaning that rather than springs the vehicle uses airbags to cushion the bumps. As a result the vehicle is particularly smooth riding.

Wherever Holt takes the car it causes a commotion.

Even while parked on a side street in Red Deer talking to a reporter, people constantly stop to take a look.

He has driven it in parades, taken it at auto shows and displayed it so that charitable organizations can make money.

Just Posted

Break-in at Red Deer business

Social media reports confirm a business break and enter in Red Deer… Continue reading

‘Rough waters’: Spill raises new questions about fast-growing N.L. oil industry

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador’s ambitious plans to dramatically expand… Continue reading

Trudeau rules out snap election call, national ballot slated for Oct. 21

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there will be no early… Continue reading

Canadian firm says it has found largest diamond ever unearthed in North America

YELLOWKNIFE — A Canadian mining firm says it has unearthed the largest… Continue reading

Man from Olds killed in collision near Sundre

A 39-year-old man from Olds was killed in a collision near Sundre… Continue reading

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘Over my dead body’ will Mueller interview Trump

WASHINGTON — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval… Continue reading

Quebecers criticize western oil but buying more gasoline, SUVs, bigger homes: report

MONTREAL — Quebec’s premier is quick to reject “dirty” oil from Western… Continue reading

Speaker Geoff Regan opens the door to his apartment in Parliament

OTTAWA — One of the best-kept secrets inside the main building on… Continue reading

Baloo the cat is back at home after being mistakenly shipped to Montreal

HALIFAX — Much to the relief of his loving family, Baloo the… Continue reading

‘It’s what we do’: Famous Newfoundlanders help replace veteran’s stolen guitar

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Two famous Newfoundlanders stepped in to help an… Continue reading

Quebec’s anti-corruption unit blames media coverage for recruiting troubles

MONTREAL — Seven years after it was created, Quebec’s anti-corruption unit is… Continue reading

Former PQ cabinet minister poised to become next Bloc Quebecois leader

MONTREAL — It appears likely that Yves-Francois Blanchet, a former Parti Quebecois… Continue reading

Most Read