Through the Tired Eyes of Faith

Chicago Auto (Army) Show – 2012


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he U.S. Army dropped in on the Chicago auto showwith a strong show of force. The Army brought three full-on war machines and one classic piece from a past conflict.

The most impressive was the Stryker. The platform supports many types of military vehicles, but the one on display is the Infantry Carrier Vehicle. The ICV can carry nine soldiers into combat with two crew members up front. Made by General Dynamics, the ICV uses a Caterpillar C7 diesel engine that makes 350 hp. It has a top speed of 60 mph, can cross a 78-inch gap and climbs a 23-inch vertical wall. The ICV rides on eight Michelin run-flat tires with a self-inflating function. The ICV carries an M2 .50-caliber machine gun and a selection of Javelin missiles.

When it needs something more subtle, the Army pulls out the Clandestine Extended Range Vehicle. Designed for reconnaissance, targeting and rescue missions, the CERV uses a diesel-electric hybrid to reach speeds of up to 80 mph. The CERV can run silently in all-electric mode for up to eight miles. This vehicle can climb a 60 percent grade.

The Heavy Equipment Transport System is a pickup truck that packs a 500-hp Detroit diesel engine and an Allison transmission. The cab, which is about nine feet off the ground, can fit six soldiers. The truck is 358 inches long with a roof height of 141.5 inches. It weighs in at 41,000 pounds, while the kingpin can hold 45,000 pounds. The truck has two winches up front that can pull 55,000 pounds each.

Finally, there is the 1938 Cadillac Series 75 Limousine that General George Patton used at the end of World War II. The car is basically a production model, painted olive drab with military markings on the side. This car had flipper-arm turn signals and parking lights added. After Patton crashed the car it was rebuilt by Cadillac-France with parts from a 1939 car. The grille was handmade in Europe, leading to its unique appearance.

So the Army wasn’t the king of horsepower at the show; there is that 650-hp Ford Mustang Shelby. But, if you need something to take with you into battle, the military has your gear.

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