Feb. 13, 2005

New "Bad Boy" truck dwarfs the Hummer

Only In America could a father feel it's right to send his son off to fight and die in a foriegn country, so that he could be assured of enough oil to drive this thing.

GW
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By KRISTEN HAYS
AP Business Writer

JASPER, Texas (AP) -- For some drivers, even a Hummer may not be enough. At a curb weight of more than 3.5 tons, the Humvee-inspired Hummer H1 is no skinny guy who gets sand kicked in his face. But the Bad Boy Heavy Muscle Truck, a dressed-up military vehicle more than twice as heavy, is being billed as bigger, badder and more bodacious.

'It's the rugged Bubba,' said Daniel Ayres, president and CEO of Homeland Defense Vehicles LLC and its division Bad Boy Trucks.

The East Texas company aims to market the machine to civilians with disposable cash and a hankering for more protection from the outside world. A $379,000 version made its public debut in January at the Dallas Safari Club convention.

For a base price of $225,000 - nearly twice the Hummer H1 wagon's base price of $117,508 - consumers can get a basic version of the 10-foot-tall Bad Boy that can drive through five feet of water, climb a 60-degree grade, tow six tons and keep rolling even with a quarter-sized hole in the tire's sidewall.

The price goes up from there, depending on options. Drivers can get infrared cameras that peer through darkness. The flat-nosed cab can be bulletproof, and house a mini-safe behind three leather seats. The dash can include a satellite phone, a two-way radio and a global-positioning system - all alongside DVD, MP3 and CD players and a flip-out LCD screen.

For $750,000, buyers can get the fully loaded 'NBC' version that can, Ayres said, detect and block out fallout from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons by over-pressurizing the cab with filtered, clean air much like an aircraft.

Ayres said he isn't playing on post-Sept. 11 fears by offering the NBC option.

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