Lowrider Tank: Fake But Awesome

This wildly modified M1A-Abrams lowrider is fake, but we kinda wish it wasn't. The in-all-caps interview with the imaginary creators below.

The M1 Abrams series has produced the most lethal, fastest, most impenetrable tanks in history, in short, some of the baddest war machines ever to traverse the landscape. Taking one and turning it into a lowrider is equal parts nonsense and amusing. The documentation of the imaginary machine you see above was not actually done below for Lowrider Magazine, but it's still pretty fun to read.

AZTLAN REDEMPTION STORY:interviewed by KIVA for LRM
WALLA WALLA, WASHINGTON IS A PLACE UNKNOWN TO MANY, KNOWN PERHAPS FOR IT'S SWEET ONIONS, THE OCCASIONAL NAME-DROP IN BUGS BUNNY CARTOONS, AND FOR THE ROSY GLOW VISIBLE FOR MILES IN IT'S NITE SKIES FROM THE HI-POWERED SECURITY LIGHTING AT NEARBY WASHINGTON STATE PENITENTARY...DWELLING FAR IN THE SOUTHEASTERN CORNER OF THE STATE, TWO BROTHERS HAVE CREATED A NEW BREED OF LOWRIDER OF IT'S OWN CLASS, AN UNRIVALED NEW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION, THEIR "EL MANOTAS" M1A-ABRAMS LOWRIDER TANK.
BROTHERS JORGE & RAY "CHUKAS" RAMIREZ, LOWRIDER BUILDERS AND ENTHUSIASTS SINCE AN EARLY AGE, TELL THE STORY BEHIND THEIR VISION:
LRM: WHAT'S UP FELLAS!
BOTH: HEY, GLAD TO BE HERE WITH LOWRIDER MAGAZINE, TODAY!
LRM: SO TELL US THE STORY BEHIND THE WORLD'S FIRST LOWRIDER TANK...
JORGE: WELL, WE HAVE FAMILIA UP THERE IN YAKIMA THAT WE GO SEE FREQUENTLY...THE U.S.ARMY MAINTAINS A LARGE AREA UP THERE WHERE THEY MAINTAIN A LARGE FIRING RANGE AND TRAINING GROUND FOR THE SOLDIERS, THEY PLAY WAR GAMES OUT THERE, PRACTICE WITH LIVE AMMUNITION, EVERYTHING...IT'S A CRAZY PLACE INSIDE THAT FENCED IN AREA! ANYWAYS, MY BROTHER AND I HAVE BEEN BUILDING LOWRIDERS SINCE THE EARLY DAYS, WE STARTED BUILDING BIKES AS KIDS, AND AS WE GOT OLDER, WE STARTED WORKING ON RANFLAS, OUR FIRST PROJECT WAS A 63' IMPALA, AND WE HAVE BUILT AND COMPETED WITH OTHER CARS WE BUILT SINCE THEN. SO, ON A VISIT TO YAKIMA ABOUT 6 YEARS AGO, WE RECIEVED WORD THAT THE ARMY BASE WAS HAVING A PUBLIC AUCTION OF SOME USED EQUIPMENT THAT WEEKEND, SO WE DECIDED TO JUST CHECK IT OUT...MOST OF THE ITEMS ON THE BLOCK THAT NITE WERE OLD, BROKEN DOWN JEEPS, A COUPLE OF HMVS IN REALLY BAD CONDITION, BUT THEN TO OUR SURPRISE, A M1 THAT SAW SERVICE IN THE FIRST GULF WAR CAME ONTO THE BLOCK...ME AND MY BROTHER BOTH KIND OF CAME UP WITH THE SAME IDEA AT THE SAME TIME, AND WE PUT IN A BID...THERE WAS REALLY NOT THAT MANY PEOPLE AT THAT AUCTION, AND NOBODY ELSE EVEN PUT A BID IN, SO WE GOT THAT TANK FOR $6000!
RAY: AND JUST THINK, HOW MUCH DID THE TAXPAYERS PAY FOR THAT ONE NEW?!(LAUGHS)
JORGE: SO WE PAID THE MONEY, HAD TO RENT A TRUCK TO BRING IT BACK TO OUR GARAGE IN WALLA WALLA...WE HAD TO USE HI-POWER WINCHES TO MOVE IT, MAN, THAT THING HADN'T BEEN USED IN YEARS AND WOULDN'T EVEN START!
RAY: WE SPENT THAT FIRST WINTER JUST GOING INTO THE GARAGE AND WALKING AROUND THAT THING, TALKING, AND FIGURING WHAT WE PLANNED TO DO NEXT, AND HOW WE COULD PULL IT OFF TECHNICALLY.
LRM: SO IT WAS JUST YOU GUYS THINKING FOR A FEW MONTHS?
RAY:BASICALLY, AT FIRST...BUT WE ALSO ARE PART OF A CAR CLUB WE STARTED IN WALLA WALLA, AZTLAN REDEMPTION C.C., AND WE HAVE ABOUT 8 OTHER MEMBERS, SO ONCE WE HAD DIRECTION PICKED OUT, WE BROUGHT THE OTHER GUYS IN FOR EACH PERSON'S TECHNICAL SPECIALTIES.
JORGE: I MEAN, THE FIRST QUESTION ON EVERYONE'S MIND WAS "HOW DO YOU INTEND TO GET A 55 TON TANK TO HOP AROUND ON HYDRAULICS!? (EVERYONE LAUGHS)
RAY: YEAH, SO THAT'S WHEN WE REALIZED WE WERE GOING TO HAVE TO DROP SOME SERIOUS WEIGHT...WE BEGAN THE PROJECT BY STRIPPING OFF THE 2" ARMOR PLATING ON THE TURRET AND CHASSIS AND TAKING EACH PIECE TO THE METAL SHOP, WHERE WE CUT REPLACEMENT PIECES TO EXACT SIZE, BUT USING 1/4" ALUMINUM SHEETS...WE WERE ABLE TO DROP THE WEIGHT FROM 55 TONS TO 25 BY DOING THIS!!!

JORGE: NEXT WE WENT TO WORK ON THE ENGINE AND CHASSIS...THE ENGINE WAS VERY DIRTY, THIS THING HAD SERVED IN THE GULF WAR AND I THINK THE LAST TIME IT RECIEVED A TUNE-UP, BUSH#1 WAS IN THE WHITEHOUSE!(LAUGHS) BUT FORTUNATELY, MECHANICALLY EVERYTHING WAS IN GOOD SHAPE, WE JUST HAD TO TAKE IT ALL APART AND CLEAN EVERYTHING CAREFULLY...THEN WE SENT ALL THE METAL PARTS OUT TO GET DOUBLE-DIPPED AT THE CHROMERS!!! ORALE!!(ALL LAUGH)
RAY: WE DISASSEMBLED BOTH TREADS LINK BY LINK, TOO, CAREFULLY CLEANED EVERY PIECE AND THEN SENT IT OUT FOR A GOLD & SILVER ELECTROPLATE JOB...BY NOW, THE NEW ALUMINUM BODY&TURRET PANELS WERE READY TO BE PUT BACK TOGETHER...
LARRY IS THE PAINT SPECIALIST OF AZTLAN REDEMPTION, SO HE MOVED IN WITH THE SPRAY GUNS...WE CHOSE A DEEP BLUE FLAKE WITH A FLIP-FLOP COLOR SCHEME WITH A LIGHTER SHADE OF BLUE...LARRY IS CRAZY WITH THE DEPTH HE CAN BRING OUT, HE JUST KEPT LAYERING UP THE PAINT AND CLEAR COAT GLOSS UNTIL THE BLUE WAS SO DEEP IT LOOKED LIKE YOU COULD DIVE RIGHT IN.
WE ORDERED UP 7 SETS OF 244-SPOKE DAYTONS WITH CLASSIC SPINNER KNOCK OFFS AND WHITEWALLS AND TOOK OFF THE ORIGINAL COMBAT ISSUE WHEELS&RUBBER, WHEN WE PUT THE NEW RIMS & WHEELS ON, WE FOUND NOT ONLY WAS THE RIDE GONNA BE SICK WHEN IT WAS DONE, BUT THE DAYTONS SAVED US ABOUT ANOTHER 6 TONS OF WEIGHT, BRINGING US DOWN TO 19...IT WAS LIKE WE HAD TO REALLY PUT THIS TANK ON A SLIM-FAST DIET IF WE WERE REALLY GOING TO TO GET IT TO DANCE ON HYDROS!
LRM: SO HOW DID YOU HANDLE THE HYDRAULICS ON THIS RIDE?
JORGE: CHAVA, IS OUR CLUB'S RESIDENT EXPERT ON GETTING VEHICLES TO DEFY GRAVITY...HIS DAY JOB IS WORKING ON THE HYDRAULICS OF HEAVY EQUIPMENT, CATERPILLARS, AND THAT SORT OF THING...SO FOR HIM, WHEN HE SAW WHAT WE NEEDED TO DO, HE WAS FULL OF IDEAS...BASICALLY THE ENTIRE LOWER CHASSIS IS FILLED WITH THE HYDRO EQUIPMENT, WE HAD TO CAREFULLY PLAN SO IT WOULD ALL FIT, BASICALLY THERE IS ENOUGH HYDRO PUMPS CRAMMED IN THERE TO GET ABOUT 10 IMPALAS TO THE MOON! WE ALSO HAD HIM DESIGN A CUSTOM HYDRO SYSTEM FOR THE TURRET THAT REALLY HAS TO BE SEEN IN ACTION TO BE BELIEVED...
RAY: THE ENGINE AND TREAD PARTS CAME BACK FROM THE PLATER'S AND WE SET TO WORK REASSEMBLING THE WHOLE DRIVE AND TREAD SYSTEMS.
WE REDESIGNED THE INTERIOR, UPHOLSTERED THE INSIDE WITH DEEP-BLUE CRUSHED VELVET, FLAT SCREEN TV, MINIFRIDGE AND WET BAR AND A HI-POWERED SOUNDSYSTEM FOR BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF THE VEHICLE.
ANOTHER CRAZY THING IS THE MAIN GUN, NOW OBVIOUSLY YOU CAN'T BE ROLLING AROUND WITH A 105MM HOWITZER ON YOUR RIDE AND BE STREET LEGAL!! NOW, SOUNDWARFARE, THAT'S ANOTHER STORY! WE GOT TOGETHER WITH SOME AUDIO SPECIALISTS IN THE SEATTLE AREA AND THEY DESIGNED US A CRAAAZY SUB-BASS SYSTEM...THEY REDESIGNED THE FORWARD CHASSIS TO HOUSE A REINFORCED ULTRA-HI-SOUNDPRESSURE BASS CHAMBER...THERE'S 8X18in. EMINENCE KILOMAX PRO-SUBS IN THERE, RUNNING AT 10,000WATTS RMS! AND ALL THAT SOUND GETS DIRECTED AND PRESSURIZED THRU A SERIES OF VENTS & CHAMBERS, THEN ALL THAT BASS GETS FORCED OUT THE BARREL...EN,SERIO, I AM NOT JOKING! THIS IS A SOUND WEAPON FOR REAL!!! THIS THING HAS BLASTED OUT GLASS PANE WINDOWS 50 FT FROM THE BARREL TIP WHEN WE TESTED THE GUN AT THEIR SITE! WE NEVER, NEVER, RUN IT CLOSE TO FULL VOLUME, EVEN AT CAR STEREO SOUNDBATTLES, CUZ' EVEN AT LOWER LEVELS, PEOPLE CAN FEEL OUR LOWEND SEVERAL BLOCKS AWAY WHEN WE OPEN THAT PORTED BASS CANNON UP EVEN PART WAY! THIS BASS SYSTEM, TOO, IS A NEW INNOVATION NEVER PREVIOUSLY SEEN IN ANY CAR STEREO SYSTEMS.

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To make matters even more amusing, the creator of this masterpiece of silliness has put together and animation of this lowrider tank hittin' the switches. Check it out here and dig the motion on the turret. We'll be watching the military surplus lists for the time being. [Honda Tech]

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