Over the weekend, I was involved in a semi-serious conversation/discussion on what would make a suitable zombie apocalypse vehicle. During the course of said discussion, several vehicles were mentioned and thoroughly reviewed then discarded or moved down the list. Everything from bicycles (meals on wheels) to motorcycles to semi trucks loaded with supplies, to cruise ships to aircraft carriers.
Eliminating the totally unrealistic, cruise ships and aircraft carriers, we moved to strictly land based vehicles and their various pros and at times, numerous cons.
Ever present was the Hummer or Hum-Vee that the military currently uses and of course has a civilian counterpart. It was discarded due to the large fuel consumption. (I know, someone out there will be pissed off at that because they know that the Hummer has got to be the ultimate survival vehicle.) Unless there is a way that the Hummer can be connected to a semi tanker and tow it behind, no way would it be feasible.
Still, the Hummer is a durable and versatile vehicle. And it looks cool too.
Pushing the Hummer aside, the talk moved on to other civilian vehicles. Most were tossed due to reliability or performance. Various models of the older style Jeeps were brought up, like the CJ5 and CJ7 but space was then the issue. After all, we’re talking zombie apocalypse here and you’re going to want room for supplies and ammo. That brought us all back to a military vehicle either in the current inventory or available as surplus. Realistically, the M2 Bradley was not on the list nor was the LAV-25 aka US Army Striker.
What we were shooting for was ease of use, not something that was going to require training to use. My preference was the Mercedes Unimog. The Unimog has been in production since the end of WW2 and the parts are available through Freightliner making it a bit more easier to find spare parts. Its a proven platform that has been in use longer than any other vehicle in the US military. Couple that with the way it was built. Mercedes took into consideration the mindset that the average ass in the grass grunt might need to actually pop the hood in the field to perform maintenance. That means that you only need a minimum of tools to work on it and most of those tools are installed or mounted in or on the vehicle.
The U1300 Unimog at the Mercedes test track in Germany.
A surplus U1300 already conveniently painted camouflage.
Most Unimogs imported into the states are from Europe and are about 10+ years old due to import regulations. Here is just one site that imports the Mog as well as some other cool vehicles. Most of the importers will include extra fuel and oil filters and belts. Most will offer to repaint the truck into a color of your choice as long as its one that Mercedes has available.
Of course, expense would play a critical factor in any zed event vehicle purchase.
If cost was not an option along with realistic thinking then the options open way up and include the M1078 LMTV ‘WarPig’ or as some SOF label it, ‘The Mothership’.
The basic model M1078
The SOF version of the M1078
Mentioning the M1078 wouldn’t be complete if the MRAP variant was left out.
But bigger is always better, lets add the M1083 MRAP version, the ‘Caiman’. More room for supplies inside and more firing ports for the passengers.
Basically, what was finally decided on is what you can afford to keep running and what is available to you when a Zombie Apocalypse occurs. The idea is not to get too attached to something as it may break down stranding you at the most inappropriate time or worse case, gets stuck somewhere or is too large to maneuver inside an urban area.