If you thought the Transformers were only in the movies, you’ve never been to Lake Havasu City on the California/Arizona border. The Colorado River cuts through the desert tourist spot, but up on the north end of town, an airport hangar holds what looks like Optimus Prime’s bigger and more badass older brother: THOR 24.
Dreamed up by Southern California land developer Mike Harrah and built over a seven-year period by Harrah with Tim Spinks and Paul Abram, the truck has so much going on it’s hard to focus on just one facet. It’s safe to say, however, each detail is as impressive as the next. “Big Mike,” as he’s called, stands six feet, five inches tall and has a personality to match—as you’d expect from the guy behind a wild truck where everything has been amplified to 11.
The engines command the majority of your initial attention—they’re twin 12V-71 two-stroke Detroit Diesel engines (for 24 total cylinders) mated nose-to-nose and topped with eight BDS 8-71 superchargers. This Detroit Diesel engine has a long, important history as industrial and marine powerplants, and each 12V-71 comes “stock” with twin Roots-type blowers located between the cylinder banks—which means THOR has a total of 12 blowers. The build team figured out how to butt the engines together with a splined shaft, giving the new, dual-engine layout a final displacement of 1,704 cubic inches—or an incredible 27.9 liters.
After using a wooden buck to help design the massive intake manifold, it was eventually crafted from thick aluminum plate and then configured to hold eight superchargers driven off a single custom driveshaft. That shaft is 103 inches long and weighs 263 pounds all on its own, and it runs longitudinally inside the manifold’s airbox above the engines. The top of the manifold is also the base for eight NOS nitrous bottles.\
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