Here's what you drive when you're facing 200-mph winds.
Jay Leno gets to see plenty of custom vehicles while filming Jay Leno's Garage, but his recent seat time in a heavily modified Ford F-350, called Dominator 3, might be the most unique. This truck has been custom built to tackle the rigors of chasing tornadoes, and he got to see just what it's like to be inside of a vehicle exposed to tornado-strength winds.
Leno first met storm chaser Reed Timmer in 2011 when he was hosting The Tonight Show, but this time he actually got to drive the truck that is able to safely venture into the path of a tornado and survive winds of more than 200 mph without taking any damage. According to Timmer,
Dominator 3 was designed for the sole purpose of surviving such conditions, and it does so with a custom body with an aerodynamic shape and wrapped in Kevlar body protection. Gull-wing doors help accommodate the aero shape, while the air-ride suspension allows the truck to lower in order to further prevent air from getting underneath it. To show how tough the modern Ford trucks are, Dominator 3 is powered by the Super Duty's stock drivetrain including the 6.7-liter PowerStroke turbodiesel V8.
As a demonstration of its capabilities, Leno drives behind a jet capable of producing 1,300 mph winds from its exhaust, and the 11,000-pound truck barely moves. For good measure, the crew also hurls objects into the wind acting as projectiles similar to the debris of a tornado.
So how much does a custom, storm-chasing Ford Super Duty cost? A cool $750,000!
Source: Jay Leno's Garage