Ted Yadlowsky proclaims he’s the only person that can say he owns a privately-owned amphibious combat vehicle. Whether that’s technically true or not is up for debate, but no one’s debating the basis of the reason he can make that claim; him and a few of his Michigan buddies actually own a GPV-manufactured 8X8 Colonel ACP (which is basically a tank with eight wheels that can flatten your car or crush through 12 inches of concrete – whichever happens to be in front of it).
The enterprising group of friends, according to Ted, pitched in together to accumulate enough capital to purchase the APC by means that remain unclear, but Ted does live inside a 45-mile radius of the GPV headquarters. Whether or not that has anything to do with his ability to acquire one for personal use has not been disclosed, but it does seem oddly coincidental. So, what exactly is the Colonel?
The GPV Colonel APC is an armored personnel transport produced for the military to move soldiers safely in combat zones and came from the factory with provisions to mount a 360° 7.62mm machine gun on a top turret that can be manned by a crewmember from a hatch aft of the APC. Occupants on the inside remain safely encased in an armor-plated shell resistant to small arms fire and other light weapons.
The 350hp C7 Caterpillar is a six-cylinder diesel that powers the eight massive tires via an automatic five-speed transmission with selectable driving modes for different terrain – whether the APC is on hard, level ground or treacherous terrain dictate the driving mode that should be used. A full-locking differential setup binds all eight tires together in unison to enable the APC tank-like drivability.
The band of friends have all made a pact never to sell the Colonel and routinely take the APC out on mini excursions to let the public enjoy (or be terrorized by) it as they motor through town dwarfing every other vehicle in sight — the bulky APC even makes the biggest semis look frail and weak by comparison.
So, how tough is the APC really? The crew claims it’s able to run over just about anything and can even charge through a one-foot-thick concrete wall. They weren’t willing to demonstrate the APC’s wall-destroyer mode in action, but they were willing to show us what would happen to a Chevy cargo van should it and the APC ever happen to engage in a friendly game of chicken.