A real-life version of a vehicle from a futuristic sci-fi video game might just drive by you someday. The replica of the M12 recon vehicle (also known as the Warthog from the widely popular Halo game series) was made single-handedly by Bryant Havercamp, an obviously big Halo fan. Thanks to his hard work, what was once a 1980’s full-size Chevy pickup is now a street-legal video game replica after 5 years of dedication.
“Everywhere I seem to drive this thing it turns heads. Pulling into a gas station people are stopping to take pictures. Asking questions about it.” – Havercamp
Havercamp is a phone technician who lives in a rural part of Michigan. Everything from the bodywork to the custom cage, interior, lights, and the powertrain, including a custom hydraulic steering system to help the big beast turn was fabricated and constructed by his hands alone. Even the trademark Warthog tusks on the front are handmade from scratch. It took him 2 weeks of welding, grinding, and welding some more to get them right.
“Most people when they see this thing are just absolutely floored with how realistic it looks. ” – Havercamp
To build a frame that fit the shape of the Warthog, he took the stripped-down 1984 Chevy K10 pick-up truck, split it into three sections and reconstructed it. Then, following measurements from a 3D model, the body was constructed from iron, sheet metal, and plastic. The whole thing sits on 35x15x15-inch super swamper tyres. He used a 3D printer to print smaller parts such as the rear-view camera cover and the gas cap cover. But the hardest part of all was the engine. He explained:
“The engine is based off a 1984 Chevy 350. But I rebuilt it so that it’s got Vortec heads with a 64cc combustion chamber, roughly 9.3 to 1 compression ratio, long tube headers, stock cam shaft, nothing too aggressive. I would say my favourite memory out of the entire construction process was probably three months into it. It was the first time I have ever built an engine. I had no idea if it was going to start up. But when I turned that key and the engine fired right up, it brought a smile to my face and just the best feeling ever.”
The vehicle is equipped with all the safety road requirements (mirrors, lights, and turn signals) to make it street legal. The gauges and digital readouts all function properly, as well as the rearview camera. The front of the Warthog is a functioning hood that flips open like a snowmobile hood (front-ways) and gives access to the engine for servicing.
“A lot of time and effort goes into building something this complicated. All the little details, they add up. Five and a half years and I’m still not done.” – Havercamp
He admits the project has been gruelling with having to go to hospital twice after injuring himself on the build – once for burns and once for carbon monoxide poisoning. That unfortunately added an extra $5,000 to his spending of around $11,000 for materials alone. But, in the end, it was all worth it for that moment when he finally got to drive it:
“I was able to actually take it out on the road, take it for a test drive. And just the feeling of driving this unique, beastly-looking machine down the road that looks like nothing else, it just puts a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart.”
Once he completes his masterpiece by adding four-wheel steering and some extra aesthetic pieces, Bryant hopes to sell the Warthog for between $75,000 to $100,000. He plans to use that cash to fund a PhD in Physics. With all the effort he has put into building the vehicle it’s a fair price; although when the time comes, he might find it difficult to part with something he worked so hard on.