The Soviet Union wasn’t known for making anything small, and this vintage military power truck is a perfect example. Meet the ZIL-135 twin-engine monster: 20 tons of missile-launching off-roading fun. When it’s not off launching rockets artillery rockets in Communist countries during the Cold War, the ZIL enjoys long off-road hikes and spending time in nature.
Surprisingly maneuverable for its size, the ZIL-135 sports eight massive wheels that seem capable of taking it just about anywhere. In fact, its twin 6.9L gasoline engine setup is designed so that one engine powers the left side, while the other controls the right side. Each engine provides 180 horsepower, and the ZIL-135 has a top speed of around 40 miles per hour. Which is fine for off-roading, since you generally don’t need to go that fast when performing the sick climbs that this bad boy is clearly capable of handling. On the downside, it gets about three miles per gallon, which could be a serious bummer out in the field.
It does, in fact, have 8-wheel drive, but of the four axles, only the front most and rear most are involved in the steering process. With a ground clearance of 23 inches, there’s not a lot that can really stop the ZIL. In fact, the first 20 seconds of this video clip will probably give you at least a Top Five list for places you’d take a ZIL, if you suddenly were to have one delivered to your door today. Not entirely sure that’s legal on a state or federal level, but we can all dream, right?
Keep watching as four lucky people get the opportunity to take this particular ZIL over a razor-sharp summit after scaling a steep climb. There’s a little see-saw action at the top, which makes sense when you have eight wheels.
Videos like this are inspiring, for sure, but we can’t help but wonder: Where did they find such wonderful toys?!
This post was originally published on January 19, 2017.