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Jim Oldaker’s Rollin’ Thunder Monster Truck, er, Van

Jim Oldaker’s 1972 Dodge van monster truck known as Rollin’ Thunder. Built on the chassis of a large water truck that was burned on a construction site due to a union dispute, it was powered by a 6-53 Detroit Diesel, used a 5-speed Fuller manual transmission, and weighed an astonishing 20,000 lbs. Oldaker lived in a houseboat that was moored in the Redondo Beach area of California. Heavier than any other monster truck in existence and slower as well, it was still a crowd favorite because it decimated cars. This was the era where the trucks crept up and over the cars, smooshing roofs and blowing out windows. These photos date from the truck’s later years in the middle 1980s.

Traveling the country and barnstorming with his family, Oldaker made a great living for a few years. A planned second version of the truck was started but never finished and this one was sold to a buyer in Japan after technology passed it by. Oldaker went on to work creating prosthetic limbs for many years, helping hundreds and hundreds of people with his abilities as a fabricator and creator. 🇺🇸💪🏼 H/T>

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