Automobile

You Could Own Optimus Prime (Minus the Superpowers) for $20K

The very first Transformers movie I saw was the live-action version of Bumblebee. I had no desire to see it, but friends were going with their son, who happens to be my son’s best buddy. Fine, I figured. This might be a good time for a nap. I didn’t expect it to be, at heart, a story about a girl and her Volkswagen Beetle, nor did I expect to love it.

Anyway, near the end of the movie, Autobot boss Optimus Prime appears on the Golden Gate Bridge side by side with Bumblebee in the form of a yellow 1976 Camaro. If you are in the market for an 18-wheeler and you’re a Transformers fan, check it out: the truck used in that final scene is now for sale for $21,600, and the owner is open to other offers. Note: sadly, in real life, the truck does not actually transform or defeat Decepticons. 

The truck in question is a 1987 cab-over-engine Freightliner powered by a 350-horsepower Cummins Big Cam III with a nine-speed Eaton Fuller transmission and 3.42:1 rear end ratio. Second owner Justin VanDerslice lives in Seward, Nebraska, near the state capital of Lincoln.

VanDerslice says the truck has “new (but mediocre) paint”, RLK visor, American Eagle bumper, and a new front end. “Drives 65 percent, steers new,” he says. It also has a new air compressor installed about a year ago. He’s not sure about the total mileage and says is had an overhaul at 85,000 miles but has no paperwork. According to VanDerslice, the truck needs a new driver’s side door, fenders, and lower section of the grille; he’s willing to fix them for you for about $2,000 more.

For a while, it appears the owner drove it frequently, putting 2500 miles per week on the clock. “This truck has been sitting for almost a year now. Obviously with the cold weather it would take some doing to get it fired up, but it is definitely possible,” VanDerslice posted on Facebook. “At this point, I’m willing to entertain any reasonable offer. I’m trying to get a down payment for a house, and honestly, it saddens me to see my baby sitting there doing nothing. I’d rather sell him cheap to a good home than let him die in my yard.”

It sounds to me that it’s more of a collector option than a vehicle for daily use with the money you’d need to put into it. I say get yourself a yellow Beetle and put them side by side in your yard as a conversation piece. Maybe that would be enough to scare away any bad guys nearby. 

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