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Car-maggeddon Tournament Round 1, Battle 2: The “Bus” from Dawn of the Dead (2004) and the Tank from Tank Girl (1995)!

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Welcome to Post-Apocalyptic Media’s Car-maggeddon Tournament, where we’ve pitted popular vehicles from various wastelands against one another in a battle to the death! 

There are 20 vehicles of different shapes and sizes. Who will win and be crowned the Wasteland Winner?  

Note: These vehicles are from movies only and one vehicle per movie. (And no space ships or aircraft)


How will Car-maggeddon work? Each Saturday, we will pitch two vehicles against one another based on six criteria (listed below)! 


Does the car have a tendency to break down? To lose parts? Can you sleep in it? 


Does the vehicle have any weapons or other ways to take out the competition? 


What armor (if any) does it have? How hard would it be for a zombie to get inside it or for someone to take out the driver from outside?  


Can it outrun any threats, or does it just trundle along? 


Can it ram its way out of anything holding it back? 


This is basically a tie-breaker. In the battle, which vehicle has a higher “coolness factor” or matches best the wasteland look?


Check out the roaster below to see upcoming battles! Once every battle is complete in Round 1, the winners will move on to round 2.

Round 1, Battle 2:

The (Modified) Ford E-350 XLT “Bus” from Dawn of the Dead (2004) and the (Modified) M3 Stuart Tank from Tank Girl (1995) 

While the “Bus” from Dawn of the Dead isn’t in the movie for long, its pivotal role in the “escape from the mall” scene in the movie made it a very memorable vehicle. In truth, it’s not a bus at all, but a 2002 Ford Econoline van, though most people seem to remember it as a bus (and so it shall be called). The tank on the other hand is not as well known, as Tank Girl is a cult classic that has slowly grown a following since its release over 25 years ago.

The Vehicles! 


Unlike the last battle, these vehicles don’t so much storm down the highway as plow steadily through it. For practicality, the bus is much better suited for carrying more than one person and would be a more comfortable place to sleep. But if you’re the lone survivor type, the only thing more secure than a tank would be a bunker. There are lounge chairs mounted to the top for surveying or just watching the sunset.

The tank without a doubt wins in terms of defense. What can get through a tank? Well, anti-tank artillery can, but the Bus does not stand a chance. The Bus tries to defend itself, with its barb wire on top, plow on the front for deflecting zombies, and protection on the windows. Unfortunately, one of its defences is chainsaws for use on attackers, which, as we know from the movie, have a tendency to backfire quite terribly. 

Check out the bus (and its twin) in this clip here (R-rated violence and language).

The tank also wins when it comes to offense. Tank Girl’s vehicle of choice would very simply make Swiss cheese of the Bus with its 105mm gun, let alone the rocket launchers, turret-mounted machine gun, and various other projectile weapons. The Bus pretty much just has propane tanks, assorted mall goods, and those chainsaws again, which have the chance to take out your own people.

In terms of power, the Tank does have more brute force, but the Bus has that plow. The bus has a V8, 350lbs of torque, and 255 horsepower, so it could, if it got a running start, maybe nudge the tank out of the way destroying the plow in the process, but in a shoving match, the tank would win any day, crumpling the bus in with its treads.

But let’s say the Bus managed to weave around the Tank and the Tank hadn’t reloaded its gun. In terms of speed, the Bus could easily outmaneuver and escape a tank. Those who fight and run away, live to fight another day, as they say.


It’s already clear who is the top dog in this fight, but in terms of aesthetics, the vehicles are tied. One of the best scenes of all zombie movies, at least in my opinion, is when that bus bursts through the exit and starts its zombie-crushing escape. The plow, the covered windows, the montage of the team working on it … it’s hardcore post-apocalyptic. And while a tank in any regard is pretty cool, Tank Girl’s is modified with a Tim Burton-esque paint job, a dizzy assortment of hubcaps, and has the entire rear end of a 1969 Cadillac Eldorado welded to the back. The Bus is black tie apocalyptic where the Tank is raider chic. 

But – you had to guess – the tank quite easily makes zombie food of the Bus. You just can’t stand up to that artillery. What can? We’ll have to see in round 2! 


WINNER, Round 1, Battle 2: Tank from Tank Girl 


Next Saturday, we’ll see who can survive longest: Snowpeircer or the Law Master from Judge Dredd (1995)! Let us know in the comments, on our Facebook group, or on Twitter who you think will win! Throw in the hashtag #car-maggeddon !


    T. S. Beier is obsessed with science fiction, the ruins of industry, and Fallout. She is the author of What Branches Grow, a post-apocalyptic novel (which was a Top 5 Finalist in the 2020 Kindle Book Awards and a semi-finalist in the 2021 Self-Published Science Fiction Competition) and the Burnt Ship Trilogy (space opera). She is a book reviewer, editor, and freelance writer. She currently lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband, two feral children, and a Shepherd-Mastiff.

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