Remembering the $12 Million Thor 24 Big Rig: The "Holy Mother of Metal"

Maybe you follow up with autoevolution on a daily basis; maybe you don't. Well, no matter the level of engagement, whenever we talk about the Thor 24, you can't help but look twice, three times, maybe more. I mean, come on; look at the dang thing!
Thor 2471 15 photos
Photo: Larry Edsall Photos
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Yes, folks, the Thor 24 is a very real machine, and one that was even auctioned off a few years back for a whopping $12 million; funny, my first impression of this thing was that it's a toy. Yup, it sure is for Mike Harrah, a real estate developer with buildings all over the U.S. Actually, it's more like a dream/investment because once sold, it brought Harrah a solid $5 million in profit. Yes, just $7 million is all you need to put something like this together. But what is it precisely?

Well, if you're ever interested to know what makes Thor what it is, you can always visit its dedicated website or simply read this article, but the story begins with nothing more than a 1979 Peterbilt 359 crew cab that's been "stretched" to its current glory.

But it's all that bodywork, custom engine mechanics, and the downright frightening look it all gives off. Honestly, now, if I was driving down the highway and saw this monstrosity in my rearview mirror, I'd get the hell out of its way to do two things, stare at it and snap as many photos as I could. Maybe I'll just listen to the sounds of metal ripping apart atoms and transforming them into sheer mechanical power!

Responsible for the growl you hear in the video below is nothing more than a 24V-71 Detroit Diesel engine that's typically used in vehicles such as boats. On top of that, 12, yes, 12 massive superchargers allow this sucker to crank out 3,974 HP and reach a speed upwards of 130 mph (209 kph). All 32,000 pounds (14,515 kilograms) will be moving at that speed, so brakes stand little chance of keeping things safe. Instead, four drag chutes are used to bring the Mother of Metal to a grinding halt, minus the grinding bit.

Thor 2471 Engine
Photo: Scott Hays Productions / YouTube Screenshot
Take a minute and really appreciate the design Harrah came up with and how it's all arranged on that massive chassis. From the hotrod-like grill to the flaming exhausts, timing belts, and "B.I.G." intakes, this chromed-out machine is a testament to just how big you can go. Did you see the spikes on the wheels or the pinstriped flames running along the fenders? Come nighttime, LED lighting illuminates and empowers the look of this gargantuan CO2 spewer.

One curiosity I have is regarding this big rig's name. Why Thor? Personally, I couldn't find the reason, but the result is still the same, a massive mobile piece of art. That said, one aspect we need to consider when looking at this beast is the paint job. Aside from the flames I mentioned, the rear of Thor's cab also features a story depicting, well, a rather old-school Thor brandishing his weaponry in the light of the moon. A female heroine or sidekick sits in the background, and three skulls on pikes only make you question what Harrah really does for a living. Is it just me, or is anyone else getting a massive Hells Angels vibe from this guy?

But the exterior isn't all the Thor is about; the interior is fit for a dang road king! Not only is the cab filled with absolutely any gauge possible, but switches and screens are integrated into the dashboard and overhead too. Considering the complexity of this thing, all these bells and whistles are necessary. Some, on the other hand, are for pure entertainment. This includes a beefy sound system, any of the seven movie screens, and for sleep, a sleeper/lounge that makes any Red-Light District shop appear like child's play. Talk about living it up!

Thor 2471 and Mike Harrah
Photo: Scott Hays Productions / YouTube Screenshot
How does something like this happen? Well, stories like these don't just happen; they're forged. Come to find out, the big rig lifestyle is something Harrah has always been exposed to, and in truth, once this sort of living flows through your blood, it's rarely taken out, and so, once time and cash were on Harrah's side, it was only a matter of seven long years before his dreams became a reality. Oh, it was all trial and error too; Harrah hit countless bumps in the design and construction road.

Where the Thor 24 is these days seems to be a mystery; it was auctioned off in Saudi Arabia. Whoever bought it at that moment tucked it away in some garage to be viewed only by lucky individuals. I have my money on it sitting in some prince's living room, probably straddled by white tigers.

Since this is about the only way we'll be seeing the Thor 24 in this lifetime, I'll just leave this little article right here, showing everyone what's possible with a dream, some time, and quite a bit of cash. I'd say this investment was a success for Harrah. Hell, I could retire with $5 million easily. The tradeoff is that I'd never again be able to touch my baby.

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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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