The Red Pearl’s story began in late 2005, three years before its completion when Svempa acquired a Scania T 500 from Scania’s test lab. It had been driven to within an inch of its life and was destined for scrapping. Svempa and his designer, Jan Richter, drew up plans for an open-top truck.
There aren't that many roadster trucks in the world, and this one stands out because of its futuristic lines. The suspension has been lowered, and the roof chopped, like a '32 Ford. As for the paintjob, it's a combination between a fire truck, with its gold lettering, and a hot rod.
The power comes from twin-turbocharged 16-liter V8 engine producing 1,000 horsepower. Yes, it runs on diesel, and the R999 is said to be able to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 5 seconds flat.
The amount of detail that has gone into this build boggles the mind. For example, it's got a transparent cab floor, and the paintjob alone cost $20,000. The steering wheel and dashboard were made from carbon fiber, which wasn't that common a decade ago. Svempa says his team has put at least 3,000 man hours into the build, adding that in 2006 "I practically lived in our workshop.”
“We created a machine that is so hot that when Scania’s President and CEO, Leif Östling and Hasse Johansson, head of research and development, saw it, they stood there slack-jawed," the builder says.