While Autoblog occasionally offers readers a look at the eBay find of the day, we found one that might qualify as someone's find of the year – or an indulgent Christmas present. May we present the Hybrid Electric High Mobility Scout Mongrel Vehicle w/ Active Suspension. As of press time, the highest bid was $2,000 for a vehicle that supposedly has more than $750,000 in it, money that was spent on the engineering, design, parts and construction of this prototype four-wheel drive series hybrid.
Visiting a federal government website indicates that the amount spent was actually
$747,913 for a 1998 federal grant awarded by the US Department of Defense to Davis Technologies International, Inc., based in Addison, TX. The goal of the project was to develop a significantly improved ground vehicle for military reconnaissance that can move fast over rough terrain, with high mobility being a primary factor.
The "Mongrel" has independent swing arm suspension at all four corners of the vehicle, designed for traversing large obstacles with a powerful drive system. Propulsion comes from four 100-kilowatt, liquid-cooled, axial gap permanent magnet motors capable of delivering up to 134 horsepower per motor, for a total of 536 hp. As for an onboard internal combustion engine, the Mongrel uses a 1.9-liter turbo diesel Volkswagen engine as a generator.
While the deal is potentially great for such an expensive vehicle, there is work to be done by the new owner. The wheel assemblies are complete, but as a whole, the vehicle is not complete enough to operate as intended. Inverters need to be installed for the motors, as does a controller for the suspension, and a few other details need to be worked out. The seller is recommending that buyers make an appointment to come and view the Mongrel prior to bidding. That would mean traveling to Virginia Beach, VA, to view the vehicle – the auction ends early on December 27 – but the seller is happy to answer any questions to make you confident about your purchase.
One more thing, despite what the eBay listing says, this is not a model year 1900 vehicle. The vehicle has never been titled and therefore didn't have a vehicle identification number (VIN) assigned to it. Entering 1900 as a date was done to bypass eBay's requirement to enter a VIN.
Dollar for dollar, it could be the deal of the year. But not really, and you'd better do your research before bidding.