Here’s An Oddball: SuburbaTrac or HalfBurban?

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What do you get when you cross a White halftrack with a Suburban? You get one of these, and you never have to worry about not being able to get through that mud puddle again! What ever you want to call it (I like SuburbaTrac, but HalfBurban would work as well), it’s being sold here on eBay and is located in Millersburg, Indiana. Currently spirited bidding has stalled at $1,150 but the reserve hasn’t been met yet either. I don’t think it’s worth your time to find another sale of one for comparison purposes. Thanks to Peter R. for this very unusual find!

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One of the things that’s immediately obvious is that there was more halftrack than Suburban, so the tracks do stick out a little bit in the rear. Just think of them as a very mobile bumper–not that anyone is going to get too close to this thing going down the road anyway. Speaking of which, is it even legal to drive a halftrack on the road? From what I could tell from some online searching, it may be as long as it has rubber treads, not metal ones.

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From the back, it looks like the seller had started to collect some parts for a custom interior. Plenty of room there to haul stuff; just plan on going slowly. Estimated top speed of the original half track was about 40 miles per hour, but there are plenty of references that suggest 25 is a more comfortable speed. However, the drive train of this unusual find has been modified (more about that later), and still needs finishing, so who knows?

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I’m guessing that 5 gallon bucket may have been the seat for a trial somewhere along the line. Despite the three pedals, the original transmission has been replaced with a GM turbo 350 according to the seller. The rear driveshaft hasn’t been fabricated yet, either. It’s pretty obvious that this is an unfinished project; my question is what was the original goal?

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As you’ve probably guessed, attached to that Turbo 350 transmission is a Chevy 350 V8. It looks like it’s acquired an Edelbrock carburetor along the way as well. To be honest, the fabrication so far doesn’t look bad, although the side panels where the Suburban’s rear wheel wells used to be need to be blended into the body. Or maybe not; perhaps the utilitarian/rugged look is perfect for this vehicle–I’m not sure I’d change the exterior cosmetics at all! But what would you do with it? (besides pretty much take it anywhere you wanted to go, albeit slowly!) I’m interested in your ideas–please share!

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Comments

  1. Dave Wright

    I was high bidder on the other 1/2 track he has for sale, may still buy it…………there is a long history of this kind of vehicle. A friend of mine in Fresno had a Chevrolet pickup mounted on a Sherman tank chassis, they used it to crush cars at shows”

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Dave, so do you think this was made by Tractomotive, or in someone’s backyard?

      • Val

        Someone’s Back yard . the half track has a 6 cyl not a V8

  2. Fred W.

    Paint it all matte black and darken the windows with illegal tint. Paint “Bone Crusher” on the sides, take to the next local tractor pull or demo derby and you will have plenty of fans.

  3. Bobsmyuncle

    Not only do I not have a single valid need for this I likely CAN’T use it anywhere, at least legally.

    Yet I want it bad.

  4. Howard A Member

    This is an unusual find. The color may indicate military. Apparently, Tractomotive did a lot of conversions with the military White track setup, was a company in Deerfield, ILL. that Allis Chalmers bought in the late 50’s. This looks like a pretty cobbled job that I would guess someone converted a GMC to the White half track chassis, and tried ( unsuccessfully) to use the GM drive train. I’d think it would be a bit much for a GM trans like this( possibly why it’s bad) turning the tracks. It just doesn’t look like a factory setup ( but can’t explain the “Tractomotive” emblem). One thing for sure, if you ever got the mechanics straightened out, not much would stop it.

  5. JW

    I see a nightmare project here and I’m a 4×4 guy and modifier BUT I know my limits and except for tractor pulls it’s useless. I give credit to anyone who takes it on plus my sympathy. JMHO !!!

  6. Stephen

    well that speaks zombie apocalypse all day long…..

    • Steve H

      You beat me to it! Zombie Apocalypse is right… but will need so much work to get it to the next stage—actually running.

  7. Jeffro

    I like the look and idea, however, this would be a nightmare. Rather risk riding a Big Wheel with a flat spot!

  8. Mark S Member

    You ask what would you do with it. Answer……. NOT BUY IT……!
    What a hack job, maybe the track unit could be removed and made itto some kind of farm implement, as for the suburban RUINED, maybe part out what you can and scrap the rest. This is why drugs and alcohol don’t belong in the work shop. JMHO

    • grant

      I made a comment similar, but I guess I went too far with it so it was removed. So let me try again: this looks as if it were created by someone who likes to go fast and doesn’t sleep much. Just say no, kids!

  9. S Ryan

    Math S. You’re no fun, my HOA would not be the same if it weren’t for the. Hold my Beer watch this section. I’m glad my property is in the right section. This is an awesome story waiting to happen.

  10. Ck

    This thing is way cool, Does it have rubber traks? If someone out there has deep pockets this would be a kool project.It looks like it still needs a ton of work just to get it road worthy tho .I can tell you this this thing would be all kinds of Fun in the snow.

  11. Val

    Most of the Half Track’s have rubber track’s .Reason being they drove on road’s .so they built them with rubber .

  12. Alan Brase

    Used to have a PHANTOM CRANE on it? to dig Zombies out of graves? More likely BANTAM CRANE, a pioneer of truck mounted excavators, Schield Bantam, now bought out by Terex. Located in Waverly Iowa, about 16 miles from me.
    http://web.augsburg.edu/~schield/schieldfamily/schieldb.pdf
    It would be WAY better with the crane still on it. A halftrack one was one of the first Bantams built n 1946.
    They revolutionized the industry.
    Al

  13. chad

    ? wondering if the frnt wheels will steer it (doesn’t have dozer or excavator type independent tracks & little to no weight on frnt tires?)?

  14. Alan Brase

    Probably only about a half mile to turn around. Seems like you’d want wheel/ track brakes to help steer like a tractor.
    This just seems like too much engineering and fabrication to make a happy ride.
    A young man’s dream.
    Al

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