Friday, March 06, 2009
The brainchild of a mid-1960s joint venture between General Motors and the Consortium of Big Game hunters, the V8 Rhino was a wonder of bioengineering. Virtually indestructable, incredibly fuel inefficient, and adored by men with giant but fragile egos, the vehicular mammal in many ways was a precursor of GM's Hummer. Replacement parts proved the V8 Rhinos undoing. Finding a mechanic to service them in the heart of the Serengheti Plain proved nearly impossible. By the early 1970s, the Rhinos had fallen out of favor and ended up up on blocks and out to pasture. However, in the mid-1970s the diesel powered animals were rediscovered by young Masai warriors who took to customizing them. An entire subculture grew up around the customized rhinos as the young warriors would take them out for Saturday evening grazing designed to assert their status within the culture and catch the eye of potential girlfriends. Unfortunately, by the mid 1980s, the four on the floor quadrapeds once again fell out of favor and ended up back up on blocks. Today, the few remaining rhinos can be found at custom car shows or in wildlife reserves.