The Pookie is the strangest military vehicle I have ever seen. It’s a ultra-light weight vehicle with a protective V-shaped armored cabin for the driver. The Rhodesians built the Pookie to clear minefields and roads.

Behold, the Pookie.

The Pookie is making a comeback. MineTech brought back the vehicle with a new engine and is using it in demining operations in Eritrea.

The Rhodesian’s literally put this thing together with spare parts.

Pookie, so named because of its resemblance to the small wide-eyed African bush baby, was constructed on a lightweight chassis and carried a one-person armour-plated cab. The cab had a V-shaped undercarriage designed to deflect any blast away from the driver and to combat centre blast mines. The wheels were positioned some distance from the cab, again to protect the driver in the event of detonation by offsetting the seat of explosion, and they were housed in Formula One racing tires, apparently bought in bulk from the South African Grand Prix. Wide with low pressure, they exert a minimum ground force. The vehicle was propelled by an engine from a Volkswagen Beetle that was capable of taking Pookie to mine detection speeds of up to 60 kilometres per hour. Two drop-arm detectors were mounted left and right and equipped with a detection system that bounced magnetic waves into the ground as well as an acoustic signal to indicate metal.

It is an ingenious vehicle that had a very good record in clearing minefields without its operators getting seriously injured. Hopefully it will perform just as well in post-war demining.