Talking to an automobile fan about the word Hellcat immediately sparks a discussion about the Dodge Challenger and Charger pair that each has 707 hp under the hood.
But it turns out Dodge wasn’t the first car manufacturer to use the nickname – it was in fact rivaling Buick who back in the 1940s used the Hellcat branding. It was actually something befitting the era – which has been forever stamped with the ugly mark of the second World War. The Buick Hellcat was actually a fearsome tank destroyer that became the “fastest full-tracked, armored fighting vehicle of World War II,” according to Auctions America. Produced in over 2,500 units, the M18 was only built in 1943 and 1944 by Buick – and it turns out one of them is actually up for grabs by an enthusiast collector.
The estimated auction price is of $275,000 to $350,000 – and at 20 tons, this is considerably “fatter” than a Charger SRT Hellcat and naturally way slower: 55 mph (88 kph) maximum speed as opposed to 204 mph (328 kph). There’s still a massive, powerful engine at heart – nine-cylinder, air-cooled Continental gasoline engine with a mere 350 hp. It might compensate with that 76-mm anti-tank gun and Browning M2 .50 cal. machine gun.