Full Metal Challenge

TLC (ended 2003)


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Episode Guide


  • Season 1
    • Finals
      Episode 13
      Games: Grand International, Pit Ball, Rollercoaster, Sumo
    • Semifinal Round 3
      Semifinal Round 3
      Episode 12
      Teams: Winners of Episodes 1, 2 and 7
      Games: King of the Hill, Bumper Cars, Wetropolis, Sumo
    • Semifinal Round 2
      Semifinal Round 2
      Episode 11
      Teams: Winners of Episodes 5, 6 and 9
      Games: King of the Hill, Pit Ball, Rollercoaster, Sumo
    • Semifinal Round 1
      Semifinal Round 1
      Episode 10
      Teams: Winners of Episodes 3, 4 and 8
      Games: King of the Hill, Bumper Cars, Wetropolis, Sumo
    • US/UK/New Zealand
      Teams: Tribal Force vs. Tartan Tinkerers vs. Kiwi Thunder
      Games: Ten Pin, Hall of Mirrors, Wetropolis, Sumo
    • US/UK/Russia
      Episode 8
      Teams: Hot Rods vs. Aquaholics vs. Russian Bears
      Games: Ten Pin, Bumper Cars, Rollercoaster, Sumo
    • US/UK/Iceland
      Episode 7
      Teams: Death Guild vs. Mud Hatters vs. Ice Vikings
      Games: Ten Pin, Hall of Mirrors, Rollercoaster, Sumo

      The Death Guild's Mad Monkey (4,387 pounds, 275 bhp, a top speed of 100 mph) swept the floor in Ten Pin. This no-frills machine was not what you'd like to meet in a dark alley. "I don't think the competition will be dangerous at all," said Big Dave. His only worry was maneuverability.
      And how right he was. His Monkey got stuck in Hall of Mirrors and the brainy Mud Hatters from the UK took the lead. Their Megahurtz (4,739 pounds of brand new parts donated by colleagues at Land Rover) slalomed through the maze to what looked like a sure victory. The 2000 wires in the electronic control system made all the difference, until pilot Mike (16th best rally driver in Britain) hit a mirror.
      Before FMC, Mike said he was VERY worried about the Ice Vikings and their thundering Thor (3,747 pounds, 250 bhp, 5.8 litre V-8 engine). He had already raced against them in The Rally at the Top of the World and Hill Climbs. In Hall of Mirrors, Thor comfortably made off with three points.
      The Mud Hatters needed Monkey to crash in Roller Coaster to make it to Sumo. But thanks to raw power and lots of burnt rubber, Monkey limped over the finish line in the slowest time ever — over ten minutes! Frying time for the UK's Mud Hatters. Ta ta chaps!
      In Sumo, the Ice Vikings knew Monkey was too heavy for them. So they let themselves be chased around the ring, until Monkey's engine broke down. Cheeky Thor went in and did the decent thing. He finished off the plucky primate with his hammer.moreless
    • Canada/UK/Germany
      Teams: Snow Diggers vs. Battle Bodgers vs. Autobahn Boys
      Games: Ten Pin, Bumper Cars, Wetropolis, Sumo

      Weighing 3 tons, powered by a 220-bhp engine and with a top speed of 70 mph, the Snow Diggers' Steel Survivor sure kicked butt in Ten Pin. "I'll be very disappointed if we don't make it to Sumo — Steel Survivor isn't suited to the first three rounds," said Snow Digger Jonathan. This man had high hopes.
      Before burning in the Chimney of Doom, the Battle Bodgers' Pure Adrenaline was a converted dump truck boasting 300 bhp, 2.2 tons and solid steel guards. "Having seen the opposition, we're a tad anxious and beginning to regret spending only 14 days on the build," said team member Acker before the race. Another British dream that starts and ends with a dump truck ... Seen this somewhere before?
      The Snow Diggers achieved their wish and advanced through to Sumo, going fender to fender with the Autobahn Boys. The Germans' Mad Max-inspired Humungus only weighed 3,946 pounds, but with a 7.5-liter Corvette engine (350 bhp), a top speed of 110 mph and an acceleration of 0-100 km/h in six seconds anything could happen. The engine was so massive they had to cull a radiator from a 40-ton truck. But could they control their "Humungus" beast? "We had to tinker with the steering after the pre-race testing," said team member Udo. "The power of the engine destabilizes the vehicle when accelerating or decelerating." He should know, he specializes in drag-racing engine transmission and previously worked as a consultant in electronic adjustment and data logging in Formula 3.
      In Sumo, the German Humungus had a lucky break when one of Steel Survivor's tracks slipped off. Thanks to snappy driving, the track miraculously slipped back on. The Autobahn Boys gave up ASAP. It looked like Steel Survivor was going to mash their Schumacher. Vive le Québec!moreless
    • US/UK/South Africa
      Teams: The Washburns vs. Body Snatchers vs. Kalahari Cats
      Games: Ten Pin, Pit Ball, Wetropolis, Sumo

      The Kalahari Cats' Leopard was based on a vehicle that won a ton of races in South Africa. With garage owner Mike on the team, the Cats expected a walk in the park. UK-born Guy even thought he'd take the opportunity to visit his mother in Portsmouth. Overconfident? You bet.
      Two other mega-monsters were waiting in the wings. Stomp, a prehistoric armored vehicle from the UK, was driven by three mad paramedics known as the Body Snatchers. They reckoned it would take a lot to blow their cool because of their high-stress jobs. And they were right.
      Agrivator, from the United States, seemed to be in a league of its own. It boasted a 7.2-liter engine, 5,842 pounds of girth, a top speed of 100 mph and a wicked extendable arm. This baby looked like a T. Rex crossed with a Beach Buggy and a Massey Ferguson. Team members the Washburn Family called it a DRV — Disposable Recycled Vehicle. It was the ultimate hybrid: chassis from a harvester, tires from a military vehicle, hydraulic arms from a junkyard, engine parts scavenged from a motor home. Jon used to work for George Lucas — did he steal Agrivator from the set of Star Wars?
      The Cats' Leopard held its tail up high in Ten Pin, but didn't score in Pitball, earning a one-way ticket to the felines' rest home. Meow! After Wetropolis, Agrivator was in the lead, but Sumo ended in Jurassic Sparks. An amputated Agrivator scared the wits out of the Body Snatchers — it looked like a wounded dragon spitting fire.
      The result after Sumo was a tie, with two rounds to each team. The judges had a tough call. Their decision was based on which vehicle was still alive. No contest. An awesome victory for the Body Snatchers, thank heavens for grenade-proof tires!moreless
    • US/UK/China
      Episode 4
      Teams: Ball and Chain Gang vs. Three Shades of Grey vs. Flying Horse Team
      Games: Ten Pin, Hall of Mirrors, Rollercoaster, Sumo

      A promising lineup this week, kicking off with the Ball and Chain Gang. These three U.S. brothers-in-law geared up with 4,850 pounds of raw power (175 brake horsepower, top speed of 100 mph), but Idiodyssey's weak axles had to be beefed up. Challenging them: Three Shades of Grey, three brothers from England with the Wild Thing — 6,172 pounds and a top speed of 30 mph. Handmade from scratch, this heavyweight tank boasted hydro-pneumatic suspensions designed to boost ground clearance and contra-rotating tracks that enabled it to spin on a penny. Last but not least, the Chinese father-and-sons team with the Flying Horse: two jeeps morphed into one mutant with a spare engine (5,070 pounds, two 85 brake horsepower engines).
      The Ball and Chain Gang were confident they would win. Ready for anything, they'd turned their air cleaner into a snorkel and Tim, a former U.S. Special Ops, had even scouted the FMC site via an Internet satellite image. Who could beat this type of organization? The answer was the Flying Horse, which galloped straight into a lead in Ten Pin. Wild Thing posed no threat, it looked like it was moving in slo-mo.
      "The Wild Thing works best in wet and mud," said driver Brian. But FMC ain't no county fair. And Roller Coaster proved it. The Flying Horse bolted on the wet track and pilot Tian Sun flew off. Wild Thing driver Brian was carried off on a stretcher after a bad thump in his suspension-less tank. The Ball and Chain Gang were home free in Coaster, and it could only go one way in Sumo. Or so they thought ...
      In the end, Flying Horse kicked some serious ass and snapped Ball and Chain's drive shaft. 1.3 billion people cheered in China!moreless
    • US/UK/Australia
      Episode 3
      Teams: Country Boys vs. Dodgy Oppos vs. Flamin' Aussies
      Games: Ten Pin, Pit Ball, Wetropolis, Sumo

      The Country Boys thought their rock 'n' roll Southern Crusher — built from a J5 Bombardier ski slope groomer — would flatten the opposition. Its traction, super speed (in 10 Pin, Crusher looked like it was on fast forward) and weight (3,900 pounds) seemed unstoppable. To top it all, the machine's curved cage could flip driver Keith back onto his feet if it ever turned over. Unbeatable?
      "Gorblimey, the opposition look dead professional," worried the Dodgy Oppos. And they were dead right! Their cutesy converted dump truck called Wolverine had a one-way ticket — to the dump. Sure, it's heavy (4,400 pounds), stable (all controls have been moved forward and lowered) and maneuverable (thanks to articulated steering and pivot), but what a sloth! With their total of 64 years in the Marines, where's the team's killer instinct? But then "Dodgy Oppos" means "the best of friends" in army lingo. Not exactly a lethal name ... Come on Britain, get your fangs out!
      The Flamin' Aussies promised their dragster-look-alike Deflector would give the guys something to talk about. The all-female team was selected by the Australian Women's Motorsport Network and only met an hour and a half before their build. Poor old Bec lived 14 hours from the others and had to camp at the build site for two weeks! Some claim Melissa was only selected because her grandparents' name is Ferrari. She sure proved them wrong.
      "The Flamin' Aussies are going to be a hell of a distraction for our pilot Nutty," sniggered Nobby from the Oppos. Damn right she was! But it wasn't Deflector's flashy paintwork or Melissa's flashy eyes that did it. Country Boy Keith drove like a winning macho maniac throughout the day, until Melissa found his weakness and flipped him over. Maybe they should stick to fishing and barbecuing. Ladies first!moreless
    • US/UK/India
      Episode 2
      Teams: Law Dawgs vs. Pole Cats vs. Indian Hope Trick
      Games: Ten Pin, Pit Ball, Rollercoaster, Sumo

      The British Pole Cats' White Noise, a converted Sno-Cat (large tracked snow-removal machine), was always going to be a contender with its 3 tons of steel and 20 years of skimming snow. But was it a portent of doom when a suspension spring broke during testing? Luckily, the team had spent long stretches exiled in the Antarctic and reckoned they could fix anything, anywhere, anytime.
      The Indian Hope Tricks' motorized rickshaw, Delhi Belly, looked nimble and included two gearboxes for maximum torque. But the lightness of the vehicle presented a huge question mark for the contact games. One-time "Bollywood" producer Vijay was hoping to script a happy ending, despite the heavy odds.
      The Law Dawgs' mean machine, Impact Weapon, looked to be a formidable beast. In the build, the team used 150 pounds of weld and 180 pounds of gas. The result was a 2-ton monster, with over 300 horsepower, a maximum speed of 100 mph and strength enough to climb walls — it looked like it could crush anything!
      Not at first. In Ten Pin, the Pole Cats' Rod showed that there's more to this game than brute force. His clever handling made up for White Noise's rigid turntable steering. Everyone knew that Delhi Belly was probably going to be too light for heavyweight bowling. Pitball was their best chance, until Impact Weapon stole their thunder and advanced to the final showdown.
      In the Sumo battle royale, Mike's experience of chasing criminals at high speed got the better of Rod's years in the Antarctic. Or maybe it was Impact Weapon's bulletproof tires! "Our chief wants to keep Impact Weapon for his SWAT team," joked Mike. Or was he? Better watch out for those Deputy Dawgs in the semis!moreless
    • US/UK/Chile
      Episode 1
      Teams: Chicago Fire vs. Have A Go Likelies vs. Desert Pumas
      Games: Ten Pin, Bumper Cars, Rollercoaster, Sumo

      Was there ever any doubt? The smooth, super-cool lines of the Chileans' Marabunta, with its low center of gravity and megawatt transmission, looked like a winner from the start. And with a firecracker like Pedro at the wheel, second place was never an option. "I was really worried about Chicago Fire's 911," Pedro told us, "Until I saw it on the track. A big brute, but too stiff and a monster to maneuver."
      Sadly, Chicago Fire's 911, weighing in at 5,026 pounds, had a litany of problems before the show. The radiator broke during testing, when Mike went airborne over the humps (the cooling fan shifted and smashed the radiator). This didn't surprise the team, as they were always worried that they couldn't drive it properly — there just wasn't enough time to practice. They had to build the darn thing around their shifts as firemen, often in the workshop alone, which meant that no one ever knew what the last person had done. Still, 911 could hold its head up with pride.
      This was not the case for the Brits' Devil's Mule, however. Mediocre by reputation and mediocre by ability, this pile of junk finished last in every game. It downright deserved to be blown into infinity. They should have fitted a bigger hydraulic pump, then it wouldn't have been such a beast to steer at low revs. The team had put in such weak engine mounts, that FMC engineers had to be ready with a load of spares just in case. "We didn't mind coming in last. It was such a buzz to be in the challenge at all," claimed the Have a Go's team captain. Just as well they're good sports!
      Nestor and his teammates charmed the pants off everyone with their Desert Puma flamboyance and fantastic engineering. A full strike in Ten Pin set the tone for the show. And that K.O. of 911 in round two of Sumo is one of this year's great sporting moments. Viva Chile! Viva Marabunta!moreless
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