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Stealth Cruiser turns heads in Broken Bow

June 14, 2012

If one were to look on the road at the right time this past weekend, they might have seen a car unlike any other.

Bob Gifford, the son of Broken Bow resident Bev Kennedy, resides in Spokane, Washington. When Gifford went to visit his mother, she got to see something that took her son five years of hard work to build.

Gifford's "Stealth Cruiser" is modeled after the F1-17 stealth aircraft used by the military. This makes Gifford, a former Air Force officer, feel right at home.

"I wanted an airplane, but I didn't want to have to afford one," Gifford said. "So I built a car that made me feel like I was flying."

Flying is something that this one of a kind automobile can definitely give someone the feeling of. The interior of the car is built like the cockpit of a plane. There is a passenger seat located directly behind the drivers seat, but is slanted slightly to the left to account for leg room.

Gifford worked on this car for 5 years and worked mostly 50 and 60 hour weeks on top of his day job as an engineer. While pulling a trailer, the car has been measured at 20 miles per gallon on the highway and Gifford estimates it could get about 25 miles per gallon on the highway (going 60 miles per hour) without the trailer.
On top of that, the car is capable of topping 150 miles per hour at full speed.

He did have his reasons for designing the car after that specific aircraft.

"I like the fact that its flat," Gifford said. "It's a machine. There are no straight lines in nature. All the curved lines on things are normally artistic. I didn't want any art. It's all machine. Everything on it has a purpose for being there."

Due to its unique design, the car has also been known to cause traffic problems.

"My son figures that 30 percent of all people who pass by it take a picture," Gifford said. "They pull up beside you and hang there so long that, if your going at freeway speeds, pretty soon theres a truck there. I'm stuck behind this truck until all the cars pass."

When asked if there was any easy parts to building this car, the answer was a resounding no.
"Everything is a challenge," Gifford said. I spent probably 50 hours on just the windshield wipers."
Gifford also got a lot of parts and ideas from a salvage yard.
For Kennedy, seeing her son's creation was part of a lifetime of passion and devotion to the craft that started at an early age.
"When he was in high school in Colorado Springs, he said 'one day I'm going to take apart the engine in my car, can i do it in the garage', I said 'no', Kennedy said. "I come home from work and it's all taken apart in the garage."
From that point on there was no stopping Gifford, who has finally built a car that can make him feel as if he's flying.

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