The Thunder Machine is a Heavy Forward Strike Vehicle, used primarily by the Dreadnoks.
The vehicle was first seen in September of 1986. A Dreadnok-led escape by Zartan from Joe Headquarters lead to a multi-vehicle chase through the swamp. The Thunder Machine's weapons severely damaged Heavy Metal's MAULER tank and easily knocked aside Crankcase's A.W.E. Striker. It came down to Cross Country and Sgt. Slaughter on the HAVOC vehicle chasing the Thunder Machine. Thrasher's driving skills, weaponry and willingness to take suicidal risks allowed the Dreadnoks to temporarily escape the HAVOC. Sgt. Slaughter actually found them later but the team's disguise skills are sufficient to fool him.
Another version of the Thunder Machine was seen in August of 1988. Acting Cobra Commander used it as his personal transport vehicle during a civil war on Cobra Island. The vehicle's firepower destroyed one of the Joe team's C-130 transport planes. It then crashed into an Iron Grenadier D.E.M.O.N. tank ridden by Destro himself. It survived, albeit flipped over, a blast from the DEMON. Thrasher's ill-thought decision to use grenades to turn it back over left it structurally sound but with engine problems. It still managed to get the Dreadnoks and Cobra Commander back to their own troops, thus playing a vital part in the Cobra civil war.
Later that year, Thrasher, the Thunder Machine and other Dreadnoks were captured after a brief firefight with the G.I.Joe team. During the shooting, Thrasher yelled, "I got a brand new Thunder Machine and it ain't even warmed up yet!"
In May of 1989, Thrasher, Monkeywrench and Zarana were in the Thunder Machine as it was driven out a besieged Cobra base called a Terror Drome situated in the war-torn country of Sierra Gordo. It was driven to a large airfield and abandoned when the Dreadnoks took over a G.I. Joe transport plane.
The Thunder Machine is still one of the primary short-range vehicles used by the Dreadnoks.
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