Deliberate dimples

It’s a Forester, but not as we know it


Supermarke­t parking dents are bad enough. A tree branch clonking on the paint during a storm is enough to put a frown on anybody’s face. Getting hail damaged is for most people a disaster.

For this bloke, it’s part of the job – or obsession.

American storm chaser Reed Timmer is on all those Tv shows driving toward tornadoes as everyone else is driving away. He has run through a series of weird looking vehicles in the process. Now, he’s gone mainstream with a 2018 Subaru Forester.

Though it was in ‘[pretty good” condition when he started out, it now looks more like a golf ball after being driven into major storms and pelted by hail stones bigger than oranges.

“I saw my first tornado in October of ‘98,” he told American magazine Car and Driver.

“I have been storm chasing nonstop ever since. I’ve seen over 700 tornadoes, dozens of hurricanes, about 40 tropical cyclones, flash floods, lake effect snow, blizzards. I just love to chase it all.”

The vehicle’s non-Subaru options list includes ground-based and launchable probes, small rockets with sensors in their nose cones, and a rocket launcher.

A week after he took delivery of the SUV, he drove into a storm in Colorado that was throwing hailstones the size of baseballs

“It blew the windows out, covered it in dents.”

Then he drove it into Arizona’s monsoon and dust storm season, where the Subaru’s boxer-four engine was forced to inhale dirt with insects, scorpions and fungus in it.

“If you breathe this stuff, you get something called valley fever.”

Great way to spend a weekend.

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