‘The Punisher’ Project Survives Thieves’ Detour

Feb 27, 2015

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They called it The Punisher because the ear-blasting sound that it produced would rival most football stadium-sized heavy metal concerts. But on one cold spring Minnesota day, the tricked-out beer delivery truck became the recipient of a beating so brutal that no NFL linebacker would have been able to survive.

The Punisher became the Punished.

As the rolling mascot of a group of local radio stations in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, The Punisher was the brainchild of Mankato-based Rockin Ronny’s Superstore, an automotive aftermarket outfitter owned and operated by Derran Dugger.

The vehicle was the fourth edition in a family of customized vehicles for local radio conglomerate Digity. The Punisher followed a Ford cube van delivery truck, a Ford cargo van, and a Chevy Trailblazer, all of which were renovated, customized and wrapped to draw attention wherever they parked for remote radio broadcasts.

After the successful rollouts of the first three vehicles, Dugger wanted to do something different when a fourth vehicle was requested.

“This time we wanted to do something nobody in the area had ever seen, something big and ridiculous,” Dugger said. “We started throwing ideas around about an armored truck, but quickly found out those are extremely hard to find and buy, plus they were way over our budget. When we heard that a local Ford dealership had an old Pabst beer truck sitting on its lot, we made arrangements, acquired the truck and after a few months of extensive fabrication, we had quite the spectacle.”

Three years later, in April 2014, the truck was stolen. Thanks to an outpouring of activity on social media, authorities soon found the ransacked rig 80 miles away, still running but stripped of its prized sound system.

“The carnage was overwhelming at first,” Dugger recalled. “All of the custom work, the countless man hours put into it, meant nothing to these hoodlums while they looted her to get their hands on the subwoofers and amplifiers. They damaged all the locks on every door, the steering column and parts of the drive train as well. To this day no one has been implicated or charged.”

But this was not a time for grieving. Derran and his crew saw this as a new challenge to make a bigger, bolder, louder and more impressive Punisher.

Long days, countless hours, and immeasurable sweat and determination allowed for the newly rebranded “Punisher 2” to be unveiled just in time for the local Grand Parade in July.

“The truck turned out amazing, beyond everyone’s expectations,” Dugger said. “We accomplished everything that had been asked of us and then added our Rockin Ronny’s style to Punisher 2. The Punisher 2 was back, loud and proud.”

Dugger recalls that as the Punisher 2 rolled down the parade route, the spectators cheered wildly. The booming sound was so loud that at one point parade officials asked them to turn it down because it was scaring small children and the elderly.

Dugger thanks a long list of automotive aftermarket experts for their help getting the Punisher back up running.

“Without them it would not have been possible to make what we believe is the biggest, baddest and loudest promotional vehicle ever conceived.”

Those who assisted in getting The Punisher 2 back on the road include: Andy Oxenhorn and Richard Young, JL Audio; Dan Fasching and Jeff Causton, DNR Sales; Erik Harbour, Kinetik; Steve Wood, Directed Electronics; Steve Rogers, Kenwood; Neal McSweeney, AAMP of America; Layne and Chuck, Sign Pro; Denise Dose, Digity; Jeremy Reich, Reich’s Quality Iron Works; Mike Eccles (graphic design); Cody Kramer, Rockin Ronny’s (wiring and lighting); Ricky Weber, Rockin Ronny’s (wiring); Travis Shafer, Rockin Ronny’s (wiring); and Dugger’s wife, Dona Dugger, (design and support).

List of Modifications

  • 36 JL Audio slash series amplifiers
  • 24 JL Audio 13.5 subwoofers
  • 18 JL Audio M770 Component Speaker Systems
  • Kinetik power supplies and HC3800 batteries
  • Custom-made Ohio Generators alternator
  • One mile of JL Audio and Stinger wire/interconnects etc.
  • One mile of LED lighting
  • Kenwood CD Player
  • Viper smart phone controlled alarm system as well as other classified security features
  • Custom-made side steps
  • Chromemasters custom-designed bumpers
  • Upgraded LED headlights and taillights
  • Tinted windows
  • Full vehicle vinyl wrap
  • Stainless steel simulators
  • Pallet of MDF wood
  • 50 yards of black ultra leather
  • Custom one-off grille
  • Custom-routed acrylic details.

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