Our Chase Vehicle

This page is a tribute to our trusty ride for the past 5 years -- Scott McPartland's black 2004 Nissan XTerra.

A summary of changes to the vehicle: 

2004 - Vehicle purchased. Scott creates wire mesh hail guards for side windows out of tracing paper.
2005 - Scott teams up with Dave Lewison to design & build the rapid-deploy mesh windshield hail guard. Guard succeeds in protecting the windshield during the "infamous" S. Plains TX softball hail barrage. However, Scott's wire mesh side window guards are destroyed.

Click below for details on the windshield hail guard construction:
2006 - Dave redesigns and builds 1/4" thick Lexan hail guards for rear passenger and cargo area windows.
2007 - No major changes
2008 - Prompted by Scott's idea, Dave designs and builds the remote-controlled Roof-cam for a unique video perspective! 
2009 - Dave designs and builds the final set of hail guards, with quick-deploying Lexan on the driver and passenger windows. All glass is now protected, including headlights & tail lights! 
2010 - Addition of a RAM laptop stand, cell phone signal booster, and other minor interior electrical improvements
2011 - Dave designs a completely new HD roof-cam, using a GoPro HD Hero and acrylic dome.
2012 - Dave further improves the HD roof-cam by adding a motorized wiper to keep the dome clean.

2004 Nissan XTerra 
2009 addition: Driver & Passenger side rapid-deploy
hail guards.
This is with the passenger side hail guard "stowed" 
This is with the passenger side hail guard "deployed" 
Vehicle interior
Vehicle interior

2008 addition: Remote-controlled SD roofcam

2009: At the summit of Pike's Peak CO
2008: Somewhere in S. Central Kansas
2007: Lightning above Pratt KS, on the evening of the Greensburg F5 tornado.
2008: Parked out in front of the Paris TX Eiffel Tower 
2007: A mascot from Abilene TX
2005: The group watching a storm in Nebraska
2005: S. Plains TX. We're about to need new side window hail guards! In 3....2....1....
2005: OUCH! The XTerra took a pounding from a barrage of softball-sized hailstones. 
2005: The windshield guard gets the ultimate test: 10 minutes being beaten to death by softball-sized hailstones. The windshield is protected...the guard needed replacing.
2005: Here's why the side window hail guards needed to be completely rebuilt out of Lexan. 
2006: The XTerra takes a trip to the Gulf Coast of MS. The side window Lexan hail guards are in place....just no storms to chase!  2005: Pete, Scott and I pose by the truck that's served us so well. 

All Images c. 2009 Dave Lewison. No reproduction without permission.

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