Neil B. Ward's Car
Neil Ward Car


Neil Burgher Ward


1949 Oldsmobile 88 sedan


Desire to chase intense weather.


Tornado generation.


Driving; turning on headlights.

Collected by

Arthur Nielsen







Date of Collection

June 16th, 1973



Neil Burgher Ward (1914 - 1962) was an American meteorologist and the first scientific storm chaser (the second in general, as the title of first went to a man named David Hoadley). He developed ideas of thunderstorm and tornado structure and evolution as well as techniques for forecasting and intercept. He also was a pioneering developer of physical models of tornadoes, first at his home, then at the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL). He significantly furthered understanding of atmospheric vortices, particularly the tornado.


This car has mild autonomy while driven, having a tendency to speed up and veer in the direction of nearby weather phenomenon from as mild as a drizzle to as intense as a hurricane. However, it is easy to overpower if one pays attention.

The car's "primary" ability, however, is the generation of tornadoes when the headlights are turned on. When on, the beams of light create a tornado, ranging in size and speed depending on their brightness, a fixed distance of approximately 40-50 yards (approx. 37-46 meters) from the car. No matter how long or fast the car drives, the tornado will never grow closer.


While the Warehouse utilizes Wilhelm Reich's Cloudbuster (and after the original's destruction by the Nisqually Thunderbird, a recreation) to drive Univille's citizens indoors when needed, there are circumstances when a complete evacuation of the town may be required. After several events when Univille and the Warehouse were at risk of total destruction, the need for a solution grew more pressing by the day.

"Luckily," South Dakota was in the path of Tornado Alley, and as such Univille's citizens were accustomed to needing to evacuate or retreat to the underground bunkers of their homes. So, the Warehouse devised a protocol where an artificial emergency broadcast could be played on the town's television and radio stations when necessary; however, as with many people who lived in places where dangerous weather was frequent, not all of Univille's citizens were guaranteed to take the warnings seriously and evacuate. 

To combat this, the Warehouse put together a system using the extracted headlights from Ward's car, connected to a device stationed several miles away from Univille; the lights could be activated and their brightness adjusted remotely from the Warehouse's main office, creating a tornado that would be visible to the town while not at risk of actually heading towards it, but would be enough to scare everyone into retreating or leaving.

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