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'Special Ops Super Car' will be at Tacoma's Freedom Fair

Air Force demonstrates state-of-the-art technology

The U.S. Air Force will take to the ground this weekend in Tacoma with a demonstration of their Special Ops Super Car. Courtesy photo

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This 4th of July, Tacoma will get a visit from the U.S. Air Force's "Special Ops Super Car," better known as Vapor. The car will be at the Camp Patriot location (Marine Park) of the Tacoma Freedom Fair, which is produced by the La Stella Foundation as part of the "America Be Strong" project.

Camp Patriot is "a large section within the Freedom Fair specifically geared to benefit veterans," according to a recent foundation press release.

Vapor is not unlike KITT, the hi-tech supercar driven by David Hasselhoff in the classic sci-fi television series Knight Rider. It's a piece of hardware that is certainly unlike any other, as is the story of its creation.

"We combined a team of seven highly specialized airmen with a world-renowned team of car mechanics and customizers from Galpin Auto Sports," an Air Force recruiting flier states. "The result was our Vapor Special Ops Super Car, a real-life showcase of Air Force ingenuity, state-of-the-art technology, innovation and input from some of the world's best mechanics."

Unlike KITT, however, Vapor doesn't seem to go on many thrilling adventures. Only two were ever made - and they spend most of their time as a prop for USAF recruiting at community festivals like Freedom Fair.

"Visitors are immediately drawn to the footprint when they see the tricked-out car called Vapor," the Air Force flier brags. "This fully customized Dodge Challenger is all about stealth and technology, with a custom stealth body kit, stealth exhaust, an FLIR (forward looking infrared radar) and a 360-degree surveillance camera."

The real star of the show, however, is the 38-foot trailer, which is full of activities and information for visitors. The trailer is "filled with interactive touch screens showing the parallels between the technology in the car and the technology used by mechanics and Special Ops," the flier reads. "Visitors can also watch a short video on how the cars were built and learn more about Air Force career opportunities."

There will also be gaming kiosks showcasing the Airmen Challenge, where guests can sample the game's first mission - just one part of the interactive digital experience. "Visitors will receive unique digital content in the form of photos, videos and ringtones via email or SMS text message immediately following the event," the flier states.

Over the last five years, the La Stella Foundation has considered itself the "Veteran Voice" for the July 4 Tacoma Freedom Fair. The fair is one of the South Sound's largest annual events and boasts one of the Northwest's largest firework shows.

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