Scania, one of Europe’s biggest truck manufacturers, was quick out of the starting blocks as its insane Red Pearl show truck was one of the early arrivals to be displayed at the Johannesburg International Motor Show at Expo Centre, Nasrec.  The show opens for two media and VIP days on Thursday and the public days start on Saturday.

You’re more likely to hear the Red Pearl R999 before you see it as it is extremely loud. So loud, that it can be heard from almost a kilometre away. It is the brainchild of 72-year old Swedish Scania customiser Sven-Erik Bergendahl and truck designer Jan Richter.
The pair of them worked tirelessly to bring the R999 to life and is here in South Africa for the first time to care for their “baby.” The truck originally started life back in 2005 as a Scania T500 that was on its way to the scrapyard; 3 000 man-hours later and the Red Pearl was born.

Sven-Erik is incredibly passionate about the trucking industry and his love for trucks is evident in all his creations. He is contracted to Scania and specialises in creating limited edition versions of its trucks. His next plan seems even more radical. Could you imagine a luxury speedboat powered by twin Scania V8 truck engines?
This truck is based on the T500 series and features a monstrous twin-turbocharged 16-litre V8 engine that pushes out 1 000hp and 4 500Nm. This engine is enough to propel this 4.5 ton truck to 100km/h in 5 seconds through a specially modified Allison automatic transmission.

If the engine doesn’t impress you, then the attention to detail in the customisation process will. The paintjob is extremely intricate and cost a small fortune. The combination of silver, red and varnish layers give the truck a unique sheen and in the sunlight, the Red Pearl is dazzlingly vibrant.

The body has undergone some serious modifications too. The roof has been cut off completely, the windscreen has been lowered and the doors have been reshaped. Chrome has been used extensively in the mirrors, shock absorbers and diesel tanks which further add to the head-turning looks. Finally, some airbrushing on the bodywork rounds off a spectacular visual sensation.

The cabin has received attention in the form of a carbon fibre steering wheel and dashboard. The floor has been redone and is now transparent which allows the driver and passenger to observe the transmission at work below.
The Red Pearl has been the star of many trucking and motoring shows across the globe since 2006 and the Johannesburg Motor Show is an important stop on the calendar.
The Scania Red Pearl R999 and can be found just outside Hall 8 along with several other Scania products.