— Station 22 had the best show in town on Tuesday afternoon when a vehicle that looked like something out of a James Bond movie appeared on the beach path.

With propellers whirring, tires turning and pirate flag flying, the giant tank-like thing belched diesel fumes as it slid past a bevy of curious onlookers into choppy surf.

“I was hoping they gave the public some rides on it,” said Gene Justin of Landrum.

The new military vehicle was undergoing tests for defense contractor General Dynamics Land Systems.

During the work-out, the personnel carrier traveled about 100 yards past the surf line before turning around and coming back to shore. A pair of support boats with divers stood ready to assist.

“It’s actually really cool. I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Glenna Patton, of Montana.

The vehicle is being tested in the ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway under the watchful eyes of local, state and federal officials. Town Council OK’d it.

Nobody was on hand who could officially comment on the proceedings on behalf of the contractor. Chatter on the beach was that the vehicle has been on the island for about a week and cost $4 million.