DOUG'S 'HEAVY METAL' GALLERY

 

T A N K SC A R R I E R SG U N SA R M O U R E D   C A R S

 

Tank driving - buy a drive.    (Ver 1)

 

From Chris in England comes the following article on one of the several operators who provide a supervised AFV driving experience.

======

Here's another article for your web page. The pictures are from a video camera so they aren't too wonderful, but most are alright.

Christmas 1999 my Mum decides we should do something different as a Christmas present for my Dad. We found a leaflet for "Tanks A Lot" which we had picked up somewhere, probably Beltring 99. She gives them a call and it's booked. The tickets were quite pricey, not exactly sure, but maybe 200 for the full Monty day, so it was a birthday present as well. (His birthday is in march, the first date we could get booked in, so it worked out nicely.) We turned up with some wellies and waterproof clothes knowing just what the weather would be like. When we arrived it turned out that 2 people had not showed up, we were offered the tickets at 100 each and one was bought for me, 17 at the time, and one for my brother, who was only 16! The only policy was that we had to wear a helmet, "if you have a helmet on you are insured" was written on signs about the place.

The full Monty day included:

A drive in a -
Ferret
Lance tracked carrier
Abbot
432 APC

as well as quad bikes, clay pigeon shooting, musket shooting, firing a cannon and an interesting talk about Northern Ireland by a former SAS instructor, who showed us an array of weapons and shot a bullet at a tree with 2 pieces of pipe! The whole day was run as a competition, each event was scored and the person with the most points got to crush a car with a Chieftan. The selection of vehicles varied and depended on which instructors were there to help out, Stalwarts, Saracens and CVRT family vehicles were also on the menu.

The vehicle driving was the main reason for us doing the "Full Monty" but having the other activities, including a meal at lunch, made it a great day for everyone (except my mum who didn't like the mud all that much!) The vehicles were all left parked outside and not covered up, consequently they were all full of water.. and towards the end of the day absolutely caked in mud, which was like custard and 2 foot + deep. These vehicles are all for sale, but after seeing what goes on with them, I would probably not buy one.

The end result was that we went away wanting to buy a Ferret, 3 months later we bought a champ, and 1 year later I finally got a Ferret to go with it. I would recommend this experience to anyone considering buying a military vehicle or someone who just likes mud.

"Tanks-A-Lot" can be found at http://www.tanks-alot.co.uk/

Comment from Doug: Whilst in the UK in 1999 (for Beltring) I phoned all the vendors that I could identify at that time of driving experiences such as Chris recounts above as I really wanted to get a drive of a Chieftain. The majority were on a "on demand" basis and despite the advertising didn't include an actual tank, most were APC's such as Fv 432's or Fv 434's. I did contact Tanks-A-Lot and was given their schedule for the summer months, unfortunately the only date they were active in July was 3 days after we left England. I also contacted "Highland Park" but their Chieftain was committed for Beltring. So I missed out; perhaps next time?

As a generalisation, most only run their "tank day" on one weekend per month in the summer and those who have a "on demand" qualification require a group of around a dozen people minimum.

10508

Download the big pics by clicking on the small pics...

 
My brother in a 432


10509

Download the big pics by clicking on the small pics...

 
My brother again, notice the cones under the tracks!


10510

Download the big pics by clicking on the small pics...

 
My dad in a different 432, the first one overheated!


10511

Download the big pics by clicking on the small pics...

 
My brother in a Lance


10512

Download the big pics by clicking on the small pics...

 
Me in a ferret


10513

Download the big pics by clicking on the small pics...

 
The finale

My thanks to Chris for a very different article.


 

  sig - logo
 BACK TO INDEX