Doug's 'HEAVY METAL' GALLERY

 

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

 

"Vehicle Specifics - What you need to know if you are a potential owner."

So you think you might want to buy a ......? In this section is a collection of my and other collectors' comments regarding different vehicles that someone might find for sale. Should anyone reading what is here wish to supply comment or ammend comments about a particular military vehicle then please send me an email.

Surplus vehicles.
Ver 3


11536

This is what most people expect to find at army surplus auctions.
It is rarely the case that you will see a pristine vehicle like this Ferret.

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Overview.

Most people have the expectation that all they have to do to buy a tank is to wander along to an army surplus sale, choose one, pay for it and drive off. Well, once upon a time perhaps: circa 1946! The reality these days is that what comes up for sale, if at all, and these days that reality is pretty well confined to only one country in the world - the UK. What is for sale is what the army has given up on. Thus what you get has quite often been trashed in a major way. (I have no inclination what so ever to dabble with former soviet block countries.)

Sales can take many forms, the British ones are "tender sales" where you put a maximum bid in by post or via the web and wait for notification if you are successful or not. In Australia it is a live auction. My comments below are based on British, Australian and US events, but I will use the term "auction" loosely to mean any or all of the sales over any or all of the countries.

It is quite normal to find major components missing (eg, engine!) if you are lucky, the bits that they pulled out to remove that major component may be thrown in a huge tangle inside the vehicle. If you are unlucky they are just missing altogether.

11535

Typical "trashed" interior.

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A bit of everything in there, even some track!

The tracks will normally be worn out. Road wheels missing chunks of rubber or just plain missing. Some vehicles have been auctioned missing all their wheels and both tracks!
Perhaps the hatches and engine decking (and grills) are gone.
Oft times you will see a reasonable vehicle and for some reason something totally annoying has been cut off, as in the pic below of a Spartan - just why would they hack off the towing eyes?

11522

A "Spartan" - missing it's towing eyes (those 2 shiny spots either side of the rego number),
note the self explanatory blue writing - which only means the basic vehicle is there, not that
it can move under its own power or has all the goodies.!

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Did you notice that the headlights are also gone?


11537

A Sabre turret up close.

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Periscopes are almost always missing, which will mean that if you want the vehicle to be presentable you then need to embark on a periscope hunt. It really urks me that rather than just take the things out, they quite often manage to mangle the guards and mounting hardware. On the turret above, they have also removed storage bins, sights and mounts and many other items.

11523

A "Sabre" - not bad!

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The above vehicle is quite nice, present is the normal official military graffiti, which appears to be done just so that the new owner has to repaint the vehicle - very pointless. Periscopes are gone, as is the night sight from the armoured housing in the mantlet. Likewise the main gun and co-ax. Sometimes the intercom will still be present but rarely the radios. I cannot tell from this exterior shot whether or not there are gearbox, engine or other major mechanicals missing.

11524

A "Sabre" and "Sultan", note armoured night sight door missing from mantlet.

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  The Sabre is nice, the Spartan looks very complete, note the commander's spotlight is still there and not even broken!
As a generalisation, the less "sexy" a vehicle type, the better the condition you are likely to find it. Spartans are the base vehicle of the CVRT family and thus the most common. The Samaritan is the ambulance version (Sultan hull) and for some reason people shy away from them. Thus if you want as nice a vehicle as possible with as few bits missing as possible, then keep this in mind regardless of what vehicle family you are considering.

11525

A "Spartan" - engine included, but why is it out?

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  At first glance you would think "hmmm". Yep, an engine is sitting out there in the weather and it probably got pulled for a very good reason - this one is thought NOT to have come out of this vehicle. The vehicle looks tacky, but on close examination I can see the canvas engine grill covers rolled up and still stowed, which tends to suggest the vehicle could be fairly complete and may be worth a detailed look. If so, then all the fittings should be there in the vehicle and on the engine that would be needed, not I say 'should', because we are assuming that engine came out of that vehicle. If you were not adverse to hunting down a useable engine and then installing it, I am guessing this vehicle would not be a bad buy at the right price.

11538

Foxes, nice front view.

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11539

Foxes, not so nice from the back!

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11526

A "Spartan" - interior, slightly trashed.

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  The large circular gizmo is the night sight from a Fox/Sabre, and fits in the large box to the side of the main armament. The presence of a fuel filter and its mounting suggests that the engine is gone. Looks like at least some of the intercom and radio wiring is still in there. For those who haven't ever had the joy of sourcing the correct cables and boxes for a radio and intercom installation and then having to install it all, lets just say that the person who left them in there should be on your christmas card list.

11540

An essential driveshaft that someone will be very glad got chucked in the back.

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11531

FV-432 APC.

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  The peeling paint is actually not that bad, many coats of paint will at least preserve the vehicle. But photos are deceiving, this vehicle is missing its engine decking - why?. Also missing is the commander's ring, which has a mini version of a tank bearing ring and mounts for periscopes. Not something you can fabricate by yourself.

11529

A "Spartan" - interior, normal water oil mix from hatches being left open and drain plugs left closed.

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  The above is pretty typical condition of what you will find at a British surplus sale. Note the rectangular hole at the far right of the pic. This is where the driver's main periscope should be. Not just the scope, but the mount too has been removed. You can just see the windscreen wiper for the periscope. Curiously, the batteries (2 grey boxes at top of pic with black rope handles) are still installed, doubtless they are no good and that is probably why they are still there.

11530

A pallet cage of goodies.

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  Obviously pulled from one of the vehicles in this sale. I will leave it to your imagination the frustration, dare I say it, "auction rage", that occurs when you miss buying what you need.
You have successfully bid on and won a vehicle, then when it comes to this lot, which you must have as they are missing from your vehicle, you get some clown that bids you very high, perhaps even wins the lot when you hesistate. Then when you realise your mistake and approach them after the auction to buy what you need they refuse to sell at any price and ask you what the parts fit?

Q.
"If you don't know what they fit, why did you buy them?"
A.
a) 'Because I wanted to.' or,
b) 'If you want them, they will be worth heaps in 10 years time when I am ready to sell'.

If that sounds like a fairy tale, then you have never been to a surplus auction, you really will strike people there with more money than sense at times.

11532

A pallet cage of seat mounts.

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How many seat mounts would you have to buy, when you only need one?
There is also the problem where the auction house, groups together say 20 almost identical lots, successful bidder on the first one gets to buy the rest at the same price per lot. Thus you are faced with having to buy the first one at whatever price in order to get what you need. If not, you take the chance that the successful bidder will not want the rest and they will then be auctioned as individual lots until someone takes the remainder.
Or, you hope that you can buy one lot from the successful bidder at whatever price he chooses to name. He may however be buying for his own purposes and not want to sell, you take your chances........

11533

Lucky dip.

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  The above pic is of a typical lucky dip encountered at auctions. The auctioneers don't give a hoot about marketing, so they just throw whatever comes to hand into what they consider "saleable" lots. So here you have 7 x Ferret/Saladin/Saracen/Humber GS/Champ instrument clusters, 4 x switch panels to suit the above vehicles, 1 x CVRT road wheel, a steering wheel for a truck, what could be an azimuth indicator for a tank plus unidentified odds and sods.

11534

Comms lucky dip.

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  This lot at least has a "theme" - communications. So you get lots of wire and cables of various types, cable reels and covers, and a CVC Helmet.

11541

A "Bat wing" Saracen - wonder what musty corner they found this one hiding in?

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11546

Interior shot of turretless "Bat Wing" Saracen on left in previous pic - needs some work.....

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11542

WW2 items such as this scout car have usually come out of a museum that has been closed
or ordered to slim down. Everyone will have heard about it and bidding will be keen.

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11543

An Abbot self propelled gun - not bad!

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11544

Heavy armour.

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  Making an educated guess about the above vehicles: near one appears to be a Centurion REME "Fitters" vehicle, left rear - don't know, centre rear a Centurion gun tank, right rear a Centurion ARV (Armoured Recovery Vehicle).

11545

The parking lot.

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  Once upon a time, back just after WW2, it was possible to go to auctions and see literally hundreds of tanks. These days things are on a much smaller scale. Above is one British auction. Here in Australia we would think all our dreams had come true if it occured here.

11551

Saxon APC.

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11552

Saxon interior.

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  The above 2 photos are of a Saxon, Withams got the entire fleet. Several of them were straight from the workshops. These are expensive! Not everything they release is scrap! These of course would never be sold by tender as they will command prices appropriate to their condition.

11550

Chieftain power pack.

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  What looks to be a nice Chieftain power pack, ideal for someone with a Chieftain that wants to have a spare in the back of the shed.

11547

CVRT running gear-1.

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11548

CVRT running gear-2.

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  In the above 2 pics you get to see what happens when a crew doesn't care about their vehicle. In the first pic, they have driven it without either road wheel (they are in pairs) and the track teeth have cut the wheel hub in 2. In the 2nd pic, the spindle has failed totally and snapped off. One wonders how? This level of abuse is very unusual with AFV crews, so there is probably quite a story that we will never know.

11527

A "Spartan" - interior, the water oil mix is free.....

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11528

A "Spartan" - interior, water line.

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  My assessment of the above 2 pics is that this vehicle is really bad news, I am picking that it sank while swimming or had some sort of drammatic encounter with water. The oil patterns up the sides are consistent with water that has carried oil to this level NOT oil that has been splashed. I leave it to your imagination as to what that water did to the insides of all the mechanical and electrical components.......
It is not uncommon to find as much as 8" of rain water trapped inside the hull of these vehicles due to having been stored outside. You need to very seriously consider the mechanical implications of that.

11559

Scorpion - or what's left of one.

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11560

Rear view of Scorpion - not a bargain.

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11549

This was once a "Scorpion".

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  The Scorpion pictured above is probably the worst vehicle seen in recent years. The hull was modified so much it wasn't worth even thinking about as there was minimal salvagable left on it!

With surplus tanks the old latin saying most definetly applies: "Caveat Emptor" = Let the buyer beware.

Many thanks to Chris McMillan of the UK for permission to make use of photos he has taken at auctions over the period 2004 - 2007.
 
 
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