Tank Limo

Terry Austin sent me a link to a company calling itself "Tank Limo" which claims to rent out a limousine built out of an armored personnel carrier. Terry says, "I can't tell if they're serious or not, but if they're not, they've done a lot of photoshop work."

My first thought was that there was no way a tank limousine could be legal. I was living in San Diego when Shawn Nelson commandeered a tank from the National Guard Armory and drove it around the city, crushing cars and plowing over street signs, before the police finally managed to stop him -- and kill him. So, recalling that incident, I couldn't imagine any government would let a commercial service drive a tank around city streets.

But the site looks pretty convincing to me. I found a quotation in a Mail on Sunday article from June 17, 2007 about a British tank limo service (I'm not sure if it's the same one). It says, "The idea came up after a Fifth Gear investigation into which vehicles can legally travel our roads." So maybe tanks can legally be driven on British roads. But they're sure not about to allow them in San Diego.


Posted on Wed Sep 12, 2007


But you can buy kits and old vehicles from the military. Of course, if you wanted to drive it, you would have to insure & tag it. And in some states you may not be able to legally tag a certain type of military craft. And you may have a hard time getting insurance.

I wouldn't think there would be much room inside, though.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Wed Sep 12, 2007  at  12:17 PM
Also, tracked vehicles of any kind tend to be illegal on roads in most countries, unless they're being hauled on a trailer. If it were a wheeled APC, though, such as a BTR-60, then I suppose that as long as it wasn't carrying machineguns and missiles it might well be legal.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Wed Sep 12, 2007  at  03:13 PM
In the Army, we used to be able to drive our tracked M113 APCs around Parramatta(in Sydney, Aus) only on very special occasions, and always with the blessing of the Mayor of the city.
The Roads Authority said it took years off the life of the road when we did it(and I believe them). Every corner you take tends to lock one track while the other moves faster, gouging up large chunks of road surface.

If you read what they offer, it doesnt specifically say how far they will drive it for you on the roads. They will low-load it nearby, and then give you a grand entrance in it. I doubt they would travel that far in it.
Oh, I totally believe it's real though. Just not as 'cool' as they might suggest.
Posted by AussieBruce  on  Wed Sep 12, 2007  at  04:07 PM
Wouldn't it be conceivable that they might have replaced the treads with something that would be easier on the roads? While the heavy duty treads are certainly more durable, and necessary for war-time ativities, maybe they have an alternative tread for roads? Something rubber like the Mattracks maybe?

Another example would be this "motorcycle".

I couldn't find much online about retrofitting tanks for road use, but it seems it might be possible.
Posted by Transfrmr  in  deep trouble  on  Wed Sep 12, 2007  at  10:01 PM
Yes, the 'track pads' (the rectangular black squares you see in the track) are meant to do this job. They suspend the metal of the track above the road so it's just running on all the rubber. It helps, but... I'd hate to see what happens to roads without them(in my story above one of the conditions was that we had to have new pads on all the tracks). But, it still isnt pretty what it does to ordinary road surface.

If you really want wheeled just buy a wheeled APC as mentioned above. Plenty of them about too.
Posted by AussieBruce  on  Thu Sep 13, 2007  at  08:29 AM
As far as I know it is legal to drive a tank on the roads in the UK. A few years ago there was a bloke who used to drive around Croydon in a tank painted bright pink. It did serious damage to road surfaces and all his neighbours hated him. The authorities would have soon put a stop to it if the vehicle was illegal.
Posted by Robert N  in  Croydon, UK  on  Thu Sep 13, 2007  at  10:17 AM
The website does mention that rent includes the cost of transporting the tank on a trailer. It looks 100% real.
Posted by Tom Buckner  on  Thu Sep 13, 2007  at  06:13 PM
The difficulty here seems to be the definition of "tank." Many armored personnel carriers use tires, not tank treads. Those are, usually, perfectly legal to drive on roads since they are little more than armored, multi-wheeled trucks.

Now that I think about it, I'm not sure I even remember a modern APC with treads. It seems real, if one is to accept that the term "tank" is in the eye of the beholder.
Posted by Pokey  in  Detroit, MI  on  Fri Sep 14, 2007  at  08:46 AM
Nevermind. Should have looked at the link first (wipes egg off face).

No way that's real/legal for street use. The treads would tear up the road. Only way that works is if they keep it in the parking lot where the pics seem to have been taken. It would take some real skills to keep asphalt in one piece driving that thing around. Of course, that would explain the need for a trailer.
Posted by Pokey  in  Detroit, MI  on  Fri Sep 14, 2007  at  08:51 AM
In all the pictures, it doesn't they'll be driving on any roads. They seem to have a 'playground' of dirt and barriers. Looking up the address given on Google Maps Sat-Image, it seems they have an empty space next to a house or small business building. No storage space big enough for that many vehicles that I could see. So if it is legit, it's probably like Accipiter said, they haul in the tanks.
But lots of farmland around. Wouldn't it piss off the farmers? Those things are LOUD.

Need a someone living near to drive over there and check it out. wink
Posted by KeaponLaffin  on  Mon Sep 17, 2007  at  04:05 PM
Didn't the San Diego tank guy kill himself when he was caught?
Posted by Razela  in  Chicago, IL  on  Mon Sep 17, 2007  at  09:45 PM
I believe he died when he got the tank stuck on a concrete highway divider. The police rushed forward and started firing into the viewport and he was killed by a ricochet.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Tue Sep 18, 2007  at  10:32 AM
One of the biggest reasons this vehicle would tear up roads is its weight and the footprint weight. By this I mean, how much weight carried on how small and area of the road. Tank treads do tear up roads but the biggest problem is the weight. When a tank or other heavy vehicle is being carried, look at the number of tires on the road. The weight is spread out over a larger area then the tank treads. Looking at the picture, this does not appear to be a tank proper, more like a scout vehicle or APC, both of which would weigh considerably less as they are not designed for combat use in the battle line.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Thu Sep 27, 2007  at  01:07 PM
Anyone with basic knowledge of armoured vehicles would know this is a M113 APC.. and i sure hope they'd modded it properly.. kinda sucks to be in one of these..
And in response to pokey, there are 'modern' APCs with treads.. The Singapore Armed Forces uses the BRONCO APC and Bionix II IFV (i consider armoured IFVs to be modernised APCs) developed by Singapore Technologies.. and on that note, yeah, I consider the M2 Bradley to be an APC as well..
Posted by Ninespiral  in  Singapore  on  Sun Oct 14, 2007  at  12:50 PM
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