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Tanks, The Ultimate Driving Machine

(credit: CBS) Erika von Tiehl
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by Erika von Tiehl

CHERRY HILL, N.J., (CBS) – Ask most men and they’ll admit to a secret fantasy of someday owning a fancy sports car, like a Ferrari.

Some men, though, dream of the ultimate muscle-car, a tank!

Believe it or not, you can own one and Erika Von Tiehl reports on some guys who already do own one!

We’ve seen military tanks in action for decades.

Imagine having one in your driveway!

“What man wouldn’t want to drive a tank,” said one guy we asked in Cherry Hill.

“It would be a neat thing,” his buddy chimed in.

“If you want that parking spot you could pull into the parking spot,” said another guy.

And Bob Rubino of MilSpec Vehicle Restoration can make it happen.

“You open your garage door and show somebody your tank and everybody says ‘wow’,” Rubino said.

His company in Central Jersey restores old tanks.

“We have customers from Florida to Maine , Arizona, Montana and everywhere in between,” says Rubino.

Up to 1,000 Americans own tanks which start at $250,000!

It’s pretty pricey but a test drive is free.

And it was a great day to take a spin in a 1943 M-5, A-1 Stuart tank, made Cadillac.

It’s a cramped, noisy and rocky ride.

“They’re not easy to drive, it’s very labor intensive pulling the steering levers,” Rubino explains. “It steers by braking, you brake one side or the other of the tracks.”

No power steering!

So not everybody actually drives their tank.

Like Phil Josephs.

His 1963 British Chieftain sits in front of his Army-Navy store on Route 130 in Delran, New Jersey.

“I needed something to attract people’s attention,” explains Josephs. “I have people coming and asking if they can take their picture in front of it.”

But not everyone’s a fan of tanks.

“My wife isn’t in love with it, she won’t let me put it on the front lawn,” says Phil laughing.

Maybe it’s that turret.

No worries though firing the gun is illegal in most places and no one sells the ammunition!

Just as well since you’ll need the money for gas.

A military tank gets just one and a half miles per gallon.

But if you can afford it, a tank is quite a ride.

They’re not street-legal, but local authorities will make exceptions for parades or even test-drives.

Most often though, owners drive their tanks on their own private property.

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