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The Cost of Owning a Military Armored Vehicle

Updated on February 28, 2013

It is quite a site to see an old WW2 or later tank in a museum, but imagine seeing one in the house next door or in their large back yard. One does not realize their size and armor until you are up close. Getting inside one is another amazing experience because they space is so confining. Then, you think of the history of the tank, where its been, where it fought and what battles you have read about, ah, if only the tank could talk!

Rich people often have exotic types of hobbies. Instead of owning a Ferrari, some own old armored vehicles, such as tanks, like the M4 Sherman. M10, Chafee, Chieftain. Imagine seeing one getting some fuel at the local Shell station! Its does happen. Since they are apiece of history, they are expensive toys.

Most of the tanks are from World War Two or maybe from the 1950's. They easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and require repair and maintenance plus devotion. Some collectors joke, " You might gain a tank or piece of history but you might lose your wife". Expect that for every hour of operation there is also an hour of maintenance. If you cannot do it yourself, expect to pay $50 hr. for it. Restoring the old tanks could take up to 2000 hrs. or about $100,000!

You can buy these old tanks. An M4 Sherman or M10 Hellcat runs close to $400,000. But, one can buy a British Chieftain for only $65,000 but it needs restoration.

But, despite the raucous about gun control, owners of these relics can still fire their main guns, usually a 85mm or so. For $200, the owner can obtain a federal Destructive Device permit that local police must sign off on. You must swear you are not a terrorists or have mental health problems. Once got, fire your main weapons!

Tanks are usually driven on private land, they are not allowed on streets except in parades or to get fuel. The only time a tank as was used in a criminal activity was in 1995, in San Diego, when an Army vet stole a M48 Patton tank and rampaged around town for 30 minutes before he was shot dead.

Tanks get bad MPG, one can go 250 miles on 200 gallons of diesel and a set of new used tracks cost $6000.

To buy a tank, a few brokers exist. Most begin looking at the Illustrated Tank and AFV Buyers Guide.


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 4 years ago

      Toys for the rich...

    • USHISTORY4YOU profile image

      Anthony Carrell 4 years ago from Lemoore California

      I think afford was the Key word in my comment.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 4 years ago

      One of the most rare AFVs to find is the German Tiger or Panther tank. The T-34 or T-34\85 can still be found in running order.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      A really interesting hub. From someone who knows what he is talking about. Well done.


    • USHISTORY4YOU profile image

      Anthony Carrell 4 years ago from Lemoore California

      I wish I could afford a T-34.