By on July 23, 2013

Picture courtesy of Tank Town USA.

As Detroit’s own police force tells tourists that the city is too dangerous to enter and local judges use the city’s financial collapse to interview for jobs in the District of Columbia, many of its residents would surely like something a little more bullet-resistant than, say, a Chevy Sonic purchased at supplier discount. Many of Detroit’s residents have previously worked in quieter, safer locales like Kandahar or Kosovo and remember that the proper vehicle for such an environment is a nice, solid, low-mileage main battle tank. But where can such items be purchased? And where can newly-minted tank owners learn the skills they’ll need to operate yesterday’s armored equipment on tomorrow’s streets?

The answer is here, and it’s called Tank Town USA!

Blue Ridge, GA is the town of Tank Town USA. They’ll teach you to drive a tank and let you crush cars with it. That will be handy when you’re trying to get through those tough commutes from your mostly-razed downtown DTW area to the General Motors American Engineering Center of America where they design the American-market bumpers for next year’s Daewoos. You’ll learn all about operating treaded vehicles. For most Detroiters, who are currently driving Luminas with no tread on the tires, this will be an education indeed! Best of all, you’ll learn to make full-speed shots on running human targets at distances up to half a mile, cleanly separating torso from hips with a depleted-uranium SLAP round and spraying neighborhood kittens, baby rabbits, and assorted turkey vultures with a velocity-aerosolized mist of hot blood.

I have to admit that the website doesn’t mention anything about that last part, but I really, really hope that you can learn how to do that stuff.

What are you waiting for? A picture of some sort of female on a tank? Well, my good man, wait no longer!

buyatank

Head on down to Tank Town USA now!

Official Hipper-Than-Thou Internet Car Blog Disclaimer: Tank Town USA wanted us to drive a tank and kill people with it so badly that they put up a website featuring photos of tanks knowing that we’d follow the link over from a completely useless discussion about the “AG/AU bump” on ZeroHedge.

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74 Comments on “Perhaps You’d Like To Drive A Tank, Or Even Buy One?...”


  • avatar

    If TTAC wants to do a review, the place around the corner from me gives TANK RIDES. I kid you not! I think they are WW2 era, so when discussing the interior, keep that in mind….

    http://www.russellmilitarymuseum.com/hoursadmission.html

  • avatar
    NotFast

    Interesting how they make a big deal about crushing cars. The role of tanks in the armed forces of the world rarely involved crushing anything, except maybe enemy infantry that got too close.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Yeah, there is that little inconvenient matter that when your starting to climb over a car that wonderfully photogenic and dramatic shot of the tank’s prow pointing towards the skies, you’re also exposing your weakest armor to someone who’d really like to stop you IMMEDIATELY!

    • 0 avatar
      George Herbert

      A friend from high school went US Army and went into armour. His long Germany deployment saw two notable crushings (by other nearby drivers, not him):

      Tank vs BMW at designated yield-to-tanks crossing of country road (tank tried to stop anyways and managed to only squash passenger side, no injuries). Irate BMW driver not happier after German police ticketed him for failure to obey sign and yield.

      Tank vs underground natural gas line. Sadly, gas leak fireball killed the driver.

      • 0 avatar
        Syke

        I re-enactment mate of mine commanded a M60A2 in Germany a few decades ago. Used to enjoy telling the story about the local burgomeister (sp?) who insisted on stuffing his Mercedes into a line of tanks rather than wait for them to pass. Lots of apologies all around.

        From him I learned the term FIDO – F*ck It, Drive On.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Somewhere in the USA at this very moment there are two people in a debate about gun rights. The anti-gunner said to the pro-gunner, “If you support no regulations on weapons, would you be OK with your neighbor owning a tank?”

    Thank you Tank Town for showing the naysayers the glory of personal tankhood.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      It’s perfectly legal to own a tank, but the machine guns have to be removed and the cannon permanently disabled or removed, making it a vehicle, not a weapon. Expect your local jurisdiction to send you regular bills for road and underground utility damage, if you can get your state to issue plates (certain modifications may be required).

  • avatar
    Hummer

    I like TTAC, however I would love TTAC if we got some tank reviews!

    Also to the above poster, they probably just run over cars because the fuel prices are a hell of a lot cheaper than individual ammo prices.

    • 0 avatar
      George Herbert

      120mm APFADSDU main gun rounds are only about $2,200 apiece (2007 pricing):

      http://www.sott.net/article/111156-ATK-bags-38-million-tank-ammo-order-for-Depleted-Uranium-bombs

  • avatar
    IHateCars

    I remember reading about a place in Wisconsin that does this as well?

    In any event, something to add to my bucket list along with taking the last remaining operable Tiger 1 for a spin at the Bovington Tank Museum in the UK!

  • avatar
    noxioux

    An APC is not a tank.

    I personally think it’s EXTREMELY sad that it’s easier to buy and import decommissioned Russian/East-bloc armored vehicles than it is to get American ones. I’d love to get my hands on a nice surplus USMC M-60A3 (without the reactive armor, of course), but it would be next to impossible. Most of the used up/decommissioned American hardware is destroyed. And it’s a damn shame. Hell, I’d even like a first-gen M1 Abrams, keep all the sensitive hardware/software, all I need is that gas turbine and a 4th of July Parade to drive in.

    I guess when I hit the lottery, I’ll bring in one of those Czech or Russian T-72s from that dealer in England. Paint it up in Red, White and Blue and see who catches the irony.

    • 0 avatar
      LBJs Love Child

      “An APC is not a tank.”

      Bingo. That’s like going to a ‘sports car driving school’ and being offered a minivan to run laps (not that I haven’t experienced some surprisingly hot track laps as a passenger in an 8-passenger Econoline van).

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      Thank you for pointing out that an M113A2 is not a tank, but an Armored Personnel Carrier. A Bradley Frighting Vehicle (M2A2/A3) is also, not a tank. Neither is an M88 Recovery Vehicle or M109A6 Self-Propelled 155mm Gun. None of them are tanks although they have tracks and are armored.

      A tank fundamentally has a turret, tracks AND a gun that relates to gun size, the amount of armour, and, most importantly, it’s tactical role on the battlefield. So a M113 APC is not a tank (no turret) and neither is a Marine LAV (no tracks). A Bradley, with a turret and gun, is not a tank because its role is to move infantry or cavalry Soldiers into battle. Conversely, an Isreali Merkava IV is a tank although it can carry up to four Infantry Soldiers in the back like a Bradley, because its role on the battlefield as a MBT (Main Battle Tank).

      “Hell, I’d even like a first-gen M1 Abrams, keep all the sensitive hardware/software, all I need is that gas turbine and a 4th of July Parade to drive in”

      An M1A1 with 105mm and first iteration of the 1500 HP/2500 lb torques turbine (something’s gotta move 63 tons) will at $3.13 per gallon of JP-8 (as per latest Defense Logistics Report) cost you $1721.50 to fill up the 550 gallon gas tank. Oh, and expect a burn rate of approx. 8 gallons to the mile, causing you to fill up your M1A1 again after rolling through the 4th of July parade.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        Screw the tank…I want the old CEV (Combat Engineer Vehicle). Think M60 with a sawed off barrel. As for the Abrams, I believe the Reactive Armor itself is classified so I am not certain one will ever make it to the civillian world but if it did I would hate to be the marching band behind your tank…You can cook over those grates.

        And that 3.13 a gallon is considerably lower than what is paid when operating it in countries you are likely to find yourself in need of a tank in.

      • 0 avatar
        Numbers_Matching

        These are all ex British army FV340 series APCs..
        There is a similar tank driving experience in Minnisota that actually has a main battle tank – an ex British army Chieftain Mk?? along with an Abbot SP and a few FVs – all ex MODs…

        The ‘sports car’ of tanks is definetrly the Leopard (currently the best tank in the world??) series – either Leo 1 or 2. Saw one in action at a arms demo (ARMEX) back in the 90′s – it will blow your mind how quickly 50+ tons can move around…

      • 0 avatar
        mic

        +1 I was on M-60s and M1A1s in the 80s and to call APC’s tanks is an insult to all tankers. I’m not sure if I could write a good review after all these years but I can answer any questions people might have. I spent a little time on a Leopard 1 in a German exchange program too. As for wanting to own a tank, the maintenance would drain the life out of you. a real tank has a track held together with 3 bolts on every section and if I remember right there are 164 sections between the two tracks. You need to check these bolts constantly! Tanks have crews and maintenance teams to spread the load. A privately owned tank must spend much more time being worked on than driven. BTW, the oil for the turbine engine is over $25 a quart and I think it takes 25 quarts. The tranny in an M60 takes 55 gallons of 10 weight!

        • 0 avatar
          dolorean

          I can attest to that having been on M1A1-Ds in Germany and the States. The oil at $25 a quart must be multipied by 50 to number the amount needed in the engine. The ‘cherry juice’ hydraulic fluid for the turret controls is similiar to Dextron, and is located inside the turret above the gunner’s head where it has a tendancy to break and spray cancerous fluid all over the inside of the turret. The air filters are massive V-packs that must be removed after taking off the back deck’s full 3″ steel engine cover and blown out with an air gun every other day, easily cost over a grand each. The tank’s suspension sits on idler wheels, a front drive sprocket, and a dozen torsion bars that easily weigh over 500 lbs each. The #3 torsion bar, laying cross-wise (diagonal) under the driver is notorious for snapping while the tank is stationary and about to roll into battle, causing the Commander and crew to swear like Mel Gibson leaving an answering machine message.

          Your driver sits in his own little cubicle, reclined with motorcycle-esque controls and has to drive receiving commands from the TC while looking through three 4″ x 10″ view ports. Heat from the engine gets so hot that paint from cars 5m behind you will flake off and residual heat on the structure can boil water for coffee or Cup’Noodles.

          God I miss tanks.

  • avatar
    The Soul of Wit

    I wish you were only exxagerating about the hazards of Detroit, JB. I am a Motown native, Dad moves us out to the ‘burbs during the White Flight of the ’60′s and I lived in the Metroplex until 1981 but still occasionally go back to visit family, attend Tiger or Red Wing games, etc.

    Last year I was in town for a family wedding at the Masonic Temple, the city looked like Dresden after the fire-bombing. God alone knows why my nephews fiance opted for the venerable MT as her venue of choice. I mean, it is certainly opulent, if you sort of squint your eyes so as to not see the decay of years. Anyway, as we were leaving the reception around 11:00 pm, the parking lot security guard, a moonlighting off-duty member of the DPD, (the Masonic Parking lot looks like a Stalag without the guard towers…double 10-foot-high barbed-wire-topped fences)advised me NOT to stop at traffic signals on my way to the freeway, even if they WERE working: NO ONE stops for traffic lights in Detroit after dark….if you do, local …er, residents know you are from out-of-town and you will be carjacked at gunpoint. Don’t worry about getting a ticket, he said. Members of the DPD won’t do a traffic stop for running a red light unless you do so at a HIGH rate of speed….just keep a steady speed, don’t drive erratically, yield right of way as normal, but DON”T STOP AT THE LIGHTS.

    When he said that, my wife’s gorgeous eyes got very round with fear.

    “Not to worry, love.”, I told her, giving her my most reassuring smile, “Mr. Glock is along for the ride tonight. I’ll just get him out of the trunk and set him on the floor between my feet.”

    Pistol handy, safety off, I kept the Benz at a steady 40, avoided other cars who might try the ol’ bump-and-jack play, and rolled through every light with my flashers on until we got back to the Fisher freeway, safely back to civilization.

    I work for a company which operates a Maquiladora plant in Mexico. Company executives fearing kidnappers are driven daily across the border to the plant in a convoy of armored Hummers with armed escorts.

    I’ve turned down an offer to work downtown for GM in the RenCen. I wouldn’t work at a job for which I had to commute through Detroit, unless I had similar security to what our execs in Reynosa have…..

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      While you aren’t far off, I drive through Detroit all the time and am nowhere near that paranoid. I don’t stop for traffic lights at night either, though. Heck, sometimes during the day.

      • 0 avatar
        The Soul of Wit

        @Danio…

        One man’s paranoia is another man’s prudent precautions….

        Regardless, I have a CWP and would never cross Outer Drive unarmed.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          That’s fine, and I wouldn’t fault anyone for feeling that way. It’s just that I do spend time there, in vehicle and on foot and you can do it without being murdered at any given moment.

    • 0 avatar
      morbo

      Sounds like Camden, NJ. Urban legend has it that Collingswood NJ (next town over) cops are known to stop cars from leaving Camden after dark, and to stop cars from entering Camden after dark unless they have Camden registration.

      It’s like NJ concentrated the worst of everything into a couple square miles of Delaware Riverfront. Really a shame, Camden has some glorious views of Philly and the battleship museum.

    • 0 avatar

      I won’t deny Detroit’s crime rate, and I won’t dispute what you say the security guard told you, and your story was written with some literary style, but anyone can use Google Maps’ satellite view to see that you’ve at least exaggerated. I’m not saying that I’d hang around the Masonic Temple neighborhood at night, but it’s hardly the worst neighborhood in America. The newly rebuilt Cass Technical High School is just a block south of the Temple. You probably drove right by it.

      The parking lot for the Masonic Temple is at the corner of Cass and Charlotte. Rather than a harrowing journey with twists and turns through Dead Man’s Gulch, it’s just 3 1/2 blocks straight down Cass to the Fisher Fwy service drive.

      “the Masonic Parking lot looks like a Stalag without the guard towers…double 10-foot-high barbed-wire-topped fences”

      Actually, there are two guard shacks, though they aren’t on towers, like the ones in the parking lot in suburban Southfield where a friend has worked as a security guard.

      There are no double fences around the Masonic Temple parking lot and the fence that there is appears to be about 6 feet tall, not 10 feet tall, judging by the height of the pedestrian standing by the stop sign when Google Street View cameras came by. On the top of the fence there are indeed three strands of barbed wire, but nothing compared to the coils of razor wire that I see protecting parking lots and businesses when I visit New York City.

      “NO ONE stops for traffic lights in Detroit after dark….if you do, local …er, residents know you are from out-of-town and you will be carjacked at gunpoint.”

      That’s ridiculous. I’m not saying that there aren’t carjackings. My next door neighbor’s daughter is student teaching and ended up having to drive the wrong way down a one way street recently when she got lost on the near east side and was approached by people up to no good. Of course the cop who wasn’t around when she was accosted was there to ticket her, story or not. So there is crime, and Cass does look a little scary, but mostly at 11 PM the streets around there are deserted.

      People are a bit casual about traffic lights in general in the city, and there are plenty of folks who do a stop and go at a red late at night, but most Detroiters indeed stop for red lights in the city after dark. Frankly, it sounds a little bit urban legendish to say that the criminals can spot out-of-towners by the fact that they obey traffic lights. Did a friend of a friend of yours ever wake up in a bathtub full of ice, missing a kidney? I drive some pretty expensive press fleet cars with New Jersey mfg plates in the city after dark, I stop for red lights and I’ve never been approached by criminals.

      Do I sometimes get out of Dodge? Sure, when I feel unsafe, but in general it’s not “oh noes! I’m in Detroit!”. You have to be street smart wherever you go.

      There have been a couple of times in the city when pedestrians have acted weirdly, like they were high or drunk, and I was a little concerned about being set up for a carjacking, and I’m prudent wherever I go, but I think that applies to most big cities.

      Detroit is indeed an urban basket case and there are lots of dysfunctional and criminal people in the city. Lots of stupid folks too, but you could tell your story and it would ring true about parts of just about every major city in the world.

      I spend a lot of time in Detroit going to and photographing historic buildings and building sites relating to automotive history. I honestly am only infrequently concerned about my personal safety, mostly because in many ways Detroit *is* a ghost town. Who is going to mess with you when you can see them from a block away?

      As for turning down a job in the Ren Cen, you’d be living in the suburbs, taking expressways all the way downtown, then a short jaunt on Jefferson to the RenCen, where’d you’d be parking in a secure parking structure. Hardly a route fraught with danger.

      Nice story though.

      • 0 avatar
        The Soul of Wit

        I’m a six footer and the fences around the parking lot are so high I couldn’t touch the barbed wire strands. Let’s agree they’re at least 8 feet tall. On the North side of the lot, there is a second fence about 8 feet from the first fence. Perhaps its an alley, but it looks like double-fence line to me. I didn’t say there WERE guard towers, I said it looked like a Stalag WITHOUT the guard towers. The newly built Cass Tech High School is indeed there, a nobly shaking fist in the face of the blight which surrounds it. It too is surrounded by barbed wire and metal detectors guard each door. There’s what once was a nice park across the street from the MT. Last time I was there, the grass was at least a foot tall, and I spotted several used needles lying on the sidewalk. And some spent shell casings. Yes the streets are largely deserted after sundown.

        Your description of the logistics of getting to the RenCen as a GM employee are accurate. I have professional acquaintances who work there. Several have CWP’s, and have told me they don’t feel safe unarmed, despite an armed security presence. Several have been either victims of assualt or mugging, or know someone who has, within a block of the RenCen and Cobo.

        The year of my nephew’s wedding, there was a great deal of construction on the roads, so the trip to the Fisher freeway was quite a bit longer than 3.5 blocks.

        Thanks for your gracious comments about my writing style. One tries.

        My point is, Detroit is a sad, tragic, and in many ways dangerous place, and while JB’s piece was sarcastically humorous in its implication characterizing Detroit as a dangerous enough place for one to NEED a tank in order to be safe, in several ways, Detroit IS that dangerous. Indeed some of the architecture is spectacular, and haunting and ghostly, all at the same time.

        I am glad for you that you have not come to any harm in your travels through what once was one of our country’s great cities. I pray it may always be so.

        • 0 avatar
          TTAC Staff

          While I’m sure there are metal detectors, there’s no barbed wire surrounding Cass Tech’s building.

          Detroit’s a hellhole, but there no need to exaggerate for effect. It’s bad enough as it is.

          • 0 avatar
            The Soul of Wit

            You are certainly right. I acknowledge there is no barbed wire. The athletic field area adjacent to the school is surrounded by a 7-foot tall, black metal stake fence tipped with spikes, IIRC. Not barbed wire. I stand corrected and most profusely and abjectly apologize.

            Every other word of my piece was true, right down to the Cominolli safety on my Glock, and my wife’s gorgeous eyes.

            I fail to see how any of these quibbles detract from my main point. But it pleases me to read that all of you brave souls who dare to venture into Detroit on a regular basis have so far all lived to tell about it.

            I’m quite certain that’s what all the victims said. Right up until the time they were assaulted or ‘jacked.

            It must be because Detroit is the former home of the auto industry, and this is an automotive website, that all this ‘it’s not as bad as you make it out to be’ Detroit love is bubbling through.

            All I can tell you is what an off-duty cop said to me,and what I’ve seen with my own eyes.

        • 0 avatar
          The Soul of Wit

          And for the record, according to Wikipedia (yes, I know…consider the source..) Carjacking was INVENTED in Detroit, and in one 21 day period more that 205 carjacks were reported.

          Others may like to gamble with their lives and property. I don’t.

      • 0 avatar
        AoLetsGo

        Detroit is a tough town, but as Ronnie says a ghost town. I have worked in every ghetto of every major city in this USA and there is a lot worse out there than Detroit, mostly because of the high density of poor, desperate people in the other cities. I rode in the Critical Mass bicycle ride last month with several women, it is about 15 miles from Wayne State west and south to Mexican town, downtown, along the river and winds back to WSU it was a real mix of everything. Funny thing was the poorest people would come out of their houses and cheer and yell for us, it was a lot of fun, but I would not do it alone.

    • 0 avatar
      gakoenig

      1- Glocks do not have manual safeties you can turn “on” and “off.” Esoteric exception for a handful of large police purchases (I think in Mexico and Australia) where the sales were big enough for Glock to fit a (sorta crappy) manual safety to satisfy the contract. So, you either don’t own a Glock or you are so unfamiliar with it’s operation that is nothing more than a magical totem to ward off evil spirits in your life.

      2- Placing the weapon at your feet, in a vehicle, is a very stupid idea. Most violent encounters involving a vehicle start with some sort of vehicle kinetics event – you get rear ended, someone pulls in front of you forcing you to stop quickly, you accelerate to get off the x… Those actions will cause your Glock to slide somewhere under the seat. Worst case, it gets under the pedals, impeding your mobility in an event where (like in airplanes) speed == life.

      This is why high profile vehicle security types (the ones who have jobs that allow them to wear external body armor and not tailored suits) often go for a holster mounted directly on the chest rig at nipple height. Very easy access from a seated position. Also; looks cool.

      Backup plan is to literally sit on the weapon with it stuffed deep underneath your support side thigh with the slide/barrel locked into where your ass turns into your thigh muscle, end of the grip just under your wedding vegetables. This is uncomfortable, but it locks the weapon down without requiring any extra gear and works well enough to stay put during any opening love taps that get the party started.

      3- Nobody drives armored Hummers in security convoys. It’s all Chevy Suburbans, Tahoes and Fords if they are a large international firm. Uparmored versions of whatever the local equivalent is for the smaller security firms.

      • 0 avatar
        morbo

        It’s like the ghost of Farago chiming in from TTAG.

        Good info though, especially about not putting the gun on the floor. I lose my damn water bottle when i do that, don’t want to lose a loaded weapon

      • 0 avatar
        The Soul of Wit

        My Glock does in fact have a manual safety. I wouldn’t own a weapon without some kind of safety mechanism on it.

        While you are entitled to your opinion as to how and where I place my weapon, and I certainly appreciate your advice, and I’ve never since felt the need to carry the weapon in he cabin of my car, the purpose was to reassure my wife. I do appreciate the suggestion about sitting with the piece under my thigh. If such a situation arises again, I will remember that. The trigger pressure on my Glock is about 7 pounds and a bit, and if you read carefully, I wrote nothing about having a round in the chamber. So, an accidental discharge was not possible. As I wrote, I was avoiding traffic, so there was minimal risk of a ‘kinetic event’. As the loaded weight of a Glock is a smidge over two pounds, and as I have the deep pile carpet floor mats, I didn’t think it was prone to sliding around very much. I had dressed for a wedding, not combat. So, no holster. No body armor. And once safely out of the city limits, I stopped at a Tim Horton’s and replaced the piece in my trunk.

        And yes, the company that provides the security for my firm’s executives does in fact use Hummers, along with Suburbans.

        Anyone else who wasn’t there care to quibble?

        • 0 avatar
          gakoenig

          So, how exactly does your Glock have a manual safety?

          A man of your tastes clearly wouldn’t be vulgar enough to fit one of the poorly engineered aftermarket safeties to Gaston’s Baby. You most assuredly do not legally own one of the factory Glocks fitted with a manual safety; they were built for large agency, non-domestic purchases with stipulations they be destroyed at EOL and none have ever been imported. There *might* be one or two in Smyrna for kicks, but some random guy in Michigan doesn’t have one.

          Next time you BS that you are some upper crust tough guy wheeling his beautiful eyed wife through the Cormac McArthy-esque streets of Detroit, say you carry an HK USP.

          • 0 avatar
            The Soul of Wit

            Perhaps you’ve heard of the Cominolli safety?

            And I’ve never claimed to be a tough guy. Just an average guy born in the 313 who HATES what has happened to his hometown.

            Have a great day. If you ever are in South Bend, let me know. There’s a bar there that serves Guiness as it is meant to be drunk: 5 degrees below room temperature. I’ve got the first round.

            Unless you’d care to dispute my assertion that there are any bars in South Bend?

        • 0 avatar
          Compaq Deskpro

          I don’t believe your wife’s eyes are as beautiful as you say they are.

      • 0 avatar
        darkwing

        Actually, altitude is life; airspeed is salvation. Doesn’t translate well to cars, unfortunately.

      • 0 avatar
        Beerboy12

        Placing anything at your feet is a bad idea. Stuff gets under the brake peddle and the brake peddles ability to be used trumps many things, including defense.
        I would put the gun in the door pocket, hard to see, secure and easy to get to.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I see. So…your family, being from the area, knowingly has a family function in a neighborhood this unsafe, after dark?

      All due respect, but either your family has a death wish, or you’re exaggerating. I think it’s the latter.

      I grew up in St. Louis, and in case you didn’t know, it claimed the “murder capital of America” title numerous times. There are neighborhoods there every bit as bad, or worse, than anything you’ll find in Detroit. In the early ’90s, I was in between jobs and had to take work selling encyclopedias (don’t laugh – it was a temporary job for a few months) in those neighborhoods. Yep, there I was, a white guy from the lily white suburbs, tooling around Thunderdome every night in my brand new Mazda Protege. Clearly I was not from the neighborhood, as the sticker for my lily-white Surburbia-land high school advertised. Local legend had it that all red cars with their lights on were being targeted by the Crips, so by all rights, my red Mazda should have looked like the Bonnie and Clyde death car every night.

      How often did I run into trouble? Not once. I never once got accosted, approached or even looked at sideways.

      My ex was a social worker and worked in those neighborhoods – she never had a problem either, though she did come home with fleas once.

      And I did this without 9mm male enhancement (handguns were, in fact, illegal in the City of St. Louis at the time).

      Methinks your tale is a bit tall, friend.

      • 0 avatar
        The Soul of Wit

        No tall tale. The bride was a wedding planner who wanted the best venue in the region. If you’ve ever seen the Masonic Temple, it certainly is majestic. Just not located well. And she’s a bit of a ditz.

        I don’t run from trouble. I don’t run toward it, either.

        I’m just prepared.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          If you say so…

          • 0 avatar
            The Soul of Wit

            I do. It’s OK…I don’t take it personal. Lots of people doubted the veracity of some of the things JB’s written about in the past, too.

            The B&B are a tough crowd with low tolerance for Bravo Sierra, as our old friend G. Gordon used to put it.

        • 0 avatar
          Nick_515

          Guys, not that everyone is claiming so, but this is coming awfully close to painting Detroit as a criminal town. You surely mean to paint Detroit as a poverty-stricken town, and though poverty breeds higher crime rates, the two are not the same. [Indeed research tells us white collar crime is fairly prevalent, does damage at a far wider scale, and is so much harder to catch and prosecute].

          Right?

          • 0 avatar
            Kevin Jaeger

            I think calling it a criminal town is fair enough. The place is full of crackheads and thieves, and elects criminals as their municipal representatives.

            Detroit has earned its reputation the old fashioned way – it earned it with decades of effort with a contribution from all levels of society. From the petty thief breaking into cars, the crackheads and thugs shooting up the ‘hood to their fine choice in politicians who take embezzlement and abuse of power to heights unseen in more civilized places, the whole community has participated in shaping their home into what it is today.

          • 0 avatar
            360joules

            Detroit is a kleptocracy no less than than Washington DC. The problem is that while Detroit ran out of money long ago, it only filed bankruptcy recently because it could no longer service its debt. DC still has the extra-platinum credit card that prints money when swiped. Detroit would be East St. Louis or Cairo Illinois but for the business headquarters located there.

    • 0 avatar
      ihatetrees

      Glocks don’t have safeties….

    • 0 avatar
      toxicroach

      When I hear stuff like this, I’m reminded of all those cities in the Bible that they have to use satellite imagery of old roadways to find.

  • avatar
    grzydj

    It’s too bad they don’t actually have any tanks to drive, just armored personnel carriers. Still, looks like a good time could be had.

  • avatar
    April

    I hope any potential tank/APC owner/solder wannabe will be responsible enough to fix the street after their 10+ ton midlife crisis does its thing on the way to the store to buy that badly needed jar of nutmeg.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Where there are people who drive tanks for personal use on the streets, they use rubber treads.

    • 0 avatar
      Beerboy12

      There are a number of other reasons tanks should be discouraged for use as daily drivers, poor visibility for the driver, zero flicker & brake lights etc amongst others. Mostly I would view the driver as suffering from massive over compensation though.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    Since when is an armored personnel carrier a tank. I’ve also seen similar businesses that use tank retrievers or tracked howitzers. I guess as long as it has tracks it’s close enough.

    Personally, I think driving something like the Marine Corps LAV-25 or the Army Stryker would be more interesting. Or better yet, for a real thrill, now ’bout taking an Amtrak for a swim.

  • avatar
    ash78

    “useless discussion about the “AG/AU bump” on ZeroHedge.”

    Auburn is going to slaughter Eric Holder this season, no discussion needed.

    Unless he convinces them to sit out the season in protest of Trayvon Martin, in which case he’ll probably rush for 400-500 yards until he gets tired.

  • avatar
    spreadsheet monkey

    What is the car being crushed in the picture? Bonneville?

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Umm… an APC isn’t a “tank” in the sense of what we think of a tank, but many immediately call any vehicle a “tank” if it has treads.

    My personal favorite tank is, of course, the M4 Sherman. In the words of “Oddball” from the movie “Kelly’s Heroes”, “a Sherman can give you a nice edge!”.

    My second favorite is the M3/M5 Stuart.

    As to Detroit being Beirut, don’t forget it was St. Louis – where I’m from – in National Lampoon’s “Vacation”, where the family’s wagon was accosted and the family menaced.

    • 0 avatar
      fincar1

      ‘…many immediately call any vehicle a “tank” if it has treads.’

      Many news readers nowadays call any piece of construction equipment a bulldozer even if it’s a wheel-mounted front end loader or a backhoe.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I believe it was East St. Louis featured in “Vacation,” Zackman…

      Where did you go to high school? :)

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        According to the movie, it was supposed to be in St. Louis, MO.

        I graduated from South County Technical School, but lived in Jennings. Originally from the city until Ike took ours and thousands of others’ homes for the interstate highway system!

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          I went to Parkway West…a long way from where you’d need a tank to get to work every day.

          And considering the condition of the neighborhoods “Ike took” (I’m assuming we’re talking I-70) these days, I think he might have done your family a favor…and Jennings is no picnic anymore either. Losing Ford was a head shot to the whole economy of North County.

          Downtown, though, is making a nice comeback. There is also a major redevelopment of the north side right outside downtown that’s ready to kick off. Anything that adds to the tax base for the city can only help.

          Still it makes me sad when I go home to visit…as imperfect as it is, St. Louis is my hometown, always will be, and it has really, really suffered. The effects are obvious, even in West County.

          The good news is that barring a major economic blow, like losing the brewery or Boeing, things have pretty much bottomed out there. I don’t think Detroit has. God help them.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      East St. Louis and Detroit share the identical affliction of the Great Society. Kinda ironic how ‘great’ it really turned out, isn’t it?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Not really, Danio. East St. Louis was a pit long before Johnson came along.

        Welfare didn’t kill cities like St. Louis and Detroit – the loss of jobs due to the downturn in the auto industry did. Not generally known, but if I recall correctly (and if I don’t, please correct me) the St. Louis area was once actually the second largest auto manufacturing center in the country, behind only Detroit. We had two GM plants, one Ford and a huge Chrysler manufacturing center with two plants. Until the early 1980s, Corvettes were made in St. Louis. All are gone save one GM plant on the outskirts of the metro area. The effect on the city, which is where the majority of the plant workers lived, was pronounced. The industrial workers lived on the north side of town, which is now either largely abandoned, or hardcore “hood.” The residents who could afford to left. Pretty much the same story in Detroit, though St. Louis bottomed out a long time ago, and Detroit is still finding its low point.

        St. Louis fared better than Detroit did, though, because we weren’t a one-industry town. We had the McDonnell Douglas plant, Monsanto, and the Anheuser-Busch brewery. If any of those go, God help the city.

        In fact, I shudder to think how bad things would be back there if we DIDN’T have welfare programs.

        • 0 avatar
          toxicroach

          St. Louis certainly has its ghetto portions (three blocks west of the Federal Courthouse)., but it’s a thriving metropolis compared to Detroit.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Tank driving lessons are a great idea.
    Owning a tank?
    Cool but not smart and it would grow old fast…

  • avatar
    mkirk

    Probably handles better than a Panther (flamesuit on)

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      From what I hear, the Panther doesn’t handle too badly for a tank of that era. Certainly better than the Tiger and a formidable competitor for the T-34

  • avatar
    -Nate

    What a fun thread .

    -Nate


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