Posted by: Rob | April 10, 2008

Your own Panzer tank – now that’s cool!

Picked this item up on my bloglines feed from slashdot (the link feeds through to the site where the full article, complete with youtube video lives) The DIY Tank.

This young guy will probably turn out to be a pretty good engineer. It didn’t say, or at least I didn’t see it, whether he planned on a career in automotive design, but that might be a good avenue for him.

I’m a little envious too. I acquired – at the ripe old age of 17 – a 1955 Ford Customline 4 door sedan for the princely sum of $150. I was kind of car crazy back then and interested in the old stuff (it was the ’70’s then; gas was cheap…). I still have that car today, nearly 30 years later. Sadly it is without its original engine – a V8 – 272 cubic inch – you know, the one with the crossover exhaust pipe at the front of the engine – as well as its original transmission – 3 speed manual – in “the tree”. I had figured to install a more modern engine, maybe a 351W along with an automatic transmission. I bought some Mustang parts (rear end, suspension and rotors) from a buddy of mine who was converting his ’94 Mustang to an independent rear suspension, figuring to smarten up its ride. But, the car is a tank – there’s so much steel in the frame – I couldn’t see the thing ever being affordable to run, especially at today’s (and tomorrow’s) fuel prices. And to think about sinking the kind of coin into it that would be needed to make it a driveable ride? Forget about it. I rationalized keeping it all these years by pointing out to skeptics how straight the sheet metal is on it still (not counting the rusted out areas). But now, in the hard light of current times, it’s another thing I need to let go. My daughter, J, was disappointed. She had dreams of fixing the car up with me and then becoming the owner of it herself. It’s tough when logic wins out over dreams.

So, it’s nice to see the passion of youth enable dreams to win out over logic once in awhile. I wonder if, given the opportunity, I could have built my Panzer tank. I’ll never know.



  1. You could still build a tank. I don’t know where we would store it though and I doubt that U.S. Border Patrol would let us bring it back into the States with us. They are funny about things like that.

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