Fast and Furious 6 Tank has arrived!The tank from the film Fast & Furious 6 is finally at Tanks Alot
The tank from the film Fast & Furious 6 is finally at Tanks Alot, busy crushing cars which is exactly what it was made for. Book it now for your private car crush, the finale to your corporate day or a film job where you need a very modern looking tank that can really kick arse.
It’s been a slippery fish to land taking over five years.
The story starts when a friend told me he was off to Tenerife on a film set for a couple of months as a specialist tank mechanic running and driving a custom Chieftain tank, hob knobbing with Vin Diesel and all the gang, and drinking San Miguel’s in the sun – lucky bastard I thought! As jealous as I was I knew Robbie was the best man for the job, probably knowing more about Chieftains than any man alive and a real hands-on guy too.
It wasn’t long before everybody in the tank world knew several chieftains were needed for a major feature film and I had lots of various people trying to buy mine, they had a huge budget, but I guess mine just weren’t good enough for them. Turned out they made some out of foam rubber built on lorries, had one with a foam rubber turret, but just one clad in heavy gauge steel. It was seriously beefed up in all the right places for hitting cars at full speed, in fact more than full speed, the cars were fired from a cannon mounted on the back of a lorry to give the effect of them being driven into the approaching tank. A combined speed of possibly 80 mph, this was Just what I needed – maybe with a bit of inside help I could buy this beast.
When the film was finished Robbie fixed me up with a meeting on site where all the props from the film were being stored in the UK. I was keen to view the tank before I made an offer – too often a film prop vehicle is all smoke, mirrors, and plaster board, and literally degrades in front of your eyes about two weeks after you flashed the cash.
I had hoped this was different considering the sheer number of cars it was designed to mash, take after take. When I finally walked around The Beast I was more than impressed.
I had heard figures being bandied about of £250,000 being blown on the build and it taking a specialist engineering company three months to complete it, maybe this was true?
The bad news was, it was a tender and I hate tender’s. If you win it you wonder if you paid far too much, if you loose it, you wish you had paid more. Why couldn’t it be an auction or even a gun fight, but not a tender.
After taking advice from a clever friend in the know related to the film, I was told exactly what to bid and I added a few grand just in case, that hurt, but what hurt more was learning a few days later I HADN’T won her. Bollocks, Bollocks, shit, bum, feck.
A few weeks later I was taking a group of five down into Brackley for an H Licence Exam – basically taking a driving test in a tracked vehicle so you can drive a tank to go down the pub in. It’s a regular thing we do at Tanks Alot for all sorts of people with all sorts of reasons – some are farmers, some are in the construction industry, some are tankies either professional or hobbyists, even a few modellers trying to gain street cred and I suspect a mercenary or two gaining a valued qualification for overseas employers. I asked my 5 very keen pupils why they needed an H and a young lad replied “my Dad bought the tank off the film Fast & Furious 6 and I need an H on my license to move it around legally”. I was gutted, but managed to hide it (I hope!).
I casually asked what one would have to pay to own such a magnificent example. I had been out tendered by so little, just three thousand pounds it turned out.
Soon after that the makers of the film came to see me asking if we could lay on a huge tank driving press day for the launch of the Fast & Furious 6 blue ray and DVD release. They actually asked if they could livery up all of my tanks with their logos and do interviews with the stars on one of my Centurions. Unbelievable! surely they would have been better off giving me the actual bloody tank from the film for the launch! I managed to compose myself yet again, smiled politely and got things sorted. Luckily their booking clashed with an important job I had with Tanklimo and I couldn’t be there on the day so it saved me pouring petrol over the entire film crew and all of their vehicles and burning them alive! (well not literally, but I was truly gutted!).
Some months later the tank came up for sale. I was surprised to see the advert but not surprised at the high price. I was pretty tanked up at the time and the account was low and by the time I had sold a few tanks, cars, parrots,(everything except my arse!) a rich American had pounced. Bollocks, it slipped through my fingers again!
Some years later a local tank restorer rolled up to buy some spares for a customer and in conversation I learned THE TANK was in his yard and the American owner had given up fighting the authorities over the import to the states and had given it to the restorer in lieu of the expenses it had accrued. It was now or never! “Shame to ruin a Chieftain like that chopping it all about, getting rare these days” was my opening gambit followed by “ has Vin Diesel come out of the closet” with a bit of “ what do you think it would cost to put it back to original?”.
Don’t think this cut much mustard with Carl, a wiley old fox, he replied he had a buyer but he was messing him about and kept me hanging for a few days before he called me. I viewed the old girl a few days later and she was looking a bit sad having sat outside for God knows how long, but I saw through this and knew it was perfection.
If you plan on destroying hundreds of cars at whatever speed you fancied knowing your tank could take it, not screwing up mud guards and popping off bazooka plates like dragons scales as the cars got dragged through the tracks similar to tinfoil spaghetti.
When the tank arrived it was all singing all dancing mechanically but needing cosmetics, some pretty heavy cosmetics too, lots of things chopping off and bits making and I loved every minute of it. A condition of the sale was for me to take it to the Wheels and Wings Show with a few vip tickets thrown in no less! No problem. That was fun too.
I thought I had grown out of taking Tanks to shows but I was wrong it seems, perhaps I haven’t, well not this one. She went real well with that wonderful howl only a chieftain at full bore can make.
Fast & Furious 6 now sits in the killing field at Tanks Alot just where it should be, ready for action at a moments notice with a car shaking in its tyres a couple of hundred yards in front waiting for the big sleep. It’s mashing about 5 cars a week close to (airborne a few times!) and doing a sterling job.
A local steam rally is organised by a huge car recycling company – it’s time to talk to Tom and Joe about our favourite tank smashing the Guinness World Car Crushing Record at next years’ show! WATCH THIS SPACE!