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Featured Image Credit: Caters
A dad who spent £20,000 on a tank is making sure he’s getting his money’s worth after splashing out on the unusual vehicle, which he uses for all of his day-to-day errands – even the supermarket run.
Gary Freeland, 35, got into tanks at a young age after seeing how much joy owning ex-military vehicles brought his granddad, with the hobby even encouraging him to join the army at 16.
Freeland, from Amesbury in Wiltshire, knows his unique ride often ‘shocks’ people, but said it is ‘great fun’ to get out and about in it with kids Freddie, 13, Phoebe, nine, and Harrison, one.
He said: "I keep the tank on my driveway. It's parked next to our other car.
"It gets lots of attention from people as they walk past our house as it's certainly not something you expect to see every day.
"When I take the tank to do the weekly food shop with the kids, people are always joking with me and asking me why I don't park it in the parent and child space.”
He continued: "The tank is the best way to get the kids to go somewhere. They can't wait to help me with the shopping when they know I am going in the tank.
"They think it is great because none of their friends gets driven around in an army tank.
"The good thing about taking the tank to the supermarkets is that it's got lots of room for the shopping bags and it will never get dented by a passing trolley.
"And even though the tank is massive, people still tend to park either side of it which makes it very hard to get out of the parking space.
"Freddie helps me navigate my way out. He is a great tank commander!
"He is always showing pictures and videos of it to his friends.”
Freeland, who spent £20,000 on the vehicle, said his partner thinks he’s ‘crazy’, but that she also finds it amusing.
“She's not been in that tank yet, but I am hoping that one day she will jump in and come for a ride in it."
He went on: "It's great fun to get out and about in the tank.
"As well as taking it to the shops, we go to the fuel station in it and just general drives.
"I've even had tank driving birthday parties for my son which he absolutely loved.”
Freeland, who is still in the army, often goes around different army bases, restoring tanks that are being used as gate guards.
He said: "Driving the tank is actually quite hard work because you control it using sticks rather than a steering wheel.
"It involves a lot of pulling and you have to have your wits about you!
"People are so shocked when they see a tank on the road they seem to lose concentration and drift.
"The visibility is fairly good, however, you do need someone at the top to check the back of the tank.”
“The fastest I have been in it is around 50mph,” he added.
"The kids love it and always want to get involved. They love checking that everything is working okay, just like the way I used to help my grandad.
"People think it is amazing when they see the tank and the shocked look on people's faces is always a picture."