Car Culture

I drove a tank without having to enlist

At the aptly named Drive A Tank you can jump into the driver's seat of some of the most iconic military hardware of the 20th century. You can even shoot at targets, safe in the knowledge that no one's going to shoot back.

It's nice when something lives up to its name. The Ferrari Superfast is super fast, the White House is a white house and Drive A Tank actually lets you drive a tank.

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I had never considered going to the great state of Minnesota and my knowledge of it was limited to lakes, Prince and something about Vikings. But some 70 miles south of the Twin Cities in a small town called Kasota, there turned out to be a place that should have been on my bucket list all along.

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The vehicle interiors remind you that they're built for a serious purpose, not for recreation.

Tanks, self-propelled guns and APCs represent some of the most formidable military hardware on the battlefield and have been an imposing presence in combat for over a century. Drive A Tank's hangar contained a selection of the most iconic examples of the breed.

Upon arrival there's a brief history lesson that gives the uninitiated an insight into the history of these incredible machines. It also serves as a warm-up to the day's activities ahead.

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Even with a decommissioned gun, staring down this barrel can be intimidating. 

What follows was a day full of experiences in vehicles that span the entire history of tanks. My tentative first go at the driving controls soon progressed to tearing through the landscape and driving using a periscope. Eventually I was sitting in the gunner's seat and tracking down targets for shooting practice. You'll have to watch the full film to see what else happens. But put it this way -- it doesn't end well for a Buick.