David learns to drive an armoured tank.
The Rolls Royce of tanks.
David finds out that learning to drive an armoured tank is a little bit different.
The vehicles were owned by the British army and had been rebuilt to as-new when Howard bought them five years ago. About three years ago he began operating driver-training courses in the military vehicles.
The vehicles are Rolls Royce powered and even though the terrain is bumpy, the magnificent suspension ensures a smooth ride.
The Ferret armoured reconnaissance vehicle is 4.5 tonnes, with six cylinder pre-selector gear box, turret with machine gun, smoke bomb, dischargers, four wheels and a crew of two. Its top speed is about 90 kph.
The Saracen armoured personnel carrier is an eight cylinder, with pre-selector gear box, turret machine gun, smoke bomb dischargers, power steering and brakes, six wheels, crew of two and eight passengers. It also travels at about 90 kph.
Your lesson begins with an explanation of the vehiclesâ€™ features and a guided inspection of the tanks. Once in the Ferret you put on headphones and authentic Gulf War driver goggles and are in direct contact with your operator, who is in the turret. The instructor sits behind the learner in the Saracen vehicles.
WWII music plays through a tape deck, followed by battle sounds, and off you go along a flat surface, giving you a chance to learn the gears, up and down hills. Then you go into reverse and weave your way around the markers.
There is an accelerator, a brake and a pedal that looks like a clutch but isnâ€™t. Itâ€™s the engager for the five gears. Donâ€™t be put off. They were built so that anyone could hop in and drive them. Once you have proven yourself in the Ferret, you will be allowed to have a go in the Saracen. Howard says that once you have driven one of these you will drive your family car better than ever. You will also have a certificate with your photo on it, proving you have passed the lessons.