Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Military Vehicle of the Week: Two Great eBay Opportunities

I should avoid ebay.  But because I don't, I regularly run across things like this gorgeous M5A1 "Stuart" Light Tank.

Here's one of the pictures from the listing:


The seller spelled "Stuart" wrong, so he may not get his modest buy-it-now price of $180,000.  He also neglected to mention that these tanks were manufactured by Cadillac, and ran on two Cadillac 346 cubic inch flat head V8 engines.  Cadillac tanks have to be worth more, right?

The pictures aren't so great either.  Given the terrible angles he photographed the tank from, it's hard to tell just how small and adorable this thing is.  Here's a shot from robertsarmory.com:


This cute little tank is just under fifteen feet long.  You could just about fit it into one of those compact parking spaces down at the mall.  What's more, you can bring all of your friends with you:


If you're thinking this tank looks at all familiar, it may well be because it's the same type of tank that was dressed up to star alongside Lori Petty and Malcolm McDowell in the 1995 movie Tank Girl.  If it doesn't look familiar, don't worry, it's because they dressed it up A LOT:


If nothing else, this pic points out all of the accessorizing options a light tank provides.
On the other hand, if you'd like a WWII vintage war machine and parking is an issue or you're worried about reducing your carbon footprint, the Type 53 Airborne Cushman Scooter for sale for a more modest, $10,000 starting bid.



As the war in Europe raged on, Allied paratroopers needed something light and fast so runners could maintain contact between units and haul small small loads. Answering the call, Cushman Motor Works designed the Model 53, an adorable little vehicle that could be airdropped by parachute or carried by glider right up to the front lines.  Then, when the Germans were overwhelmed by laughter, they would fall easy prey to Airborne troops. 

Starting in 1944, Cushman cranked out about 5,000 of these little bastards.  According to specs, they had a 100 mile range, climbed up to a 25% grade, and could ford rivers as deep as twelve inches.

Think it seems silly?  It gets better. 

The Type 53 was fitted with a trailer hitch to pull a model M3A4 general-purpose utility cart. That cart could be converted to carry a .30-cal. or .50-cal. machine gun or an 81mm mortar.  If the scooter wasn't up hauling the load, the M3A4 cart was also rigged with hand-ropes for manual towing by up to four men.

I suppose they could put the scooter inside the cart while they were towing it by hand...

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