No need to worry about the weather bomb kids! Dad-of-two drops children to school in road legal tank from his £2 million collection
A dad has found a cool way to make sure his children never miss a day at school whatever the weather, by dropping them off in his 17 TONNE TANK.
Come rain or shine, snow or weather bomb there’s little to stop military enthusiast Nick Mead getting his sons to class on time as he regularly drives them to school in one of the tanks from his 130-strong fleet.
Dad Nick’s £2million collection of military vehicles means son’s Ashley, 13 and Danny, 16 can always enjoy an ‘explosive’ start to the school day as they can choose from a number of road legal tanks for their dad to drop them to school in.
While the unusual mode of transport may mean they miss out on the odd snow day, Nick said Ashley and Danny’s classmates were blown away by their cool ride and he loved seeing the shell-shocked looks on other parent’s faces.
Nick, 53, from Helmdon, Northants, said: “People often do a double take. They can’t believe it, and when they see the tax disc which verifies it’s road legal, they’re even more gobsmacked.
“My children love it, the tanks are a bit of a tourist attraction, but I can imagine they’re probably even a bit bored of it now, it’s just the norm for them.
“Their friends can’t get enough of it though; I just think all the attention is funny.”
Nick, owner of Tanks A Lot Ltd, a tank driving events company, often brings traffic to a grinding halt when zooming his tanks – many of which weigh more than 17 tonnes – around town at speeds of up to 40mph.
When taking his sons for a spin to school, the dad-of-two will often drive his 17 tonne FV432 armoured personnel carrier – which is tax and MOT exempt – instead of a car, teasing police and stunning follow motorists by revving its eight litre, two stroke engine and intimidating passers-by with its sheer enormity.
Everyone is desperate for a ride in the tanks which make up his fleet of 130 military vehicles, especially his sons, who have both been driving tanks on his private farm since they were eight.
Nick said: “When we drive through town, everyone waves as if their hands are going to drop off.
“The police often grin or look the other way and most of them don’t know what to do, it’s not every day you see a tank rolling into town.
“All the children love to take pictures.
“It’s sometimes difficult when I drive it down hills, we’d had some close calls, and I took the fuel cap off a bus once when it got too close.
“But in my 20 years driving tanks I’ve never had once crash, I’m always extremely careful, especially with the kids.
Tank collector Nick bought his first armoured vehicle, a FV433 Abbot for £1750, more than 20 years ago.
Since then, he has amassed a fleet of more than 95 operational tanks – the most valuable being a 1948 Centurion worth an estimate £50,000 – which he uses on his off road military fun park at Spring Farm, Helmdon.
But for Nick, whose armoured vehicles have been used for weddings, funerals, in films, stag and hen parties, running his children to school, or even taking a trip to the shops in an armoured vehicle has become the norm.
He said: “My partner Debbie and kids are very supportive with all of them getting stuck in and helping out and getting involved on the farm.
“My partner even instructs sometimes, but I think she likes the more glamorous jobs, such as the film shoots and corporate events.
“But despite what people think, I’m not from a military background; my interest in tanks was a spur of the moment fascination.
“I bought my first tank 20 years ago and it just snowballed from there. I feel blessed to have collected so many military relics from around the world.”