A man has been forced to shell out for a new home after winning a TANK in an online auction.
Engineer Jeff Woolmer, 44, says he bid for the seven-tonne ex-British army Scorpion “on a whim” – and then forgot about it.
A few days after the sale the specialist sellers phoned him with the bombshell news that his £9,000 offer had hit the target.
At the time Jeff was living in a two-bedroom flat with no parking and realised he would have to move.
He has now bought a semi on a sleepy estate – where the CVRT Scorpion sits on his drive, complete with 75mm cannon and a rotating gun turret.
Jeff, a dad-of-one, said: “I bid for it on a bit of a whim on a specialist site after talking to some people at work who are like-mindedly not so conventional.
“The auction closed on Monday afternoon and I thought I would get a call soon after if I’d won it. It wasn’t until Friday that someone called me and told me I had won.
“I was at work and everyone just started laughing. Then I told my girlfriend, who I live with, and I think she just thought ‘I’ll let him get on with it’.”
“She’s been very supportive and her work colleagues keep asking her about it. I think it’s a bit of an ice breaker.
“Then I had to buy a house to find parking for it, as on-street parking in Bristol isn’t great.”
The tank has received considerable attention from neighbours in Bradley Stoke, Bristol since it was delivered two weeks ago.
Jeff, a stress engineer on the Bloodhound land speed project, added: “The reaction has all been very positive.
“Last night two boys came round asking to help me with it so together we stripped out some of the stuff inside.
“It’s a nice volunteer army. My daughter Lucy likes playing around on it too, it’s like a climbing frame.”
There are several privately-owned tanks across the UK which are used on the road, and ones like Jeff’s can reach about 50mph.
With room for three seats inside it could one day be the most exciting way for three-year-old Lucy to get to school.
However, Jeff expects his restoration project to take some time.
He said: “It will take about a year to restore because there is lots of work that needs doing. It hasn’t been used since 2012 when it was at a British army base in Canada.
“The batteries are flat and it is missing a gearbox, but it is roadworthy because it has rubber pads on its tracks.”
Although the tank has been totally disarmed, Jeff says it makes for an intimidating site in his driveway and thinks it might act as a deterrent against burglars.
“It probably does better than a ‘Beware of the dog sign’. I imagine it’s a bit of a shock when you see it.”