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    1. Member
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      04-16-2017 04:04 PM #1


      Steve Preston, 51, owner of Sergeants Towing in Portland, Oregon, on his 1944 Buick “Hellcat” M18 tank destroyer, as told to A.J. Baime.

      Once you’re a collector, you’re always a collector. But your passions can change. As a kid, I collected knives. Later, I got into military history, so I started collecting military knives, then guns, then eventually, vehicles. Now—though I never served in the military—I have about a dozen military vehicles, and most of them run.

      Everyone knows what a Sherman tank looks like. A tank destroyer looks similar but has thinner armor and an open top turret, for greater speed and visibility. The Hellcat was the fastest tracked vehicle of any kind during World War II, with a top speed of about 55 mph.


      Mine was built in 1944 by Buick in Flint, Mich., with a 975-cubic inch airplane engine in it. According to my records, it was sold as surplus after World War II to the Yugoslavian military, where it was used in the civil war there in the 1990s. I found it in Denver and bought it in 1999 for $60,000, and immediately set to restoring it. It loves aviation fuel, but I can pump regular leaded gas into it.


      Now I donate rides for school and hospital fundraisers. The craziest thing I’ve ever done with it? At a car show in Portland, I showed up early and towed a 1984 Camaro with no engine in it into the middle of the grounds. Soon there were hundreds of cars there, and I had the announcer say: “Would whoever owns the 1984 Camaro, please move it, or we’re going to have it towed away.” Of course, nobody moved it. With everyone watching, I fired up the tank destroyer and crushed that Camaro. The crowds loved it.

      I also take the tank destroyer to regular car shows, and park it among the other collector cars. Hey, it’s a 1944 Buick, right?
      Quote Originally Posted by Blackohio
      Built in boost gauge in the dash. One of my friends at the time saw that turbo was on theoretical empty and asked if we needed to stop and get more turbo. I gave it gas and he was like wait, its full now. Had to quickly explain the process.
      Quote Originally Posted by Calcvictim View Post
      so basically the OP has no clue about anything and just posts out of his ass?

    2. Member NeverEnoughCars's Avatar
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      04-16-2017 04:07 PM #2
      I love my Hellcat in World of Tanks.
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      Pedantry: winning arguments through exasperation since 1651. An Old World Tradition!
      "Now i am become death the destroyer of worlds."-bhagavad gita
      “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” -T.S. Eliot

    3. Senior Member patrikman's Avatar
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      04-16-2017 04:13 PM #3
      I'd like to do some fact checking on the Camaro story, that's awesome if true.
      initiative comes to thems that wait


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    4. I hibernate. Just like the Turtles! GoHomePossum's Avatar
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      04-16-2017 04:49 PM #4
      OPs article must be old.

      This guy's tank had a functioning main gun. A breech door malfunction during a demonstration in 2015 blew up the tank and killed both operators instantly.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...r-machine.html

      I now have an InstaGram: emmettlodge

    5. Member IJM's Avatar
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      04-16-2017 05:23 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by audifans View Post
      I wonder if the M2 Browning on the back is operational.

    6. Member andlf's Avatar
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      04-16-2017 05:29 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by GoHomePossum View Post
      OPs article must be old.

      This guy's tank had a functioning main gun. A breech door malfunction during a demonstration in 2015 blew up the tank and killed both operators instantly.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...r-machine.html
      D@mn that sucks!
      Muh cahs: allpic My 3 C's- Challenger, Camaro & Corrado -*Dusk Edition SS-*Group -*Challenger RT
      Quote Originally Posted by GoHomePossum View Post
      The head gardeners name is Lawn?
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      Hey leave him alone. Get off Mike Lawn.
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      All chaps are assless. If chaps have an ass then then they're pants.

    7. Member
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      04-16-2017 05:34 PM #7
      Well, gee. That article was from Sept.29th, 2015. One month later, Steve went to the promised land. Yikes. Perhaps this can be a tribute to what he loved doing.

      Sad to realize it all went south in a hurry

      Quote Originally Posted by Blackohio
      Built in boost gauge in the dash. One of my friends at the time saw that turbo was on theoretical empty and asked if we needed to stop and get more turbo. I gave it gas and he was like wait, its full now. Had to quickly explain the process.
      Quote Originally Posted by Calcvictim View Post
      so basically the OP has no clue about anything and just posts out of his ass?

    8. Member candy11's Avatar
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      04-16-2017 05:34 PM #8
      The history part about Yugoslavia doesn't make a lot of sense.


      *Edit* But according to Wikipedia it's true.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      Last edited by candy11; 04-16-2017 at 05:38 PM.

    9. I hibernate. Just like the Turtles! GoHomePossum's Avatar
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      04-16-2017 05:36 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by candy11 View Post
      The history part about Yugoslavia doesn't make a lot of sense.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      Can you make a list of things about Yugoslavia that do make sense?
      I now have an InstaGram: emmettlodge

    10. Member candy11's Avatar
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      04-16-2017 05:37 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by GoHomePossum View Post
      Can you make a list of things about Yugoslavia that do make sense?
      Yugo AK's and SKS's make a ton of sense.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    11. Member
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      04-16-2017 05:37 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by NeverEnoughCars View Post
      I love my Hellcat in World of Tanks.
      Pfft. War Thunder is where its at.

      Sent from my ASUS_Z01BDC using Tapatalk

    12. Member candy11's Avatar
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      04-16-2017 05:39 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by audifans View Post
      Well, gee. That article was from Sept.29th, 2015. One month later, Steve went to the promised land. Yikes. Perhaps this can be a tribute to what he loved doing.

      Sad to realize it all went south in a hurry

      Imagine the mess if it had a closed turret....


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    13. Senior Member patrikman's Avatar
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      04-16-2017 05:55 PM #13
      That's an unfortunate end to an interesting story.
      initiative comes to thems that wait


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    14. Member
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      04-16-2017 05:58 PM #14


      This vehicle was built to maneuver in all kinds of terrain. It had a shovel just in case it got stuck.
      Quote Originally Posted by David Votoupal
      The car sucked in every way imaginable, that it entered the annals as one of the worst cars ever built. It was shoddily built in a plant where labour relations were atrocious. It rusted like hell, and the aluminium engine had the durability of a soggy potato chip. Few cars could have been so thoroughly bad Despite the "explosion" controversy, the Ford Pinto compared favourably to the Vega, and that's saying something.

    15. Member LT1M21Stingray's Avatar
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      04-16-2017 06:00 PM #15
      Jeezzz...
      Quote Originally Posted by Mk1Madness
      Back when making your car faster and better handling was the big thing.
      Quote Originally Posted by Tavarish
      The car's best safety feature includes ejecting you in the moment of impact and wishing you the best of luck.

    16. I hibernate. Just like the Turtles! GoHomePossum's Avatar
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      04-16-2017 06:07 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by patrikman View Post
      That's an unfortunate end to an interesting story.
      Gotta pay to play
      I now have an InstaGram: emmettlodge

    17. Senior Member patrikman's Avatar
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      04-16-2017 06:24 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by GoHomePossum View Post
      Gotta pay to play
      I'd like to know more about this malfunction. Are they its it wasn't a decommissioning related inicident?
      initiative comes to thems that wait


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    18. I hibernate. Just like the Turtles! GoHomePossum's Avatar
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      04-16-2017 06:45 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by patrikman View Post
      I'd like to know more about this malfunction. Are they its it wasn't a decommissioning related inicident?
      What do you mean?
      I now have an InstaGram: emmettlodge

    19. I hibernate. Just like the Turtles! GoHomePossum's Avatar
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      04-16-2017 06:47 PM #19
      The investigation concluded a round went off before the breech was fully closed.
      I now have an InstaGram: emmettlodge

    20. Geriatric Member Aonarch's Avatar
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      04-16-2017 06:52 PM #20
      Wow... RIP.

    21. Senior Member patrikman's Avatar
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      04-16-2017 07:11 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by GoHomePossum View Post
      The investigation concluded a round went off before the breech was fully closed.
      Sorry, didn't read. Perhaps a casualty of lack of discipline and/or training? Seems like it would be kind of one of the more important jobs of tank personnel.
      initiative comes to thems that wait


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    22. Member
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      04-16-2017 07:21 PM #22
      oh, geeze... Talk about going out with a bang.

    23. I hibernate. Just like the Turtles! GoHomePossum's Avatar
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      04-16-2017 07:29 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by Hand Cannon View Post
      oh, geeze... Talk about going out with a bang.
      It's too bad. The guy was a real straight shooter.
      I now have an InstaGram: emmettlodge

    24. Senior Member Iroczgirl's Avatar
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      04-16-2017 07:39 PM #24
      Yeah, I remember that day very well. RIP.
      Lots of VW stuff|Rare Scirocco parts!
      The family: '55 Ford 351C, '70 TR6 262Olds, '80 Rabbit AAZ, '84 C30 350, '88 Scirocco 9A, '97 Hardbody KA24E, '01 TJ 150AMC.
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      You're always better off with a Citroën.™

    25. Member candy11's Avatar
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      04-16-2017 08:18 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by patrikman View Post
      Sorry, didn't read. Perhaps a casualty of lack of discipline and/or training? Seems like it would be kind of one of the more important jobs of tank personnel.
      The breech ring exploded. Maybe the crew's fault for not inspecting it for cracks/spacing. Or maybe it didn't show signs of fatigue. Kind of up in the air.


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