Get that tank off my lawn: Impulse buy forces house move

Jeff Woolmer's ex-army tank safely parked in his new driveway

Story highlights

  • Engineer bought a seven-ton tank from a specialist auction website
  • He moved because there was no parking space for the tank at his flat

London (CNN)A British man has taken online impulse buys to a new extreme -- winning a seven-ton army tank on an auction website.

The military monster has even forced him to move house.
    Jeff Woolmer paid $14,000 on Witham Specialist Vehicles' website for the ex-Canadian military vehicle. To accommodate the tank he has had to move out of his flat near Bristol, in western England, to find a place with more parking space.
    "I was living in a two-bedroom flat at the time, with an ensuite parking system. Unfortunately, tank parking permits were a no-go, so I had to buy a new house," he told CNN.
    The tank was Woolmer's first buy of this kind. His interest was sparked by a conversation with colleagues at The Bloodhound Project, which aims to design and build a car that will break the 1,000-mph barrier.
    "It all started with a bit of office banter really. We were joking about how you can buy anything, including military vehicles, online these days. Then I got home one Monday and placed a bid on this tank," he said.
    "I didn't hear anything back on Tuesday, so I'd pretty much given up hope.
    "I was pretty surprised on the Friday when I got a call at work telling me that I had just bought a tank."
    Woolmer told CNN that he has paperwork which dates the CVRT Scorpion tank back to 1989, where it started life in the British Army Training Unit Suffield in Canada. In its more active days, Woolmer says the tank was deployed in Egypt.
    "Right now my tank is in real need of some love and care. The battery needs to be replaced and the inside is a bit grimy and greasy." he said.
    "But I'm hoping to get it up and running in the next few weeks and there's even the potential to get it road legal."
    Perhaps surprisingly, it is possible to drive tanks on roads in the UK, providing you have the correct paperwork. Earlier this year a petition was delivered to the BBC headquarters in London by tank, calling for "Top Gear" presenter Jeremy Clarkson to be reinstated. Though Woolmer joked that paperwork is not always necessary when you own a tank.
    "You can drive it anywhere really. Who's going to stop you?"