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JasonT

Tank Driving Experience - opinions?

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I finally made my long overdue visit yesterday to the Collings Foundation's American Heritage Museum in Stow, MA. Aside from all the planes and "Wings of Freedom" tour that they are known for, last year they opened a new museum with dozens of military vehicles for all eras and nations.

 

For their 1 year anniversary they are offering a tank driving experience program starting in the spring. They have two tanks to choose from - an M4A3 Sherman or a M24 Chafee.

 

I need to email the museum for more details but from the description on their website, the instructors are actual former tank instructors. The program covers basic procedures, malfunctions and driving skills. Later in the program that same tasks are performed by the trainee without the aid of detailed instruction. https://www.americanheritagemuseum.org/tank-driving-experiences/

 

Basically, I was wondering what the rest of you guys thought and whether I should do it and if you think it would be worth it?I've never been a huge tank aficionado, but have always been interested in WW2.

 

It's about $1000 for the Chafee program and $1944 for the Sherman. I know there are several places around the country that let you ride in a tank or places like 'Drive A Tank' in Minnesota or a place in Vegas that let you run over cars or whatnot. However, this one seems to be more educational than just having a quick adrenaline experience, which has me more interested.

 

 

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I have driven an M4A3 a few times, I was back home in Colorado part of a volunteer group that worked on a privately owned M4A3. I have seen the M24 in action, but never driven. The M4 is basically like driving an old Caterpillar tractor coupled with a manual transmission- its not that difficult - but takes a bit of coordination and arm strength that the steering tillers require some muscle and depending on the condition of the clutch- that can be a beast too.

 

The M24 i believe is an automatic and being a lighter smaller vehicle is easier to operate. Its also (depending on your size, physical condition and the model of M4 they have) easier to get in an out of. We had a early small hatch M4A3 and boy did those hatches feel small sometimes.

 

in short, for my money- M4. It is the quintessential tank of the western Allies in WW2- I would say its worth the extra $ and effort it takes to run one.


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Looking for WW2 Ike jackets and service coats for the 65th, 71st, 75th, 91st and 106th Infantry Divisons

"Danko, What do you want out of this Army?!"

"Me sir!"

-PFC John Danko Jr, My Grandpa, hero and buddy. RIP

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If you have the money and no limiting health problems... asmentioned by Dan in the above post... I'd go for the Sherman.

Heres why.... Its a bigger Tank. Its the iconic American Tank of WW2.

For bragging rights alone....... You tell people you drove a Sherman tank and its instantly recognisable....

To many people, they know what a Sherman Tank is.... You tell people .... I drove an M24 chaffee and youre going to get aBlank

expression and a......?

Whats that ? lol lol.

For me if I had the coin and no physical limitations.....I'd climb into that Sherman Baby...... Yea !!!!!

I rode in an m55 Sheridan......Courtesy of uncle Sam in the California desert. When and if I mention it... I usually get a

whats that ???

I'd Do The Sherman !!!

Thats a rare experience to be sure.

 

:)

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I just did an event last month where we had the opportunity to ride in an M4A3 Sherman or an M24. I chose the Sherman and I’m glad I did. The size and iconicness is hard to beat. Plus a standard transmission gives an entirely different drive feel. We had a green driver which was an experience in itself!

 

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Thanks guys, I have to admit I'm torn between the two. I have an extra 1k dollars that I've been looking to do something unique with for some time now, not sure if I'd be able to scrounge up another 1k. Also, I have very (and I mean very) limited experience driving a standard transmission - I'm young and was never into cars. Do you guys think this would hamper my experience if I choose the Sherman? I don't want to spend my limited time trying to get it in the right gear or worried I do something to damage it lol

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I just did an event last month where we had the opportunity to ride in an M4A3 Sherman or an M24. I chose the Sherman and I’m glad I did. The size and iconicness is hard to beat. Plus a standard transmission gives an entirely different drive feel. We had a green driver which was an experience in itself!

 

I found that post of you and your dad, looked like an amazing time!

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Thanks guys, I have to admit I'm torn between the two. I have an extra 1k dollars that I've been looking to do something unique with for some time now, not sure if I'd be able to scrounge up another 1k. Also, I have very (and I mean very) limited experience driving a standard transmission - I'm young and was never into cars. Do you guys think this would hamper my experience if I choose the Sherman? I don't want to spend my limited time trying to get it in the right gear or worried I do something to damage it lol

 

 

Depends on what the vehicles owners say, yes its a tank and yes by its nature they are hard to damage, being, well its a tank. But parts are 70+ years old and expensive.

 

Honestly its hard to explain, it is and isn't like driving a car with a standard transmission- its likely they wont let you go fast enough anyway to require a gear change, plus I am sure they will give you plenty of clear instruction.


donation2014.gif

Looking for WW2 Ike jackets and service coats for the 65th, 71st, 75th, 91st and 106th Infantry Divisons

"Danko, What do you want out of this Army?!"

"Me sir!"

-PFC John Danko Jr, My Grandpa, hero and buddy. RIP

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Theres been plenty of young men who never drove anything ended up driving tanks.

Some of them ended flying aircraft before they drove a car.

They will instruct you. The things werent made so youd need a phd in engineering to drive them.

BUt if you dont have the extra cash .......... To me if I was going to do that, I'd go for the Sherman.

But the M24 would still be a fun time. But to me the Sherman would be tops. I couldnt afford it either though.

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Depends on what the vehicles owners say, yes its a tank and yes by its nature they are hard to damage, being, well its a tank. But parts are 70+ years old and expensive.

 

Honestly its hard to explain, it is and isn't like driving a car with a standard transmission- its likely they wont let you go fast enough anyway to require a gear change, plus I am sure they will give you plenty of clear instruction.

 

Thanks Dan!

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Theres been plenty of young men who never drove anything ended up driving tanks.

Some of them ended flying aircraft before they drove a car.

They will instruct you. The things werent made so youd need a phd in engineering to drive them.

BUt if you dont have the extra cash .......... To me if I was going to do that, I'd go for the Sherman.

But the M24 would still be a fun time. But to me the Sherman would be tops. I couldnt afford it either though.

 

Thanks rooster77, good points made. I emailed the museum this afternoon to request more info, so I'll wait and get more details before I make a decision.

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