21 January 2022

'It's not loaded' says the owner of O'Malley's viral nature strip tank

| Max O'Driscoll
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Tank on a street

Speculation about how a German-looking World War II tank ended up in O’Malley has been rampant since Tuesday. Photo: David Grimshaw.

When David Grimshaw purchased a replica German World War II tank from the Australian Armour and Artillery Museum, he didn’t know how others would receive it.

A longtime German military memorabilia collector, Mr Grimshaw’s first thought was to call the local police station when the tank was on its way from Cairns.

“I didn’t want them to be surprised,” he said.

“I’m in O’Malley, which is a diplomatic suburb, so we get Protective Services driving the streets all the time, and I reckon within 20 minutes of the tank’s arrival, I would have had ACT Police there.”

And how did the police officer respond to what would have to be one of the more peculiar phone calls of his career? A simple, “thanks for telling us”.

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While potential issues with the police had been handled, the tank, now parked on the nature strip in front of his house, began to catch the eye of passers-by.

One member of the community posted a picture of the tank online, and soon its presence on an O’Malley street went viral in the ACT and Mr Grimshaw felt the need to address speculation about how it got there.

“A mate of mine had a friend who works there [at the museum], and so he told my mate that the Cairns tank museum had this one. They wanted to get rid of it because they had an original one and this is a replica,” Mr Grimshaw said.

“It’s actually a British Armoured Personnel carrier that’s been converted to look like a World War II German tank, so it’s a real military fighting vehicle. It’s just not what it looks like now, which is a German one because the German ones are worth a lot of money.

“I suspect that he would’ve paid over $1 million for his one.”

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As for what one might do with a tank in the nation’s capital, Mr Grimshaw said it was a purchase he made for his own personal enjoyment. He did, however, have some ideas about how it could be of use to the wider community.

“I will make it available to the movie studios and that sort of thing if they want to use it in a movie because tanks rent out for a lot of money,” he said.

“Once I’ve got a property to put it on, I will probably have driving days where people can come and have a ride in it.”

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Capital Retro7:48 am 25 Jan 22

How can it be booked for illegal parking? It isn’t registered as a motor vehicle so it has the same status as an old fridge/rubbish skip etc.

Well he has made a total mockery of the ACT Government’s nature strip regulations. Might put a skip on mine tomorrow.

He should compete in Sensha-do competitions.

Capital Retro6:40 pm 22 Jan 22

The hapless ACT government should hire it to eradicate the rabbits in Civic and just about everywhere else in Canberra.

ChrisinTurner2:54 pm 22 Jan 22

The nature strip is ACT government property. He should park it on his own private property.

Very nice.

Looks like a reasonable impersonation of a STuG (probably a STuG IV).

The lump up top – with the ‘pretend gun’ sticking out of it – is too big to be able to rotate on the chassis!

A genuine tank has that capability.

So, it Isn’t a tank!? What a surprise? Not!

I didn’t think it ‘made it’ as a self-propelled gun / StuG either.

I’ll refine my guess as it being made to look like a later model STuG III, but I’m certainly not an expert.

Whether it is a “tank” is always a debatable question.

I’d say it is not, because as you pointed out it doesn’t have a rotating turret.

However it is a self propelled gun, most likely a tank destroyer, which would most likely put it in the STuG family.

Many people would refer to all tracked, armoured, large gun equiped vehicles as tanks. I wouldn’t but I can see why people would call it one.

So you don’t need a license or anything? Let’s hope this guy has all his marbles intact and doesn’t have stoushes with the neighbours or we could end up with a “Killdozer” incident but worse..

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