By Mark McConville
WATCH as a sixteen-tonne former British Army tank rolls past some of London’s most famous landmarks to the consternation of gobsmacked tourists.
Spectacular footage shows the eight-and-a-half-foot long Abbot SPG drive past Big Ben as tourists stand open mouthed trying to get it all on camera.
The tank, which boasts a 105mm gun, also cruises down Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street with Christmas shopping in full swing and past Stamford Bridge as football fans start to gather for a Chelsea home match.
The stunning video shows a military vehicle specialist and instructor, who wished to be known as TankNutDave (38) driving a tank through central London.
An H category driving license is required to drive any tracked vehicles on the road in the UK and Europe.
“Nick who owns the company has kept the tank (Abbot SPG) in London for several years and sometimes me and Nick fancy a jolly and just go for a drive promoting the companies driving experience days,” he said.
“We love putting a smile on people’s faces when we thunder past in a tank. A lot of people stop to wave or come running up to it at pedestrian crossings to have their picture taken by a friend.
“There are times when people clap and cheer thinking we are the army out patrolling the streets. I remember one time on a Remembrance Sunday we were cheered by hundreds of ex-service personnel as we drove past them, who loved it.”
The tank has been hired for all sorts of advertising including Channel 5 TV show Pot Hole Britain and various betting companies.
The tank was also used to deliver the one million signature petition to BBC House to have Jeremy Clarkson reinstated on Top Gear.
“Most of the footage is taken from the top of the turret looking gun forward,” said TankNutDave.
“You will see the massive 105mm bore main gun, the driver, who is the company owner Nick in the front right of the vehicle, with me sitting behind him on the engine decks.
“I love the challenge of getting a tank around London, taking people out on tanks and seeing the fun they are having doing this.
“It’s the same when instructing on our experience days when customers drive the tanks, they have so much fun and the fact you have facilitated that, it makes the noise, fumes, bumps and weather worthwhile.”
TankNutDave wrote the biggest online military vehicle encyclopaedia in the world and has worked as an instructor for the army and commander for Tanks Alot who own the tank.