Strangest Vehicle Serviced in 2013
Strange vehicles are intriguing for many reasons. Some are rare and odd looking. Some are painted bright colors or perhaps old and iconic. While all of these characteristics grab your attention, the best thing about strange vehicles is the stories that frequently accompany them. When operators have an odd vehicle roll into their shops, they get to hear the stories behind the eccentric sets of wheels. This month we decided to include our readers in the storytelling by choosing the strangest vehicle serviced in 2013.
Occasionally, a vehicle so unique runs across my desk that it leaves me wishing it could do the talking. Recently, NOLN received a photo of a vehicle that had me thinking just that. A 1960 Saladin Alvis tank was submitted for our “Customer Rides” section. The tank pictured is massive, painted in the iconic green military camouflage and equipped with a turret and gun. In addition to publishing the photo in the magazine and online, I had to get the scoop on this tank.
There are only two known 1960 Saladin Alvis tanks still running in the United States. When one of them rumbled into Pit Stop Xpress in Hurst, Texas, owner Andy Dodson was in awe of the massive military vehicle. Dodson said besides being amazed by the unique vehicle pulling up to his garage doors, he wondered if the floor of his bay would support the weight of the armored machine. “We only backed it into the bay half way. The motor is in the back, so we drained the oil and serviced the machine without having its full weight on the garage floor,” Dodson said.
The owner, Sandra Allen, is from Colleyville, Texas, and she brought in her own oil. “The vehicle shouldn’t have to be serviced very often because it has minimal miles put on it at a time. It has only been into Pit Stop Xpress once. At around two miles per gallon and a top speed of 45 mph, the tank’s single, eight-cylinder, Rolls-Royce engine drinks gasoline,” Dodson said. The tanks were first built post-World War II by Britain. However, the vehicles were not formally put into service until 1958. The tank was designed to hold a crew of three. The crew included a driver, gunner and commander. “Squeezing three people in is a tight fit. If you are a larger person, you’ll have a difficult time for sure,” Dodson told us. “All the systems seemed to be working. I think the owner had done some work and ordered parts on Ebay.”