1959 M56 tank destroyer

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For sale: 1959 M56 tank destroyer

By Robert Imrie - The Associated Press
Posted : Monday Oct 20, 2008 6:24:30 EDT

WAUSAU, Wis. — One can buy just about anything on the Internet — even a 1959 U.S. Army M56 tank destroyer once used in Vietnam.

Ken Meyer, a retired deputy sheriff in northeast Wisconsin, has one for sale on Craigslist for $7,500.

“I have had a lot of track kickers, like tire kickers,” he said. “But so far it is still here. Some guy offered me $4,000, which I turned down. I am new to Craigslist.”

Craigslist, headquartered in San Francisco, is a central network of online communities, featuring free classified ads.

Meyer’s M56 — nicknamed the Scorpion — has been parked on his property near Sturgeon Bay for about a decade, waiting for a new engine, a paint job and some other repairs. Some of Meyer’s other projects are taking a higher priority so he decided to sell the tank destroyer on Craigslist’s Green Bay page.

It’s far from a weapon of war anymore.

A 90mm gun was removed before the government sold it as surplus years ago, Meyer said. Meyer, 63, remodeled a street light post and installed it on the tank as a “replica” gun. It’s harmless.

“It’s a propane firing device. It makes noise only, like an orchard cannon,” the collector said.

As for how can a tank destroyer be sold like a sofa, car or refrigerator in an era of terrorist attacks and other security worries, Meyer just laughed.

“None of this stuff is tactical,” he said. “This technology was obsolete back in the olden days. If you wanted a real assault vehicle, you would be much further off getting a D-8 Caterpillar and welding a steel box on it.”

A D-8 Caterpillar is a construction bulldozer.

An email sent to Craigslist’s media office for comment was not answered.

There’s plenty of World War II tanks for sale, but they are not cheap, costing upward of $50,000, Meyer said.

His all-aluminum tank destroyer — really a self-propelled artillery cannon designed to accompany Army airborne troops — served in Vietnam in the 1960s, he said. It took four soldiers to operate at speeds of up to 38 mph.

“It was made to shoot up tanks. It’s a big gun on a little-track vehicle. There’s no armor on this at all,” Meyer said.

His Scorpion’s last military duty was on a Navy range for towing targets, he said.

The motor quit and then the tank got sold as surplus property, Meyer said. “The gun was taken off long before that. Whatever happened to that, I have no idea.”

A military museum ended up with the machine, and Meyer got it about a decade ago when he traded a World War II halftrack he had fixed up for it.

The M56 has sat is his 12-acre yard ever since.

“A nice lawn ornament,” joked Meyer, a jack-of-all-trades-kind of man who also owns a full-sized wooded railroad caboose built in 1896. He got that on eBay from a seller in Michigan.

Meyer began collecting military vehicles years ago, his first a 1943 M5-A1 tank that he bought from a junkyard in Michigan, fixed up and donated to a museum — a $50,000 gift.

“That was a real World War II tank,” he said. “I have been trading, buying, selling for a few years now.”

Meyer owns about a dozen military vehicles — but only the one tank destroyer. (The military had 226 M56 vehicles built before production ceased, Meyer said).

Craigslist has had Meyer’s tank destroyer for sale for about a month.

“If I were really, really serious about selling that thing, I would advertise it in one of the various military magazines,” he said. “I put it out to the general public and didn’t really expect to sell it. If it sells, I will be kind of surprised.”

His Craigslist ad offers an idea to a potential buyer: “Pop in a Chevy small block (engine) to the GM Allison transmission and have the BADDEST ride in town!”
 

maddawg308

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Notice the liberal better-than-thou attitude of the article? "Oh, how can people own such things in this era of terrorism? Maybe we should write a letter to Craigslist and get them to kick it off, or alert the authorities. Waaaaaa! My pee-pee hurts!" Bunch of whiney losers.

Wish the ad had pictures of it. And wish I had $7,500.
 

2deuce

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He put it on craigslist to sell, the rest is BS. He would be surprised if it sold because its really not worth $7500. I believe he started out asking $5500 and couldn't get that so he raised the price. He will probably end up wishing he took that 4k, IMHO. The condesending tone of that article stinks.
 

atankersdad

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The liberals in my neighborhood think my sons and I have lost it as well. They look at the trucks ( 3 M35A2's) and ask what we do with them. The standard reply is "anything we want". When they ask why I want it, I reply that we are practicing so one day can wil drive the really, really big trucks, and tracked vehicles. Next question is what mileage does it get. I tell then its better than a Preius, since I burn WMO, its free, which is also is saving the planet. Told them that these are the original GREEN vehicles (and that is why they are painted green) used at Earth Day, many mooms ago. Now thesy are really confused! Took two for a ride, who loved it, but had to swear not to let their wives know the loved it or rode in it. Moral of the story, I want a tank!!!
 

Austringer

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It's not a tank nor is it armored, it's like calling a Weasel an APC, wrong. Don't get me wrong, it's a cool as hell little shoot and scoot vehicle, would love to restore one!
 
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