Drive a Tank, Crush a Car, at Minn. Firm

By Jennifer Abbey

Jul 2, 2012 11:35am
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                                                                                                                          (driveatank.com)

What better way to release a little frustration than by driving a war tank over a car? For those looking to let out their inner Rambo, you might want to head to Minnesota.

Drive-A-Tank in Kasota, Minn., gives customers the opportunity to drive old Cold-War tanks around a 20-acre wooded course and shoot historic military machine guns. And for an additional fee, drivers can crush a car and even drive through a trailer home.

“It was awesome. I mean, controlling that machine, it’s incredible,” customer Jacob Ostling told the Associated Press after his drive.

Drive-A-Tank opened three years ago after owner Tony Borglum saw a similar experience in England. He now has almost a dozen tanks and is currently the only attraction still operating that offers this opportunity.

“It’s the only place in the world where you can drive tanks and shoot machine guns that isn’t owned by the government,” Borglum told ABCNews.com.

The four-to-five hour experience includes an in-depth safety presentation, history about the vehicles, the tank drive and the firing of machine guns in an indoor shooting range. Each customer drives a tank with an open hatch and for an additional cost, drivers can pilot a tank in a “combat style” situation in which the hatch is closed.

“It’s very noisy. Lot of vibration. Kind of warm but not uncomfortable. Took a little getting used to the maneuverability, but it’s just … a blast,” customer Marvin Bourne told the AP.

Drive-A-Tank has not had any accidents and insists they are safe. An instructor accompanies each driver and the tanks include a “kill switch.”  Patrons must be at least 8 years old to be on the property and drivers must be tall enough to reach the pedals and see out of the hatch.

There are several options for the Drive-A-Tank experience. The basic package, which costs $399, includes driving one tank with an open hatch and the opportunity to shoot one machine gun. For $549, drivers can navigate two different tanks and shoot three machine guns. For an additional $549, you can drive a tank over a car and for $749, you can smash two cars. And for the extra adventurous, customers can drive a tank through a trailer home for $3,500.

Drive-A-Tank operates from April to October and has been “extra busy,” Borglum, 25, said. They see all types of customers from war veterans to bachelorette parties. Many of their customers come from out of state and even out of the country.

“It’s not real complicated,” Borglum said. “If you want to drive a tank and shoot machine guns you come to us.”

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