A dedicated Vietnamese father reportedly spent months and invested tens of thousands of dollars to convert an old van into a French model wooden tank for his son.
Truong Van Dao, a 31-year-old carpenter from Bac Ninh Province, east of Hanoi, and his two colleagues reportedly spent three months converting an old, unused 16-seater minibus into a French EBR105 model, complete with its 2.8-meter-long (9.1-foot-long) replica canon, according to the AFP news agency.
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Dao explained he took out most of the van’s parts but retained its main engine and the minibus floor, while rearranging the inside to fit all the gears needed for the wooden tank. The total makeover reportedly cost him $11,000.
Dao said the only problem he and his colleagues encountered when building the vehicle was not the ornate wood but ensuring all the wheels moved simultaneously. As a result, the finished product can only reach a speed of 25 kilometers (16 miles) per hour, as any faster than that would result in problems with the cables connecting the wheels.
The carpenter and his son now take the wooden tank out for a spin in their neighborhood every weekend, as he says his son enjoys riding the converted van.
“My son and me [sic] find it more fun riding the tank, which has nothing to do with weapons nor war,” Dao told AFP. “I only considered it as a normal car, renovated it into a tank to make it more interesting.”
He added, “I was thinking that if all the tanks in the world were the same as my tank, there would be no harm. Just fun.”