Help us get the M47 running

Help us get the M47 running in time for TANKFEST 2025.

Almost every home or garage hides a dark secret. The abandoned project, enthusiastically initiated with the best of intentions, until other things got in the way and it turned out to be a much bigger job than first expected. This is ours – the M47.

It’s never been on public display before. It spent its service life with the Italian Army from whom it was acquired 1987 – having nearly ended up as a range target. But it was saved – and not long later, museum volunteers took up the task of returning it to running condition. But that was nearly 30 years ago.

In that time The Tank Museum’s volunteers have helped restore numerous historic tanks, swelling The Tank Museum’s running collection for our enjoyment at events like TANKFEST. With all that work to do, the M47 project dropped further down the to-do list, and it has sat here waiting ever since. But with your help, we can change that.

Fundraising Progress

A custom progress meter
9820 out of £50,000 raised
black and white photograph of tank
A historic image of an American M47.
Colour photograph of a green tank with buildings in the background. The gun is slightly pointing down and Lulworth 1 is painted on the turret in white.
The M47 arriving at The Tank Museum in the 1980s.
Colour photograph of a rusty tank in a shed.
The M47 in its current condition.

M47 History

The US built M47 probably isn’t the most interesting tank in history- but its still an important part of the Cold War story. It was the second of the three “Patton” tanks, rushed into production at the outbreak of the Korean war in 1950. It featured an M46 hull with an improved turret mounting a more powerful 90mm gun, but it never saw action with US forces – and was quickly superseded by the M48.

Large numbers were supplied to US Allies around the world – seeing combat service with Pakistan, Jordan, Türkiye, Croatia, and Iran amongst others. Among European nations, with almost 2,500 – of which this was one – Italy received the largest number.

The Restoration Project

A fully functioning M47 will be a great addition to our selection of running Cold War – and because its complete we know it’s a viable project. This project will involve a full system overhaul, new engine, and cosmetic restoration. To get it ready to run, we need to raise £50,000.

We’ve got the best man for the job to do the restoration. We’re partnering with engineer Matthew Pyle, who has recently completed his own M47 restoration project, which ran at TANKFEST 2024.

What do you get for your donation?

£10 Donation

Thank you on social media, project updates & name on Funders webpage.

£25 Donation

All £10 perks PLUS Q&A with the restoration team, Matthew Pyle.

£50 Donation

All £25 perks PLUS your name on the turret of the vehicle.

£100 Donation

All £50 perks PLUS special access to M47 at TANKFEST 2025.

What do I do if I want a different name on the turret/certificate? 

All £50+ tiers will be asked prior to installation what name they would like on the turret.

 

Does my donation include entry to the Museum or TANKFEST? 

No, if you would like to come and see the M47 at TANKFEST, you will need to purchase a ticket separately HERE.

 

When is TANKEST?

27-29 June 2025.

 

I want to give this as a gift, will I receive something physical in the post? 

While you will get a certificate for a £50+ donation, this won’t be until later in the project. If you want something to accompany the donation with can be unwrapped on Christmas Day, we recommend some merch from our online shop HERE.

The proceeds from this fundraising appeal will fund the M47 project and costs associated with it. The project will include the purchase of a replacement engine and its restoration to running condition, the conservation of the turret and main gun and a cosmetic restoration of both items. Project costs include labour and the return transportation of the vehicle from The Tank Museum to Matthew Pyle, and subsequent return journeys. Should the £50,000 target be exceeded, additional funds will be used exclusively for the M47 project – unless there are no further costs to be met.
If the amount raised in excess of the total, project costs for the M47 then these excess funds will be used to support other maintenance and conservation projects being undertaken on museum vehicles in The Tank Museum Workshop.
Names on the turret of the M47 will be in place for at least 2 years from TANKFEST 2025.
Social media thanks and name on Funders webpage will be fulfilled within 30 days of donations being processed. 
Special access to the M47 at TANKFEST 2024 (27-29 June, times tbc) are dependent on the success of the project timelines, but alternative dates will be made available if the project is delayed.

M47 History

Learn all about the M47’s development and combat history.

Our M47

Find out about the Museum’s M47.

TANKFEST 2025

Secure your ticket to seeing the M47 in action.

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