New Arrivals and Restorations

Tank News at the Museum

30th June 2017

Recently The Tank Museum received a T34/76 from Finland and welcomed two vehicles back in to the collection, following restoration.

T34/76

This T34/76 Soviet tank has been lent to The Tank Museum by The Finnish Military Museum, Sotamuseo.

T34-76Finland fought the Soviet Union during the winter of 1939-40 before reaching a peace settlement in March. With the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Finland resumed hostilities with the Soviet Union in an attempt to win back lost territory.  

This particular T34/76 tank was captured from Soviet forces on October the 2nd 1941 near the Svir power plant by Sgt Lauri Heino. The tank was put into Finnish service and was attached to the heavy armoured tank platoon and received the number ‘R 105.’ It participated in battles in the Karhumäki - Poventsa area, often spearheading attacks and destroyed several enemy tanks and artillery pieces. The tank also spent two months under water after the Soviets blew up a damn in Poventsa, but it was recovered and returned to service – only to be withdrawn in the summer of 1944 with axle problems.

After the war, the tank was used for training until 1955 and entered the Finnish Museum collection in 1980. The Tank Museum is very grateful to have such a historic and important tank on loan from the Finnish authorities.

See the T34/76's arrival.

The Daimler Armoured Car and Vickers Light Mark IV Restoration

Daimler restoredAs well as restoring vehicles at The Tank Museum itself, they are occasionally sent away to external companies. Both the Daimler Armoured Car and Light Tank Mark IV were beautifully restored and brought back to run at TANKFEST 2017.

The Daimler Armoured Car was taken care of by Martyn and Michaela Tasker who gave the vehicle a full inspection and subsequent overhaul. Inevitably as the overhaul went on the team found more areas that needed inspection than initially anticipated. A number of discoveries were made and documented throughout the process, including original paint samples and previously unknown stress fractures in the turret. By the end of the project the vehicle had been re-wired, the engine and gearbox rebuilt, and the turret and hull repaired.

Vickers Light Tank Mark IVThe Light Mark IV has been in the Museum for the last 30–40 years without turning a wheel and is the only surviving example. It has been restored by Armoured Engineering in Kent, who also rectified some oil leaks in the engine the Stuart M3A1 prior to TANKFEST. 

They have done a complete restoration from the ground up, including repainting the interior and exterior, making a new front curved guard, and replacing the bearings, seals, axles and wings. There have been a few lucky discoveries, for example after thinking none of the original paint existed to use as a reference, a patch was found under a box in the turret. This demonstrates the level of exactitude required and the challenges of restoring a historic vehicle.

Find out more about the Vickers Restoration from The Tank Museum's video.