M47 will be back

The Tank Museum has launched a £50,000 fundraising campaign to revive Arnold Schwarzenegger’s favourite vehicle, the M47 Patton tank.

Developed by the Americans during the early years of the Cold War, the Museum’s M47 was acquired in 1987 after nearly ending up as a range target.

It has sat in storage ever since and has never been on public display.

“The M47 is the only one of its type in the Museum’s collection, and we are thrilled to work in partnership with Matthew Pyle to restore it to running order,” said Head of Collections Chris van Schaardenburgh.

“Matthew has successfully restored a M47 before, and visitors can see his M47 as a guest in the TANKFEST arena this weekend.”

The M47 saw combat in the hands of many nations, including Pakistan against India in the 1965 war. Their last active service was during the Croation War of Independence in the 1990s.

After serving in the M47 in the Austrian military, Arnold Schwarzenegger purchased the tank he crewed and shipped it over to the US. The Museum’s M47 spent its service life with the Italian Army, who had over 2,500.

“This restoration will enable the Museum to add a missing piece to the story of Cold War tank development,” Chris adds.

The M47 ready for restoration.
The M47 ready for restoration.

In the 1990s, Museum volunteers began returning it to running condition. However, with more pressing collection priorities, the M47 project was sadly abandoned.

With the success of the restoration of the FV4005, using donations from the Museum’s supporters, restarting this project is finally a possibility.

Donors will get special perks, including exclusive access to the vehicles and their names printed on the turret.

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