A few years ago I found two Centurion in a little township (very little, three houses and a hotel)
My information at that time was that they were purchased about 1980 and had sat in this yard since then. Only one was a runner I believe, 169069 which was commanded in Vietnam buy Lt. Mick Butler and my close friend Rusty Dyson was the driver
The second tank was 169042 which had a seized motor. This tank was owned by Don McInnis from SA. Both tanks were in very complete condition. Don McInnis was very helpful and gave me permission to climb all over his tank and take photos. The owner of 169069 was a chap that wanted his privacy and so I have never met him.
Last week Rusty mentioned that he may call in before Christmas and expressed a desire to see his old tank. Phone calls to Don and we now have permission to contact the owner, Ian Parker to arrange a visit.
Moliagul is a place you can miss if you sneeze at the right time, so it was a surprise to have Rusty send me an internet site that had a page that featured Moliagul.
Unfortunately the Centurions have now gone. Don has taken his to his property in SA where he hopes to shed and restore it.
Ian has also moved his to another property.
More to come later when we visit 169069--a veteran of Balmoral and many other actions in Vietnam, later this year.
Last time I saw 169039, a few years ago, it was sitting in a shed on Vince Ryan's property near Holbrook NSW waiting to be sold. It appeared to be used as a tow tank at that time and had rubber dust guards fitted.
Then I heard from Jonathon Lary - Neary in New Zealand. Jonathon has brought 169039 and is using her in a project he has set up. He has the Centurion MBT and a Saracen from Australia. Also in his stables are an Indian Army Jeep, and two Ferrets, a FV701J and a FV704. He also has a fully tracked FV 432 Mk2 APC and also a FV436 Mk2/1 Cymbeline Radar Carrier. Then there is a Land Rover 101FC Ambulance and from the Swedish Army a BV206 High Mobility Tracked Carrier So we can see that Jonathon has a very good collection of units all running well and looking good, which in itself is no mean feat!
169039 leaving Australia
Jonathon with his pride and joy on the N.Z. Docks, just been unloaded.
Has she got any fuel? At today's prices she could be dry!
Lets fire her up
We will just back her onto the low loader
Lets tie her down and be on our way to a new home.
At home for her first run and going very well indeed
What a nice way to pass some time
This is called the pointy end and well justified
Climbing up is a great feeling ---- and so is coming down.
A happy crew, well who would not be, a good running Centurion and plenty of room and some climbs as well---what more could you ask for!
Jonathon appears to have a large area to play in.
The lady is Jacqui and is having her first DRIVE in a Centurion. I do not know of another lady driving one, many have ridden on a Cent but I never heard of another driving one!
Jacqui receiving some pointers
And she is not sitting in second either
One very happy lady, I know some men that have declined to drive a Cent---- Let alone do it well!
Jacqui with a couple of old Sherman drivers from WW2
Time to crush a car. Lets line her up.
Jonathon runs tours for people who don't have an interest (or the budget) to actually drive the vehicles - they do guided tours explaining the history and details of the vehicles, rides in the APC's and the tank car crush as the finale each day.
This to my mind is a great idea as many people would be interested in a look and talk, but would never turn up if it was a drive only setup.
Looks like the Cent will again win this one.
One very flat car
Sorry about that Mate! I do have the right of way---always!
Yep, very flat!
The tour crowd being instructed in the Centurion MBT
Instructions on the Ferret
They all look like they are enjoying the experience---a ride in the 432
Ferrets and 432,s getting ready
Some of the fleet
The Saracen having a First Parade Check.
The Indian Jeep with winch
A wave from the crew---poor bloody gunner is still stuck to his brow pad inside
The APC's being delivered
Some driving instructions with the 432
Again it's the ladies climbing aboard
And she drives it as well ----- good effort.
And away she goes! There seem to be a strong female influence in the driver courses!
The 101 Ambulance, ready to move off. Maybe not the place to put this photo as the ladies did not have any need for it, but it had to go somewhere.
Part of the day is a question time after the instruction period, the winners have a ride in the Centurion--in this case two kids won and are here climbing up for their free ride
Settle them in place
And off they go for the ride of their life
What a nice way to end a day
If you are ever in N.Z. and want to have a look or drive contact
Please give plenty of notice !!!!
My sincere thanks to Jonathon Lary - Neary for the information and photos
as I have said before -- without peoples input and photos this site would have stopped long ago
Sorry but I could not resist these
OK Sir, I have got it now---that button is high reverse
9 ---- This is 3------ I am at your location now ------but I cannot see you----over