Hello everyone, now this is an interesting story I ran into on US forums. You know, some girls like shoes. Others like fast cars. Lee Cato (playing under the nicknamename Yorktown on EU and US servers) likes tanks. And what do you do when you like tanks? Of course: you buy one. Well, it’s not REALLY a tank, it’s a Czech-made OT-90, but still, seeing this rolling around your hometown is probably a damn impressive sight. A short video first: Now, seeing she was actually answering some questions in that respective thread, I decided to ask her a couple of questions and publish them with her permission. Here goes: Hey there! Tell the readers a bit about yourself, please My name is Lee Cato and I’m a 19 year old girl from South Carolina. I’m a digital artist and published author. I wrote my first book about the concept of living or alive vehicles and machines at age fifteen and never stopped writing from there. All eight of my books so far are about living machines. From doing this I have gotten recognized by a few local military bases, the Blue Angels and have gotten some of my artwork featured in Space Shuttle Discovery’s hangar. I really support the United States Armed Forces and currently have over 500 volunteer hours with the DoD STARBASE program. I hope to restore vehicles, specializing in military armor for my career. I would love to work designing / creating and operating vehicles for movies and TV shows and hope to get into that in the future. When did you start liking tanks? Is there a story behind that? When I was a kid I always preferred playing with Hot Wheels as opposed to Barbie dolls. My interest started with cars, then planes and ships. My love for tanks started in early 2011 when my best friend started to create some tanks as living machines. I loved the way she designed then and it sparked the interest. I started to notice more and more army vehicles and hardware. On the 4th of July in 2011 I met a local group that was in the neighboring town’s annual 4th parade. The group collected military vehicles. Their mission was to preserve living history through their mobile museum. The major aspect of their group was trying to get students excited about the military, math and science to encourage them to stay in school. Because of them, I started collected military vehicles. What exactly is it that draws you to tanks? The mechanical aspect, history, warfare in general…? Being an artist I like vehicles based off their design and function. The automobiles I liked as a kid and still like to this day have always been semis and large heavy duty pickup trucks. Something about the large boxy and clunky appearance of these vehicles has always appealed to me more than the smooth streamlined look of sports cars. As soon as I started to look into tanks what caught my attention most was that they were tracked. I always like things that are a little different from the mainstream and that was certainly a noticeably different feature that added to the “chunkiness” of the vehicle. Normally once I see an interesting tank that I like I will look up the history on it and watch any documentaries that I can find. I’ve noticed a lot of people like certain tanks based on the armament. I like them based on how they look and function. Sure, a tank firing is cool (and being at the gunners seat and firing a blank is just AWESOME!) but I prefer seeing the technical aspects of the vehicle, what it looks like inside, how it operates and the performance of the vehicle before seeing a documentary of one rolling around on the battlefield. When and how did you actually get the idea to GET a tracked vehicle? I have always been interested in owning my own business as a kid. When I get a new interest the first thing I normally think about is what can I do with that interest. I try to put all my interest toward accomplishing something. When my interest with aircraft was in full swing I noticed there were a few F-16 parts for sale on Ebay, that got me wondering if such aircraft were for sale. I looked and just as I thought they weren’t but a few older planes were. The thought of owning a vehicle I was interested in stuck around in my mind when I started to get interested in tanks. I instantly found out about private tank owners in early 2011 and knew I wanted to get one someday. After I got the chance to sit at the controls of a British Abbot I was hooked. I knew I had to own one then! What is it like, purchasing a tracked vehicle in the USA? Need a lot of permits? Surprisingly there are no permits or special requirements other than having the space to operate and work on the vehicle. I’m sure if you wanted to store one in your garage at a city home you’d have to check with the local authorities to make sure it’s legal to own a large vehicle within city limits. However, there is nothing illegal about owning a tank. That being said there are some minor requirements such as having it de-miled to US requirements. If you wanted a vehicle with a functional cannon (Good luck finding one.) As far as I know it is legal after numerous forms, checks and requirements. However, being my OT-90 is de-miled I didn’t have to deal with that nor did I want to. The only other document in the US that could be required is registration if my OT-90 were road legal …which mine isn’t. Overall I think the OT-90 is too wide to make road legal. A smaller tracked vehicle, as long as you have rubber treads, mirrors and signals I’m pretty sure you can make it road legal. There is no special license as far as I know. In the UK when private tank ownership is a lot more common you’d need a H license to drive tracked vehicles on the roads. You chose a foreign vehicle, why? What is the story behind the Czech republic thing? Why not something from the US mainland? I happened to get lucky in finding a OT-90 for a reasonable price in the USA. I originally started looking overseas because since there are so much more vehicles over there the price of course is a lot more affordable. What you can buy here is Continue reading →

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