The Weekly Advertiser Horsham
A growing collection
Horsham’s Rick Smith first became interested in military machinery as a child and as an adult, has been able to add life-size ‘toys’ to his collection.
Mr Smith spent about 10 years restoring a 1942 M3A1 Stuart tank, an American light tank used in the Second World War.
“The tank was sent over on a Lendlease program from America to Australia – or to British forces – but where it was going was invaded by the Japanese before it got there, so they dropped them off in Brisbane,” he said.
“It spent the rest of its life in Australia.
“I recovered it off a farm up at Rainbow about 15 years ago – it was half there – and set about restoring it over the years. “Everything works except the guns.” Mr Smith said he had showcased his tank at a Reserve Forces Day and Nhill Air Show and ‘three or four things around the place’.
He said he had always had an interest in military vehicles.
“I spent a bit of time in the Army Reserve, my brother was in Vietnam and Dad was in the Second World War,” he said.
“I always wanted to get a tank. When we moved out of town we had the room and I eventually found one. “You can’t have too many toys.” Mr Smith also discovered a 1944 Studebaker US6 truck on the same farm at Rainbow.
“That was a little bit further out in the desert than what the tank was,” he said.
“We spent a month going up there every weekend to get it going, because we couldn’t get anything in through the sand to get it out, so we had to get it going and drive it out.”
Mr Smith said he planned to make a few changes to his collection in the future and would eventually sell the tank and truck.
“I’m going to get a Bren Gun Carrier, which is a smaller open-topped tracked machine gun carrier,” he said.
“It’s just a bit easier to carry around and get in and out of.”