By Jill Bellefontaine
People sell all kinds of unusual stuff on Kijiji—but how often do you see a genuine, working, road-registered British Army tank for sale?
Stephen Philpitt of East Chezzetcook is asking $48,000 on Kijiji for his FV102 Striker, a high speed, high mobility, air portable, anti-tank missile launcher capable of engaging with enemy vehicles at distances of up to 4000m.
In an interview with the Cooperator, he explained his fascination with tanks, and how he came to buy and restore the Striker from the British Army, which was decommissioned and demilitarized in 1996.
“I was a little boy once too you know, and every little boy wants an army tank,” Philpitt said. My father was in the Canadian Army and would drive stuff like this on a regular basis, so I was around them quite a bit. I promised him if I ever had the chance to do something like this [own a massive armoured vehicle], I would do it.”
When the large armoured vehicle first arrived in Nova Scotia four years ago, Philpitt still had a lot to do before he could have his fun. “The engine worked, but not very well,” he said. “I had to do a lot of restoration work to it. The engine in it now is brand new (Jaguar J60) and it was shipped here right from the British Army.” Philpitt’s FV102 Striker is one of only two armored vehicles in Canada that is registered for the road.
Repairing and operating your own tank is expensive. “To have a hobby like this one you have to have an income stream to justify it,” Philpitt said. “So we did some movie production work with it, we filmed a commercial in Moncton, NB with it, and we opened the Atlantic Film Festival with it in 2015.”
You can see this massive Striker chasing Bubbles around on Season 9, Episode 8 of The Trailer Park Boys, as well you can find it on YouTube on Seacoast Automotive’s page. Philpitt believes there is a buyer out there somewhere with the same passion for tanks as his own.