A man and his tank

EAST TENNESSEE - Bill Arnett is a proud owner of a 1959 Saladin armored vehicle.

"I bought it for $35,000 ... and have put $300,000 in to restore it," said Arnett. The east Tennessee man purchased the tank surplus from its last assignment protecting the British Embassy in Hong Kong. Arnett is one of only a handful of private tank owners in the entire state. And it's all completely legal.

"Believe it or not, Tennessee has a category of vehicle called Tank," Arnett tells NewsChannel5 in Tenn.

The Saladin has two fully-operational 30-caliber guns and a 76-millimeter main gun. It can travel at speeds up to 45 miles per hour and it is fully street legal. But you won't want to drive far: it only gets 3-miles to the gallon.

Arnett said restoring the vehicle was a hobby. Now, he hopes to use it in parades and for educational purposes. If he can get the insurance he'd like to give children rides on it.

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Bill Arnett poses next to his 1959 Saladin armored vehicle. He's one of a small number of Americans to privately own a tank.
CBS News

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