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Tank Town USA

Photographer: Erik S. Lesser


After months away from his home as an engineer aboard merchant marine ships, Todd Liebross decided to change careers so he could witness his children growing up. He opened Tank Town USA in April 2013 in the small north Georgia town of Morganton after three years of planning and a life-long hobby of collecting surplus military vehicles.


On five acres of land, thrill seekers can now drive a British armored personnel carrier across the Georgia red clay, including the opportunity to crush a junked car. Liebross, 38, has imported four British FV-432 APCs and is working to obtain a Russian T-55 main battle tank.


For the price of 499 US dollars, a customer can crush a car with the 15-ton treaded vehicles and drive around for 20 minutes. Customers who don’t care to spend that much, can operate an APC for 50 US dollars for 10 minutes of fun. Additionally, folks can choose to operate an excavator or bulldozer.


Liebross reports that business has been brisk, with many of the customers coming from the Atlanta area.


Lori Lockman of Powder Springs, Georgia, was surprised by her husband Jeff, with a car crushing party for her 50th birthday. Lockman said while driving a Zamboni ice resurfacer is on her bucket list, driving a tank was not. "I did not see this coming at all," Lockman said.


"I have to say it was an absolute hoot," Lockman said. "Car crushing was the best part. It was bit scary at first to roll over it. But the crunchy sound it makes—and that back windshield blowing out-were incredible. I also loved the fact that I was able to keep my hat on the whole time—just like the Queen would have done."