Weekender // Guy in a tank on the telly

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A five-month project to resurrect a World War One British Mark IV tank is interesting enough, but throw in motorcycle racer and truck mechanic Guy Martin, and his genuine affliction for design and engineering elevates any programme.

Much of the work was performed by JCB for the authentic reproduction of the 30-tonne tank, built from scratch, the process began with CAD data drawn up by a hobbyist modeller, before JCB designers upgraded the model and used cutting-edge manufacturing techniques to recreate the chassis of the historic machine in just 8 weeks.

The completed chassis was transported to Norfolk tank museum, near Norwich, where the remainder of the project took place.
Two ‘sponsons’ – projections extending from the side of the machine – along with a roof section and other parts, also manufactured at JCB, were lifted into place before a restored six-cylinder Rolls Royce engine, tractor gearbox, tractor axles and excavator tracks were fitted.

The huge team effort ensured the tank was operational and on display in Cambrai, Northern France on Armistice Day on 11 November. Watch a clip below and the full program on Sunday, 8pm, on Channel 4.


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