Tired of watching NASCAR from the couch? Instead of just watching other guys have fun, check out the top extreme driving opportunities in the world. If it has wheels or tracks there is somewhere in the world you can drive it. From armored BMWs to Monster Trucks and racecars, get behind the wheel and feel the thrill.
Roll a Soviet Tank Over a Burning RV
One of the benefits of the collapse of the Iron Curtin is the proliferation of excess military hardware now in private hands. Now loose guns and artillery hardly makes the world a better place, but the right tanks in the right hands can equal serious fun. Now you no longer have to join the Russian Army to drive aT55 Bergepanzer tank.
The T-55 was designed as a main battle tank in the Soviet Union. Early versions entered service in 1947 just after the end of WWII. They were the main battle tank in Warsaw Pact countries and while never used in Europe in battles T-55s have been used in other conflicts around the world. The T-54/55 serieseventually became the most-produced tank in history with estimated production numbers for the series ranging from 86,000 to 100,000.
The T-55 is distinguished as being easy to drive requiring little training so aGerman company has created "theultimateboys playground" inBrandenburg, Germany. They promote tank driving for birthdays, weddings, gifts and just sport. While they advertise the fun for men, reportedly up to 40% of customers are female.
ThePanzer Fun Driving Schoolday starts with driving and safety lessons,thenstudents are let loose on an unrestricted course. Drive through streams,recreationalvehicles, steep hills and burning walls. Fulfill every man's rush hourdesireto just drive over a small car that is in your path for an extra fee.
Tank school owner Axel Heyse, 49, started with an old Soviet T-55 battle tank he renovated with his brother in 2002. The business has grown to some 13 tanks and a dozen employees.
Tank driving experiences in Germany start at just 136 Euros. Bring the kids along for a tank ride for only 10 Euros a head. This seems like a real bargain for the chance to run stuff over with your own Soviet battle tank!
Drive a NASCAR at 170 MPH
Several top NASCAR drivers have founded or lent their names to fantasyrace car driving schools.Dale Jarrett's Racing School moves from city to city across the USA offering driving packages from just $195 for 4 laps in a racecar to $3,695 for a full 80 laps of speed.
Unlike regular cars, stockcar interiors are built for specific drivers by size of driver. The school buysgenuine Sprint/Nationwide series racecars from various drivers includingMark Martin, Michael Waltrip, Carl Edwards, and Bobby Labonteso that they can accommodate various sizes of novicedrivers. Up to 8 cars are on the track at once and you can go head to head with your buddies if you like.
If "you feel the need, the need for speed" zoom down to a big city race track near you and put your pedal to the metal. Speeds up to 170 miles an hour depending on your skill and track conditions. Drivers are fully in control of the car but an instructor rides along for advice and safety. If you are 19 years old and have the cash, you can play with the stock cars. No drivers license or insurance is required - great for drivers who lost their street license for speeding. If you wreck the stock car, the company pays to fix it.
Spend Three Days Living the Monster Truck Life
If you are headed to Ontario, check outKevin Lubsen's Bucking Bronco Monster Truck Boot Camp. Spend three days building, fixing, riding in and ultimately driving a truck with 5 ft 6 inch wheels that maybe taller than your girlfriend! Lubsen is getting a lot of extra attention after being featured on the CBC's Dragon Den investment show, so you may need to get in line for your boot camp spot.
To drive a real monster truck, you must be at least 16 years old and sign a waiver. For the$2495.00 per person price tag you get a crew tee-shirt, BBQ lunch, real dirty, and the chance to drive over and crush your very own car. Be careful where you park!
Driving Miss Daisy...
No longer do you need to join the secret service or become a drug dealer to drive an armored car. Adding 3 times the weight of a car in armor, bullet proof glass and frame reinforcing makes a heavily armored car a lot harder to maneuver. Stopping distance is much longer and the center of gravity is elevated. If there were no threats to worry about there would be no need for armored cars, so if you need an armored car you need to understand how to deal with external threats.
There are many suppliers of armored cars in the world, but when you buy an armored car from BMW they throw in a specialized driving course with your shiny new vehicle in Germany. Bullet proof ain't worth much if you don't know how to use the car properly.
Driving a high security vehicle is much more than how to hit the gas or close the windows to protect the occupants. At the High Security Driving School BMW teaches situational awareness and best practices to protect VIPs. Anticipating a threat gives you more time and more options to create a response. Therefore they use staged roadblocks, fake accidents, and unexpected explosions to train drivers in how to handle the unexpected.
While officially the course comes with the purchase of an armored BMW, if you have the right connections and some hard cash alternate admittanceto the BMW High Security Driving Course might be arranged. Don't expect training for a peaceful Sunday drive though.
More on driving lessons in Bromley here