Prominent Houston lawyer has purchased a functioning World War II tank and parked it in front of his multi-million dollar house.
Tony Buzbee bought the tank from a closing French military museum for over $600,000. He waited a year for its delivery, he told Law.com.
Now the M4 Sherman sits on the River Oaks Boulevard.
“This particular tank landed in Normandy on D[-day] plus four, liberated Paris and ultimately went all the way to Berlin,” Buzbee told KHOU. “This is a piece of American history. But for this type of vehicle we would not have won the war.”
His grandfather was an infantryman who landed in Normandy. Buzbee himself is a former marine deployed in the Persian Gulf and Somalia, he told Fox 26.
However, the local homeowners association, the River Oaks Property Owners, had some objections.
“As it is parked on a city street, it impedes traffic and poses a safety hazard,” it wrote in a letter to Buzbee.
But he said the tank doesn’t break any rules.
“It’s not violating any ordinance but for some reason it makes the homeowners association board uncomfortable,” he said with a chuckle.
The association also wrote that the tank causes “serious concerns for neighbors.” The KHOU crew spoke to some locals, but none of them expressed such concerns.
“I wish it was permanent,” one man said. “I think it’s an asset. I think, if you watch the cars, everyone slows down and says, ‘wow, that’s America.’”
Buzbee wasn’t too concerned about the letter.
“I guess they can ticket it. I guess they can try to tow it. But the truth is, until I decide to move it, it ain’t going anywhere,” he said.
He plans to move the tank in about two weeks. Its final destination will be Buzbee’s east Texas ranch where he intends to play around with it, “blow things up and run over things,” he said.
The tank can’t fire shells anymore, but Buzbee plans to strap a machine gun to it. He also purchased some junk vehicles to run over, Law.com reported.
For the time being, the tank is playing a more conventional museum role being photographed by passers-by and climbed by local kids.
“And that’s cool,” Buzbee said. “It reminds people what we’re all about; what our history is about.”