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Unique German WW I tank restoration

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Hi everyone,


1918 just before the war ended the LK II light tank was built in Germany. In 1921, 10 of these tanks were smuggled to Sweden as agricultural tractors.

Trials began in 1921 and these trials was probably the reason why Sweden had a successful tank industry in Landsverk in late 1920's and 1930's.

In 1929, 5 of the tanks were upgraded with a more powerful (85 hp) Scania engine and new gearbox.

Out of the 10 tanks only 4 remain, one original and complete with Benz engine - at Arsenalen Tank Museum outside Stockholm. One upgraded but empty tank in Munster (Gift from Sweden in 1992) and another two upgraded but not complete tanks in Arsenalen storage.

16 years ago I had the idea to restore one of these tanks into running condition, everyone thought I was a lunatic, but we started. Because the local regiment was closed and a new tank museum project came up, the project was put on hold for some time.

In 2013 we decided to start up again and after 3 1/2 years we passed a milestone last night when the engine, gearbox, steering and final drive was running for the first time in 80 years.

Next step is to put the tracks together, we are waiting for new pins, and with tracks on we can try the tank without the upper structure. Final step is to put the upper structure on the tank and we hope it will be running for the first time during the summer.

Next year the tank will celebrate 100 years.


On Arsenalen facebook there is a film from monday evening when everything was running.




There is a blog where you can read about the project:



We will give you update later on.


Stefan Karlsson, Director

Swedish Tank Museum

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I'll add my voice to the "Well Done" chorus. Looks like this is being done very thoughtfully and carefully. I love it when a museum undertakes more than just a cosmetic restoration and makes the extra effort to create a living display. No doubt you have volunteers deeply involved and to those people, another big salute!

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  • 11 months later...

Here is an update of the project.

The oldest running German tank in the world! Made in 1918, imported to Sweden in 1921 and taken out of service in early 1930's.

New bolts and bushings have been fitted to the tracklinks, a job that took some time.

When everything was in place we performed a series of test drive, to check that everything is working as it should. Adjustements has been made, instruments connected etc.

The second test drive was performed last Saturday and everything worked fine. Steering is clutch-brake system, original 1918. Everything is original 1918 apart from engine, gearbox, fuel tank and radiator that was installed in 1929 when 5 of the 10 tanks were upgraded. 

Now we will start the work to put the upper body on to the chassis and the plan is to have the tank ready for display early this summer.

There are some films on the Swedish Tank Museum facebook page, please have a look and feel free to comment on the facebook page. We are trying to get more likes on the site so the more comments the better.

Stefan Karlsson, Museum Director


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  • 3 months later...

Latest update.

Almost there. The last month a lot of work has been done to complete the tank. The upper body has been liften on and test drive with the complete vehicle has been done before the final adjustments are made.

A short film from testdrive a few days ago, more will come on the museum facebook page, so please follow to get the latest news. The tank will soon be ready for diplay in the Musuem.




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1 hour ago, Tapper02 said:

Great work guys.  Those cooling fans are crazy...they look more like propellers than fan blades.  Interesting to see old technology like that and how engineering has progressed.


Of course the propellers that used to be on the front of aeroplanes have given way to big ducted fans on the front of modern jet engines.


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Bit off topic, but a wonderful story that when the US were testing thier first jets, the test pilot used to wear a gorrila mask, a bowler hat and smoke a cigar, so that if any traniee  pilots from the local air station reported a plane with no propeller, piloted by a Gorilla , wearing a Bowler hat and smoking a cigar. The chances are they wouldn't be belived? 🍌👀

Edited by Tony B
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This week the tank was shown to the press and VIP for the first time and it was the longest drive the tank has done in 80 years, aprox 300 meters.

The tank will now be on display in the museum during the summer and it will be taken out for a spin (a slow spin) 2nd of September and during a special day 18th of August.
More info on the 18th of August will follow on the webpage as soon as the details are set.


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