Restoration of Old Army Tank Turns Up $2.5 Million in Gold

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Collecting old army tanks is an expensive hobby, but for Nick Mead it appears to have paid off. After finding an ex-Iraqi Army Type 69 tank on eBay, he opened it up to find that someone had left several solid gold bars inside. All together, the stash amounts to roughly $2.5 million.

Mead is a tank collector and owner of Tanks-A-Lot in the United Kingdom, a company that specializes in renting out armored vehicles for film shoots and recreations. According to Jalopnik, he was conducting a routine strip-down of his latest purchase when he came upon some machine gun ammo that someone left inside. He opened up the fuel tank expecting to find the guns that went with it, filming the process in case he needed to explain the discovery to the police. But instead of guns, he found gold—at least five bullion bars worth, weighing 12 pounds each.

The gold was likely looted by Iraqi soldiers during the invasion of Kuwait in 1990, Popular Mechanics reports, which means the forgotten riches had been sitting in the tank for decades. Mead had traded a pair of vehicles valued at $37,000 for the treasure-filled tank. The gold bars have since been turned over to authorities for analysis, but if Mead does get to keep them the trade will have been well worth the investment.

[h/t Jalopnik]