What’s better than having a working scale replica of a vehicle to drive around in? How about having two scale replicas? This lucky kid has both a Jeep and a Leopard 1A5 tank to play around with thanks to his dad. The Jeep is pretty cool and looks like it even has a winch, but the tank looks like it’s even funner to drive, as you’ll see how it can easily move over the snow and drive on ice as well.
The Mini Jeep
Like the tank, this dad built this replica Jeep by himself, but there are actually a lot of mini Jeeps out there like this one that you can buy; and there are probably more of them available than any other type of vehicle. Mini Willys is a popular site that makes mini Jeeps, and the one that most resembles this one is probably the Mini Jeep with off-road tires. This mini vehicle has a 110cc engine and runs off of a 12-volt battery. The Jeep actually has a bigger power source, a 24-volt battery, and has a 400W transaxle motor.
Modeled after the Willys Jeep
The Jeep is modeled after the Willys Jeep, also known as the Willys MB. This Jeep came onto the scene during World War II and became an invaluable part of the war effort for America and its allies due to its off-road and cross-country reconnaissance capability. Willys-Overland built over 350,000 of these during the war, while Ford produced nearly 280,000 of them. Interestingly enough, Ford actually sued Willys for the rights to the Jeep name after the war, but the lawsuit was unsuccessful and Willys maintained full rights to the name. These first Jeeps, of course, had 4WD capability and weighed in at just under 2,500 pounds. Here are some of its other key specs:
- About 11 feet long, 5 feet wide, and 6 feet tall
- Live-axle leaf spring suspension
- 3-speed transmission with 2 range transfer case
- 15-gallon tank and range of 300 miles (2o mpg)
- Top speed of 65 mph
First developed for war, the Jeep would go on to be a very popular civilian vehicle known as the Jeep CJ. The successor to the CJ was the Wrangler, which is still produced today.
The Leopard 1A5 History and Key Specs
The more obvious war vehicle, the Leopard 1A5 didn’t come along until about 25 years after the Willys Jeep. This tank was first produced in West Germany and is still in use in various militaries today. Of course, that was the original Leopard 1; the Leopard 1A5 wouldn’t be produced until 1980. These tanks played an important role in the Bosnian War and the War in Afghanistan. Here are some of the 1A5’s impressive specs:
- Just over 93,000 pounds
- 830-horsepower engine
- About 31 feet long and 11 feet wide
- Roughly 9 feet tall
- Cross-country range of about 280 miles
- 4 forward gears and 2 reverse gears
- Can fit a crew of 4 people
Over the years, the 1A5 has adapted to changing requirements. For example, it has a shorter prep time to fire, better accuracy, and better reliability than it originally had. It has also been retrofitted with features such as a dual-circuit brake system, modular add-on armor, and 120 mm smoothbore gun.
The Mini Leopard 1A5
Unlike the mini Jeep, you will have a tough time finding a mini Leopard tank to buy, so this is something you would likely have to build on your own. On top of looking like it’s a blast to drive, the mini Leopard tank’s rarity would probably make it the more sought-after vehicle compared to the Jeep. Unlike the Jeep, the mini Leopard runs off of two 200W hub motors as opposed to the single 400w transaxle. You’ll see that in addition to powering over snow, this Leopard can also turn at a sharper angle than the Jeep because it has tracks instead of wheels.
You’ll notice that the Jeep does have the current German flag mounted to it. The Germans did have their own version of the Jeep. But although somewhat similar to the Jeep in design, the one more closely resembles the Willys Jeep the Allies used. Enjoy these two historic replicas in action and then let us know what you think of these mini vehicles as well as the intense background music!