When reader Jim Romans retired, he needed a project to keep him busy. A lifelong builder and a fan of Humphrey Bogart's 1943 film Sahara, Jim took on the ambitious project of making an almost-full-scale wood replica of the movie's famous tank, Lulubelle. The M3 Lee tank model took Jim three years to make, about half of which was spent on "thinking time," during which he went as far as examining stills of the film in order to get the number of rivets and other details just right. The final product is made mostly of ¾-inch plywood, and cost about $1,200 in other materials.
These days, Jim takes Lulubelle out for local parades, towing it on a trailer behind his pickup truck. Even veterans have been fooled into thinking it's real, asking how a pickup can pull a tank of that size. "It took a lot of trying and fi and doing," Jim says. "But I think it came out pretty darn good."
BE IN POPULAR MECHANICS! Got a great project you've been working on, or a solid tip you've picked up in the workshop? Tell us about it, and you could be featured right here in the magazine. For projects, send photos, a description, and your info to [email protected] If your submission is published, we'll give you $100 for a project or $50 for your tip.
This story appears in the December/January 2017 issue of Seniorhelpline.