The Tank Museum in Bovington, United Kingdom is offering military history fans the incredible opportunity of riding in the only running German Tiger I tank, Tiger 131, and all you need to do is enter a raffle. The ride will take place during the facility’s Tiger Day Autumn on September 16, 2023, and will be the last time the historic tank sees action until the next Tiger Day in April 2024.
The Tiger I was among the most fearsome German tanks the Allies went up against during the Second World War. Equipped with an 88 mm main gun and two 7.92 mm machine guns as its secondary armament, it packed quite a punch on the battlefield. The larger gun, in particular, could penetrate 100 mm of armor from up to 1,000 meters away.
Tiger 131 was captured in 1943 by the 2nd Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) and the 142nd (Suffolk) Regiment Royal Armoured Corps during the final stages of the Tunisia Campaign. The Germans had abandoned the tank at Point 174 after being fired upon by British Churchills.
In 1951, Tiger 131 was transferred to The Tank Museum, where it has continued to undergo restoration and conservation efforts.
Along with a ride in Tiger 131, the raffle also features a second-place prize: a ride in a Panzerkampfwagen III. The person who’s name is drawn third will be given the opportunity to ride in the Sherman M4A2E8 featured in 2014’s Fury, starring Brad Pitt.
“It is now 80 years since the Tiger’s capture, and for every hour of operation it requires many hours of maintenance from our Workshop Team,” said Chris van Schaardenburgh, The Tank Museum’s head of collections, in a press release. “By entering the auction and raffle, you are directly supporting the conservation of our historic vehicles.”
Tiger Day Autumn will kick off at 8:30 AM on September 16, 2023. The day will include displays, opportunities to view The Tank Museum’s vast collection of armored vehicles, lectures and a battle re-enactment that’ll allow attendees a glimpse into how Tiger 131 was captured back in 1943.
Those interested in a chance to ride Tiger 131 can do so by entering the ongoing raffle, which will remain open until August 28, 2023. Tickets cost £3 each, and all proceeds will go to the preservation of The Tank Museum’s collection.