Narre Warren tank restorer puts collection of war relics for sale
Herald Sun May 25, 2018.
John Belfield, 86, is selling his extensive tank and military vehicle collection after closing the doors to his tank museum a decade ago. Picture: Jake Nowakowski.
JOHN Belfield has spent more than 60 years meticulously restoring a collection of war relics in his shed out the back of Narre Warren.
There are tanks and armoured vehicles, turret guns and trucks.
THE DAY WORLD WAR II CAME TO MELBOURNE
DIGGERS WHO NEVER MET THEIR FOREIGN CHILDREN
At 86, you’ll still find Mr Belfield wedged under a bonnet in his lifelong campaign to restore the collection of old clunkers.
His wife Pat, who died last year, shared his passion to create the museum that would showcase the spirit of the Anzacs.
The collection includes tanks and war relics. Picture: Jake Nowakowski
Mr Belfield knows he won’t be around forever, but hopes the rare collection of military memorabilia might be.
“It’s a bugger of a thing getting old but I don’t really like the alternative,’’ he said.
A Sherman M4 army tank is a prized possession and once caught the eye of Mel Gibson who wanted it for a war movie.
There is also a Diamond T Wrecker, used in the fight against the Japanese in New Guinea, a German World War I Krupp gun, a personnel carrier and armoured cars.
One of the items in his prized collection. Picture: Jake Nowakowski
video: Shedding a ray of light on the Anzac rising sun emblem
LIFE IN MELBOURNE DURING WORLD WAR II
Mr Belfield is happy to chew the ear off anybody who shows interest. The exhibits are for sale — but perhaps not all of them.
“I’ll hang onto a few,’’ he said. “Everybody needs a hobby. Anybody who doesn’t is missing out.
“It brings me satisfaction that, even when I’m gone, I’ll know that I saved over 100 vehicles from the scrap heap.”