25. December 2004 · Comments Off on Ah, The Vicarious life! · Categories: General

If you haven’t seen it yet, you simply must check out the National Geographic Channel’s Tycoon Toys:

This gift-giving season the National Geographic Channel (NGC) gives you a chance to experience the adrenaline-rushing, testosterone-pounding items on the wish lists of men with money to burn and a hunger to own some of the finest ex-military hardware in the world. On December 15 from 9-11 p.m. ET/PT join NGC as it premieres Tycoon Toys, two one-hour specials that put viewers in the driver’s seat next to millionaires as they play with some of history’s deadliest tanks and military aircraft — some literally in their backyards!


In Tycoon Toys: “Tanks,” airing at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT, viewers will go for a ride in some of the most remarkable ground fighting vehicles ever built and visit with their new owners — some of the world’s most renowned tank collectors — as they demonstrate the awesome capabilities of their prized machines. See what makes these high spenders’ engines run and why owning killing machines like the Sherman Tank, German Panzer, British Scorpion and M18 Hellcat fighting vehicle is just half the fun.

For some collectors, their ultimate hobby reaches its peak during an annual weekend of war games. Jon Shoop is a member of the 14th Armored Division World War II reenactment group and owns two of the platoon’s M5A1 Stuart tanks. National Geographic Channel follows him and his friends as they take their tanks to a reenactment event at Fort Knox where they put on a stunning battle scenario, pushing their tanks to the limits.


Tycoon Toys: “Fighter Jets,” airing at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT, features men who prefer to put some of the world’s most renowned fighter planes through their paces — extraordinary aircraft like the Electric Lightning, MiG fighting jet, “Widow Maker” Starfighter, F15 fighter and the Cobra Attack Helicopter. Once flown by ace military pilots, these former war birds are now somebody’s passionate and very expensive hobby. With 4,000 pounds of thrust and top speeds twice the speed of sound, it’s a hobby that attracts a certain kind of individual — men who have both the money and the guts to take the ultimate risk.

Who are these men and why do they collect and fly these exceptional machines? Most are high achievers like Bob Lutz, Chairman of General Motors North America, one of the most powerful men in the car industry, who says that flying fighter jets reminds him of his youth and keeps him young.

Businessman Mike Beachy Head has created his own private museum of fully operational military jets. His squadron consists of 14 of some of the most awesome aircraft ever built, including classics like the English Electric Lightning, which can travel over twice the speed of sound. Says Head, “I remember once going vertical in a Lightning at sunset, just the only man in the sky and this incredible golden light and then I arced the airplane over hanging weightless at 20,000 feet looking at the most remarkable sunset.”

As they say, check your local listings. 🙂

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