Rent Military Vehicles – Contact Us

My name is Tom Townsend. I founded Toyland Combat Vehicles in 1995, not really because I planned to – it just worked out that way. At that time I was both a military vehicle collector and a World War II reenactor. Courage Under Fire, a movie about a friendly-fire incident during the first Gulf War, was filming near El Paso, Texas. To recreate the extensive battle scenes the producers had purchased a dozen early post World War II British Centurion tanks from a collector in Australia and rebuilt them to look like M-1 Abrams. The regular army crews hired to operate them immediately proved to be unfamiliar with the primitive mechanics of 50-year-old armored vehicles with steering levers, crash box transmissions, and 90-lb. clutches. The producers went looking for old ex-tankers, museum volunteers and military vehicle collectors. They found all three in me, and I was hired.

The job proved to be two weeks of pure fun and no sleep, driving a fifty-ton tank through fire and smoke, but without anyone actually trying to kill me. I fell in love with the filming business, so I began enlarging and tailoring my own collection of combat film vehicles to fit the needs of movie and television production.

The result is Toyland Combat Vehicles, a company which I could not have been more suited to run. I was born in an army hospital. My father was a career officer serving in both World War II and Korea, so I grew up on a dozen different military bases in the U.S. and Europe. Two weeks out of high school I joined the Arkansas National Guard and served as an artillery officer. Five years later I transferred to the Texas National Guard where I served as a tank platoon leader and later worked with two civilian OPFOR (opposing forces) groups in training exercises against both reserve and regular army units.

Nowadays, I enjoy sharing my vehicles with the film industry, as well as lending my historical and experiential knowledge to projects.

I fell in love with the filming business so I began enlarging and tailoring my own vehicle collection to fit the needs of movie and television production.

~ Tom Townsend

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We are located in East Texas, within 2 hours of Louisiana, Dallas and Houston, but we can arrange immediate transport to any location in the United States once rental or leasing agreements have been made. Rent one or all of our vintage military vehicles. Contact us to learn more about how to rent military vehicles for your army, World War I or II, or Gulf War documentaries, movies or films.

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