Florida man sues over $297,738 tank he bought at an auction and never received

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

As anyone who's gotten drunk and made an unfortunate eBay purchase can tell you, sometimes auctions aren't all they're cracked up to be.


The San Jose Mercury-News reports a wealthy Florida man is suing over a vintage Israeli tank he bought at a California auction last year for almost $300,000, but never received.

Flashback to July 13, 2014: the Mercury-News reports on the auction of a historic collection of historic military hardware following the owner's death. Damon Becnel, a real-estate investor in Dustin, Florida, is interviewed as the proud new owner of a 38-ton M50 Sherman tank, formerly of the Israel Defense Forces.


"I just had to do it—YOLO!" Becnel reportedly told the Wall Street Journal when asked to comment on his purchase.

But in present day, Becnel charges he never received his purchase, despite paying $297,738, in a lawsuit against the auction company, the moving company that was supposed to deliver the tank, and the foundation that sold it.

The civil suit, filed in California, claims that rather than moving Becnel's new tank to a staging location where he could pick it up, Dunkel Bros. Machinery Moving used the tank as a tow truck for other military hardware that was auctioned off.

When Becnel finally tracked down the missing tank, his lawsuit alleges it was damaged in multiple areas. Its hatch had been left open, exposing the interior to rain, and the tracks and exterior paint were also damaged.


Dave Dunkel of Dunkel Bros. doesn't dispute that the Sherman was used for towing, but he told the Mercury-News that the tank is in "immaculate" shape and ready to be shipped.

Hopefully that's true, because Becnel once had big plans for the tank. The Mercury-News reported that Becnel planned to drive the tank on a patch of land owned by his family in Florida. When asked whether it was legal in Florida  for him to fire the Sherman's cannon, Becnel told the Mercury-News "No comment. But I'm friends with the local law enforcement around there, so it's not a problem."


YOLO indeed.

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