Panzerfabrik: Tanks in Town

Jenna Neely

In the middle of Delta, Colorado, iconic and historical pieces of history are being recreated: tanks. 

Randy Beard, the owner and operator of the Panzerfabrik brand, took an interest in tanks when he was young. “I was always interested in tanks,” said Beard. “From childhood. I drew pictures [of tanks] and put together models.

Now, the brand has been around for four years, restoring tanks for museums, movies, and more. One was sold to a tank museum in Canada, and it’s on display now,” said Beard. “We have two in Las Vegas.”

Some Panzerfabrik tanks have been featured in movies and television shows. We’ve had several tanks in movies,” said Beard. Playing on Showtime right now on cable is the mini series, Waco.” The series, filmed in New Mexico, features Panzerfabriks Leopard 1A5 BE tanks. The tank makes an appearance in the fourth, fifth, and sixth episodes of the miniseries. “The one playing right now is [episode] five, and that’s the one that we crashed through a chicken coop and ran over cars.” 

Many tanks and armored vehicles have been restored and repaired by Beard and his brand. “We’ve built from scratch three WWII German Tanks [and more].”  Beard‘s favorite tank that he restored was the Panzer Four, which took three years to complete.

The values of tanks vary. “It’s like how much a car costs,” Beard stated. “Any tank out there is worth $100,000.” For different tanks, “Some of the German WWII tanks, like a Tiger or a Panzer, these are really iconic, super rare tanks. They would be basically priceless,” Beard said.

This area of expertise requires a lot of work. Restoring different projects can take years, as well as lots of time and effort.  “It’s a lifestyle,” said Beard.

The current projects taking place for Panzerfabrik include an M-113 armored personnel carrier, a WWII Panzer II/Luchs, a WWII Panzer 4, and a tank belly.  “It’s being put back together out of fractured pieces that have been dragged out of the ground,” said Beard. The tank belly is being built to be a WWII Panzer 4.

Tanks have a strange power over people that look at them,” said Beard.  “Theyre iconic, and they symbolize something bigger, whether it’s war or destruction, or heroics or patriotism. They invoke a lot of emotion from people.

WWII Panzer II/Luchs
M113 Armored Personnel Carrier
WWII Panzer 4 tank belly in progress
WWII Panzer 4